For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Wages – something worked for and expected to receive; earnings received for work accomplished.
- Sin – the job or the thing done whereby wages are expected.
- Death – sin’s ultimate retirement plan; eternal separation from a loving God.
- Gift – gratuity, something we did nothing to receive; something freely given.
- Eternal life – the gift itself.
1 Peter 1:4 – to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Exodus 20 lists very clearly and plainly the Ten Commandments. Our permissive society has tried to water down, to dictate, to expand, read between the lines what is/what is not allowable under the Law, undermining God’s Word. If this was done in the political realm, it would be akin to treason against the law of the land.
In Matthew 22, Jesus narrowed these Ten Commandments down to only two.
Matthew 22:34-39 – But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Can we say we obey these laws? At various places throughout the Word of God we see specifics about obedience, about the Law, about “thus saith the Lord God,” but all the additional things related by writers in both the Old Testament and the New Testament refer back to the original ten commandments given by God to Moses to give to the children of Israel.
- Commandment #1 – You shall have no other Gods before me. (Exodus 20:3)
You have to ask yourself, according to the Word of God, what constitutes a god? (Exodus 20:4-5)
- Commandment #2 – You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.
You have to ask yourself, according to the Word of God, what makes something an image, or an idol that would fall in this category?
- Commandment #3- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. (Exodus 20:7)
Do we take the Lord’s name in vain when we call ourselves Christians or Christ-like and then behave otherwise?
- Commandment #4 – Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8)
You have to ask yourself, according to the Word of God, what is it that breaks the law of the Sabbath?
- Commandment #8 – You shall not steal.
Stealing includes stealing from God.
Malachi 3:10-11 – “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me!” But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the Lord of hosts;
- Commandment #9 – You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
What is a lie? Stretching the truth; falsifying any record (income tax, expense reports); implying something that is not true; swearing to factual events.
Matthew 22:37 – Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
- Hypocrisy will not do
- Lip service will not do
- Half-hearted service will not do
- GOD WANTS YOUR ALL
Sin is sin; a lie is a lie; stealing is stealing, adultery is adultery, disobedience is disobedience. You cannot justify your life before God if you have sin in your heart. You cannot explain away sin when you stand before Him.
Isaiah 53:6 – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.