The Laws of Life

Date: 10/31/2023 
Many Christians teach that the Ten Commandments were nailed to the cross. But if that were true, why would the apostle Paul refer to them as being instrumental in his conversion? Other laws were indeed nailed to the cross, but not the one that explains how we are to love God and our neighbor.

Does God's Grace Blot out the Law? - Paper or Download

Does God's Grace Blot out the Law? - Paper or Download
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Doug Batchelor: Did you know it's against the law to doze off under a hair dryer in Florida, to play Hopscotch on Sunday in Missouri, to hunt camels in Arizona, to insert a penny in your ear in Hawaii, to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole in Atlanta, to catch mice without a license in Cleveland, to put a skunk in your boss's desk in Michigan, to detonate a nuclear weapon within Chico, California city limits-- which carries a punishment of $500, to bathe less than once a year in Kentucky, to pawn your dentures in Las Vegas? Yes, there are about 2 million laws in the U.S., and, if a person could review them at a rate of about two a day, you'd be qualified to act as a law-abiding citizen in about 6,000 years. Yet the Lord was able to summarize the entire duty of man to God in just 10 simple precepts that contain about 325 words. Jesus said God's law boils down to two crucial principles: love for God and love for our fellow man. Join me now, friends, as we consider the relevance of God's law in our lives today.

Doug: Do any of you remember a day when you didn't even lock your doors in your house? Don't raise your hand if you do it now; someone will be watching; they'll look you up on the Internet. But, let's admit it, you know, times have changed, and the values and the morals of the culture have changed. Now, I was not raised in a religious home. My mother is from a Jewish background, but she was basically atheist. And my father, he was raised Baptist. But, after World War II, he was basically atheist. So I didn't grow up with a lot of strong religious training.

But I still remember, when I went to public school in California, they had The Ten Commandments on the wall. They called it The Golden Rules. Any of you remember that? Public school. And then, you know, more people were worried about separation of church and state-- and we'll talk a little about that tonight-- and pretty soon they weren't there anymore.

And I can understand the government telling people, you're not supposed to dictate the first four commandments, what God's name is or what God you worship or how you worship Him or what His name is or when you worship Him. But the government must enforce the last six commandments, parental authority-- the government doesn't own your children, things like property rights, the sanctity of marriage, shouldn't be coveting your neighbor's things, honesty, telling the truth. These are things that must be observed and enforced by any civilized culture. And America was built on those principles by Roger Williams, where you basically separate the two tables of stone, and the government doesn't meddle with the first four, but they must enforce the last six. And that's what made it such a great country.

But they, in not wanting any mingling of religion, they took all of the law out, which is kind of strange because it's up on the Supreme Court building, got a picture of Moses up there. Did you know that?

Now, we are using this as a foundation for our studies each night, Revelation 14. What is our verse in Revelation 14, and how does that relate? It's in verse 12, "Here is the patience of the saints--" talking about the ones that are saved as opposed to the ones with the mark. "Here's the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Here, you've got the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, the Bible calls it, "the law and the prophets." And so this is something that is crucial in the life of a believer. They were, we're not just hearers of the Word, but we're doers of the Word.

First question. What is God's moral law? Not to be confused with lots of different laws in the Bible, there's a very simple moral law. What is it? You can read, in Exodus 24, verse 12, "Then the Lord said to me, to Moses, rather, 'Come up to me on the mountain and there I will give you--'" what-- ''tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.'" He gave him these two tables of stone, and what were they? Deuteronomy 10:4, "And He wrote on the tables according to the first writing, The Ten Commandments, which the Lord had spoken to you in the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day the Lord assembled; and the Lord gave them to me."

So, when God delivered The Ten Commandments, He did something He had never before done in history. Not one prophet or two, having a vision or a dream, but, while a whole nation was gathered in assembly, the Lord God Almighty spoke audibly-- no artificial PA system-- and He declared The Ten Commandments with thunder and lightning from the mountain. It was heard by the whole nation, and the nation said, "All the Lord has said we will do." And then Moses said, "They've agreed to the covenant." God says, "Okay, we're agreeing to the terms. Come up. I'll give you a written copy." That's how contracts work. First, you kind of work it out verbally, right? No sense writing it up every time. First get a verbal agreement, then you say, "That sounds good." Then you write it up, make it official. This is what God did, and he gave him The Ten Commandments.

Number two. To what does the Bible equate God's law? Answer, "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good." Now, part of the reason for the lesson tonight, I'm just going to tell you up front, is because we know that there's a lot of lawlessness in society and people that don't want the law. But, what scares me is, there are pastors now that are saying, "We don't want the law." There are pastors that are turning away from the law, and they're saying, "No, we're not under the law anymore. We're under grace, and that means we don't need to keep The Ten Commandments."

How many of you have heard that? Okay, that is a lie. Paul talks about doctrines of devils. And, if there's a doctrine of devils, the idea that God doesn't care whether or not you keep The Ten Commandments is a categorical lie, and I can tell you that based on an abundance of scripture I'm going to share with you tonight. He did not give us The Ten Suggestions. They are not The Ten Recommendations. They are The Ten Commandments, and God did not make a mistake. And I've heard pastors say, "Well, God gave them the law just to prove they couldn't keep it. And then He punished them for not keeping it." What parent does that?

Every command of God inherent in the command is the power to do it. So why can we not get rid of The Ten Commandments? Because, when you look at the definition for The Ten Commandments in the Bible, the same words are used to describe God Himself. For example, the Bible says God is perfect. Well, the Bible says, in Psalm 19, verse 7, "The law is perfect." By the way, the verse for God being perfect is Jesus, Matthew 5:48, "Be therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect." The Bible says, "God is love," 1 John 4:8, many places. Romans 13:10 says, "The law is love." The Bible says, "God is righteous," Exodus 9:27; it says, "The law is righteous," and you got the verses on the screen, Psalm 119. "God is truth." "The law is truth." "God is pure." "The law is pure." "God is spiritual." "The law is spiritual." "God is eternal." "The law is eternal." "God is unchangeable." "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. I am the Lord. I change not." "His law is unchangeable." He says, "I will not alter the covenant that has gone out of My lips."

What does God's law do? Well, for one thing, it tells us our need of a Savior. You can read, in Romans 7:7, "I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law said, 'You shall not covet.'" And so, you know, God gives us law because we need it to avoid disobedience. You can also read here, "By the law is the knowledge of sin."

Now, is it important for us to know what sin is? How can you repent from your sins if you don't know what sin is? If the devil takes away the law, without the law, there's no sin, you with me? If there's no sin, do we need a Savior? The Lord gives us the law so we'll recognize when we've disobeyed, and we can repent and turn from our disobedience and turn to Jesus for mercy and power. But the law is a blessing. And, again, the best Bible definition for what sin is, "Sin is lawlessness." If you've got the King James Version, "Sin Is the transgression of the law." People who are taking away the law are taking away the very definition of sin, and the devil loves that because Jesus wants us to know what our sins are so that He can forgive us.

So, let's just suppose for a moment that, if I was to go through-- Hey, wasn't that tricky? If I was to go through the presentation like this, would that be at all distracting? Do you realize I don't see anything? And, you know, I came to the meeting tonight, and I brushed, gargled, deodorized, do everything, and I feel fine. Now, how are you going to convince me there's a problem? A mirror, how convenient. So, I feel fine; I'm preaching; I'm talking. You're all saying, "Doug, you got an issue." I said, "No, I don't." You said, "Look in the mirror." I look in the mirror, and I go, "Oh, man, that does really look foolish." So, all right, well, I felt fine until I looked in the mirror. So the answer is obviously, just don't look in the mirror.

I heard about a man in China that ordered one of the first microscopes, and he was so fascinated, looking at everything under the microscope. But then he looked at his rice under the microscope, and he saw there was all these microscopic creatures on the rice. He loved rice. So he threw away the microscope. So, is the answer to just get rid of the law because I love my sin? That's the way a lot of people treat it. Or is the answer to use the mirror to try to take this off? Is that the solution? Is that the purpose of this?

The law is not to take away our sin. So, if this was a mark-- forget it's tape for a minute-- if it was a mark, how would I get rid of it? You've got to wash it, right? So, the law, the law shows me the sin, but I use this-- What is this? Red, it's a clue? Blood of Christ. What will wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. And so, I do this, and then I do this; I feel much better. This did not take it away; this took it away. This showed me the need for this. Do we need this? Then we need this to show us our need for this. We need the law to show us our need for the cleansing from sin, amen? So that's the purpose of the law. That's why we need it, and that's why the devil hates the law.

Next question. Can God's law be amended or repealed? What's the Bible say? Psalm 89, verse 34, "My covenant I will not break--" you with me?-- "nor alter." I'm not going to break it; I'm not going to alter it. "The word that has gone out of My lips." So, some are thinking right now, "What about the new covenant?" Stay with me; we'll get to that. Again, "All of His precepts are sure. They stand fast--" how long?-- "Forever and ever." So here you've got The Ten Commandments.

Now, there's one little thing about this representation here. Technically, you'd have the first four commandments on one stone, and then the last six would be on the other. But this is a summary, and the artist put five on one and five on the other. So, just to be accurate, it would actually be four and six. The first four commandments deal with our love for God. What's the great commandment? Wait, let me back up. God is love. So, if you want to melt everything down, it's God is love. But now, if you break that down a little bit, the two great commandments, Jesus said, are what? "Love the Lord with all your heart." And the other one is, what? "Love your neighbor as yourself." I've got two arms with 10 fingers, and these fingers do what the arms tell it to do. If we love God, will we keep the first four commandments? If we love God, will we take His Name in vain? Will we worship other gods? Will we want to revere our time with Him? We'll honor His name. I did it out of order. But those are the first four. If we love Him, of course.

Now, let's go over here and consider for a minute the other commandments. So here you've got, technically, this would be the last six; fifth commandment is honor your father and mother. If you love your father and mother, do you honor them? If you love, do you kill? Do you kill your neighbor? Do you lie to your neighbor? Do you steal from your neighbor? You don't commit adultery. You don't covet. "Love," Paul says, "is the fulfilling of the law," amen? But some people are wanting to just get rid of the law and make it disappear. Should a born again Christian keep The Ten Commandments? This is what we're talking about. New Testament, born again Christian. "If you love Me," Jesus said, "keep My commandments."

Wait, someone's saying, "Oh, well, that's Jesus's commandments. That'd be different from The Ten Commandments." Wait a second, who gave The Ten Commandments? Jesus-- Bible says, John says, "All things that were made were made by Him." That's His law. So, when He said, "If you love Me, keep my commandments," he says, "I have kept My father's commandments, and I abide in His love." Jesus lived a perfect life of obedience, and it says He's given us an example, that we should walk as He walked.

Now, we may not feel perfect, but His life is an example of one of obedience to the law, amen. Why? Because we love Him, "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we--" Do what? How do you know if you know Him? "If you keep His commandments." In fact, the Bible says, "He that says I know Him and keeps not His commandments is a liar," John goes on to say. A lot of people say, "I love you Lord, I love you Lord;" they just don't obey Him. And, if you really love Him, you'll want to obey Him. "It is not the hearers of the law that are justified, but the doers of the law will be justified." If that's clear, please say, "Amen."

People often try to make Paul sound like he's getting rid of the law. This is about as clear as you can be. It is not the hearers of the law, but the doers, that will be justified. But doesn't living under grace through faith make keeping the law non-essential? No, Romans 6:15, what does Paul say? "What then? Shall we sin because we're not under the law but under grace?" How does He respond? God forbid, people say, "I'm not under the law now, I'm under grace. I can break the law." God forbid. And, again, "Do we then make void the law through faith?" What's the answer? "Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law."

So, when we look at the cross and we see what our forgiveness has cost, do we want to break the law? Or are we more eager now to keep the law, out of love? We want to be doers of the Word. Can you say, "Amen?" Was there a law in the Bible that was abolished? Now, this is important; a lot of people misunderstand. Yes; you can read here in Ephesians 2:14, "He has--" what-- "abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in--" in what-- "ordinances." There was a law of ordinances; these were revolving around the ceremonial laws. And, again, you can read, in Colossians 2, verse 13 and 14, "He has--" done what-- "he's wiped out the handwriting." What kind of writing? "Which was against us, which was contrary to us. And he's taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

What were The Ten Commandments written on? What were the mosaic laws written on? Paper or parchment? There are different laws, and it is true, Paul says, "Circumcision is nothing, uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments is what matters." That can't be more clear. He says, "Don't worry about circumcision and the ceremony law, but keeping the commandments--" What commandments is he talking about? Clearly, at least The Ten Commandments, right? And you can look in Deuteronomy chapter 4; I think I've got it marked here; go to verse 13, "So he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, The Ten Commandments. And he wrote them on two tables of stone. And the Lord, and the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land that you cross over to possess."

So, you've got The Ten Commandments, that were placed in the Ark of the Covenant. And then the Lord had Moses write out a long raft of civil laws, ceremonial laws, health laws, and a lot of those laws are still the foundation for our society. Did you know that? Moses is the one who explained, there is first degree murder, and there's second degree murder, and intent has a lot to do with it. And, if your neighbor's donkey wanders away, you should bring it back. And there's all kinds of great laws that God gave the children of Israel that became a foundation for laws all over the world. It's brilliant, how smart it was.

But the ceremonial laws, that had to do with the sanctuary. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the holy place was torn from top to bottom, symbolizing that the purpose for the earthly sanctuary was fulfilled. Jesus said, "Destroy this temple made with hands, and then I will make one without hands." He spoke of what, His Body. Who is the devil's special target in the last days? The "dragon was wroth--" King James says wroth-- "enraged with the woman, and he went to make war--" this is the battle of Armageddon, by the way-- "with the rest of her offspring, who--" do what? Who is the devil making war with in the last days? What is a woman? He's making war with a woman, a church, that "keeps the commandments of God and has the testimony of Jesus."

And we'll be talking more about that, but you can't miss this, friends. You go to the book of Daniel, chapter 3, King of Babylon makes a law. His government law tells everybody to bow to a graven image. Those who do not bow to the image will be killed. But the Bible says, "Do not pray to images." Three Hebrews said, "We would rather go to the fiery furnace and disobey the government law, this government religious law, than God's law." And they were put in, on test because of that law. You go to Daniel 6, Persian king makes a law. Everybody has to pray to him for King Darius for 30 days. Daniel says not to have other gods, that breaks the first commandment. He had to decide, who am I going to obey?

In the last days, there is a law made that, if you do not worship the beast in his image, you cannot buy or sell. Ultimately, there will be a death decree. I believe that's going to happen. So, if we're fuzzy about what we're supposed to do with The Ten Commandments, friends, we're in big trouble because you've got the example in the Bible of these heroes that stood up at the point of being willing to die rather than disobey God willingly.

So, we need to know what we believe. The law of God, they are the commandments of the Almighty; breaking them is sin. And that's why this is important, friends. There's going to be a battle between the dragon and the woman.

Simple rule of life: Find out what God makes happy and do it; find out what makes the devil happy, don't do it; find out what makes the devil mad, do it. And then you can read, in Revelation 14, verse 12, "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those," and this is in our foundation verse for Revelation 14, "here are the ones that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." God's people that survive this final trial are going to be obedient. They're going to believe in God.

All right, are people saved by keeping the law? I want to just reemphasize this point. No; Bible is very clear, "For by grace you are saved; it is not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." We are saved by grace. Now, some people think, "Well, during the new covenant, we're saved by grace. But, during the old covenant, they were saved by law." Nobody is saved by works. Everybody is saved by grace. The Bible says, "Abraham is the father of the faithful." It says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness." He was saved by faith. They were saved by faith, looking forward to the cross.

We are saved by faith, looking back to the cross. But everybody is saved by the cross, friends. Nobody is getting to heaven by work, by works, amen. Can a person be saved without keeping God's law? "If you want to enter into life," what does the Bible say, "keep the commandments." Jesus said, "If you know these things, happy are ye if you do them." Revelation, this is the last chapter in the Bible. I mean, if you want something clear, "Blessed--" How many want to be blessed? "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they might have a right to the tree of life, and enter in through the gates of the city."

Now, when you hear a message like this, I know it may frighten you a little bit. You said, "Oh, man, there might be areas in my life where I'm disobeying." Every area in your life where, if you see any, if there's a dishonesty, if there's any sin-- and, keep in mind, Jesus said, "The Ten Commandments are not just the literal, outward obedience. It's also the inner attitude." And, if you're an honest Spirit-filled Christian, that Holy Spirit is going to convict you every time you start getting near the spiritual edge of the law, not just the literal edge. And that's what it means to be a Christian. You want to be led by the Spirit, not just obeying the letter but obeying the Spirit of the law-- and the letter; you need both. What is the outcome of keeping God's law? It says, "I've spoken these things to you, that your joy may be full."

Don't believe the lie that happiness comes from disobedience. Misery comes from disobedience. Jesus and Paul, they tell us, "God's going to give you a peace that passes understanding." When you surrender and say, "Lord, forgive my sin," He not only gives you forgiveness for past sins. When you come to Jesus, He then gives you power to live a new kind of life. And I threw in another scripture as a bonus for you; it's not in your lesson. Deuteronomy 5; I like this because God begins with the word, "Oh." Translate that for me. "Oh;" it's the heart of God breaking. "Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they'd fear Me and always keep--" how many commandments?-- "all of My commandments--" how often, always-- "that it might be well with them and their children--" It'll not only bless you, but it blesses your children. For how long?-- "forever!" He offers us eternal life.

God promises joy and peace when we keep his law. How many of you want to say, "Lord, help me to be a doer and not just a hearer?" Father in heaven, be with everyone here, those watching. Give us the gift of the Spirit; help us know what it means to not just be hearers but doers of Your Word, and bring us back again to prepare to serve You better and live in the last days. In Christ's name, amen.

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Doug: God is offering you peace and eternal life. How? Well, it all begins by simply turning towards the Lord. The Bible promises that, if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. You can turn to Him right now and ask for forgiveness in a new heart, and He's ready to forgive and receive you. That's why Jesus came; whether you know it or not, He's always been your best friend. A new life is only a prayer away. Just ask Him now.

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Doug: Is there anywhere you can turn these days to find hope for a brighter future? Yes, please join me, Doug Batchelor, on September 20 for the start of Amazing Facts: Prophecy Odyssey, a Bible study extravaganza. These dynamic multimedia presentations will transform what we know about the world and your purpose in it. Bible prophecy is fast fulfilling. Are you ready?

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