I was handed a curious piece of paper last night as I turned up for youth club. Apparently it was found in the church letterbox by another youth leader. It was titled “The tru Commandments Given unto Christ Jesus”.
Glancing at these nine commandments (yes, nine), I wondered if it had been copied from somewhere, although I wondered what source would only list nine commandments. It was interesting that here the commandments were given to Jesus whereas in the Bible, Jesus, being the Son of God, gives out the commandments.
Looking at it, there was nothing wrong with the commandments listed, although it was notable in the commandments it didn’t list. They all addressed how one should behave towards oneself and to others, which is very noble, but none of them addressed our relationship with God. In the bible, when asked by a teacher of the Law, Jesus clearly puts God first in his list.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Mt 22:36-40
After all, as Jesus says, this summarises the Law, as given in the Ten Comandments in the Old Testament. The Ten Commandments, given by God to the Jews at Sinai, starts off with the first four commandments dealing with man’s relationship with God.
- You shall have no other gods before me…
- You shall not make for yourself an idol…
- You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God…
- Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy… Ex 20:3-8
After which, our relationship with others is dealt with.
Of course, I have no idea who put this piece of paper through the church letterbox. It is evident they have realised we should have moral direction, but they appear to have missed the main point of the commandments given in the bible. Yes, we should have a moral code, but not just in our relationship with ourself and others, but in our relationship with God.
At the end of it, the moral code of God will show us we are sinners, unable to keep his moral code, and in need of salvation for our sins. Only Jesus Christ can and does offer this salvation. If we construct our own moral code which we are able to keep, we deceive ourselves. It will not do us any favours on the day of judgement.