Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thou Shalt Not

Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.”

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word “Secular” as pertaining to the present time in the present world, or to things not spiritual or holy; relating to things not immediately or primarily respecting the soul, but the body; worldly. The secular concerns of life respect making provision for the support of life, the preservation of health, the temporal prosperity of men, of states, & Secular power is that which superintends and governs the temporal affairs of men, the civil or political power; and is contra-distinguished from spiritual or ecclesiastical power.

Many secularists criticize Christianity as being a religion of negativism filled with prohibitions. In a “do whatever you want, whenever you want” secular world, there seems to be no boundaries or boundary-making God. In response, Christians often try to blunt this criticism by stressing Christian love and freedom from the law. But, it’s well known that the fact is, however, that the New Testament also contains many prohibitions against things that are bad for us, including a restatement of all those in God's laws as expressed in the Ten Commandments. An article that I read points out that the first of these godly bans in verse above prohibits idolatry. Six others also begin with "thou shalt not." "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain"; "Thou shalt not kill"; "Thou shalt not commit adultery"; "Thou shalt not steal"; "Thou shalt not bear false witness"; "Thou shalt not covet" in Exodus 20. To disrespect Creator God, to murder, to lustfully violate others, to steal, to lie or to harmfully desire inordinately in thought, word or action could not be interpreted as godly, positive or life-improving.

Matthew 5:17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.

It is inappropriate for any Christian to ignore these commandments. Godly behavior is more important now than ever before in this increasingly dangerous world needing Christ. Not only are these prohibitions all repeated in the New Testament, but there are numerous other "shalt nots" as well, all directed to Christians saved by grace, apart from the works of the law, yet all designed for our benefit and well-being. For example: Ephesians 5:18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit;, Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath;, Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!”; and others.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.


That article concluded that there are numerous positive aspects to the Christian life, of course, but there are also things a Christian should not do. We do not work for our salvation, but we must work out our salvation, putting off the works of the flesh and putting on the works of a regenerate life. We do not do good works to get saved; we do godly works because we are saved, and we have “thou shalt nots” in our lives because we are children of God and a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven, May what we think, say and do always be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord,
In Christ, Brian

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