The Ten: The Big Ones

“You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:13-16)

Can you believe that’s four whole verses up there? Commandments numbers six through nine are so simple and straightforward. And they’re probably the easiest to keep, right? I mean, you don’t usually just have a bad day and kill someone. Or sleep with someone’s spouse. Or steal a car. Or lie in court about your neighbor.

theten_350Nope. Those are the biggies, the ones that most good Israelites could put on their list of “bad things I’ve never done.”

Then Jesus showed up and took an eraser to their lists. He said those biggies start as real sin in the secret places of the heart. To tune your mind to lust, he said, is heart adultery. To hate a person, John wrote, is to be a murderer. We’ve all learned how to steal a digital thing or two from the anonymous privacy of our computers. And lying in court is only a public version of lying to our parents.

None of us is really innocent, even of all the biggies. Part of the point of the Law was to convince us all that we can’t keep that Law, that we are not good enough on our own for God. We needed Jesus to keep them all for us. And we thank God he did, then died to pay for all the ones we broke.

Think: Do you have a list of sins you are proud not to have committed? Is there any real honor in having broken some of God’s Law and not other parts of it?

Pray: Ask God to help you not to kill, hate, lust, commit adultery, steal (anything ever), or lie (for any reason). Thank him that Jesus died for all your sins and that you’ve been forgiven for them through faith and by his grace.

Do: Read Galatians 3 to hear what Paul has to say about the difference between living by faith in Christ and living under the Law of Moses.