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On the Purpose of the Ten Commandments

as precursor to the Incarnation,


Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ:

An inquiry into the purpose of the law is undertaken and answered in the seventh
chapter of the book of Romans and the third and fourth chapter of the book of
Galatians.

"For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law
were at work in our members to bear fruit to death." Romans 7:5

"...I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known
covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." But sin, taking
opportunity by the commandment produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart
from the law, sin was dead." Romans 7:7,8

"And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin,
taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore
the law is holy, and the commandment holy, just and good." Romans 7:10-12

"...taking occasion by the commandment..", "...taking opportunity by the


commandment", "..aroused by the law..", then "I would not have known..unless the
law.." are most instructive.

The purpose of the commandment, that is, the Ten Commandments, was and is to bring
the presence of sin to our awareness.

That is, by the commandment, sin was made to pass before our understanding by the
very passions that it aroused and to make known its presence.

We were, and are if we do not have Christ, totally enslaved to sin. So complete
was our enslavement that we did not even know of it and thought all our desires
were truly our own. The presence of prohibitions and commands to action directly
limit our choices and the immediate reaction to that limitation of "freedom to
choose" is the identifying feature of sin.

"But sin, that it might appear sin was producing death in me through what is good,
so that sin through the commandment became exceedingly sinful..." (VS.13) How do
we know this to be true of ourselves?

"For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not
practice; but what I hate, that I do...." 7:15

Therefore, sin is found to be in all of those who do not have Christ and in the
flesh of the new creature in Jesus Christ. It has been found out and exposed to
us--by the commandment/Word of God.

All of us then, having lived and known these very pangs of guilt, as does Paul as
he cries out "...I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my
mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O
wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (vs. 24)

Our own lives function as our proof that the commandment is indeed "..holy, just
and good" but we cannot obey the law because we are enslaved to sin. We were
guilty expressly because we could not be a robot that performs the law perfectly.
The reason that the law existed was to put us in that exact situation --not that
we should simply do the law with perfection for its own sake. Who is unaware that
if we followed and did all of the commandments we would be living in peace and
paradise? No one. Why then do we not obey the law? Sin.

All death is a result of sin ..what sin actually is. The reaction to the
limitation brings out anger and murder and produces lust. Lust is a direct
consequence of the unobtainable/unable to be a machine that overcomes all
obstacles and get the desire and that inability produces, anger and murder by sin
through the flesh. The commandment sets the demarcation to make sin reveal itself
and to differentiate life from death. In other words, God has set an ambush for
the sin within us to force it to show itself. He has done this because He loves us
as well as to identify who is and who is not God: only God could have done that.
One who knows of his utter dependence on Jesus Christ has seen the purpose of the
Law and that the Law is therefore "holy, and just and good.." because he has in
fact seen his own sin within him and knows of his complete inability to do the
good, that is, to choose the good in such a way as to make it action.
Because the elect have been predestined and elected by God before the world began,
that is, before sin entered the world through the offense of Adam, before the
giving of the law and the necessitating of it, we, as elect, were chosen in Jesus
Christ by God for His own reasons and given a destiny that would make it
impossible for us not to be one with God and therefore to know God, His identity,
His love and intentions toward us and His absolute excellence. Sin was part of
this destiny.

To be forced to work through it, with Christ Himself the salvation from it and the
animating force in us to life is our gift and the accomplishment of our destiny,
individually and en masse, is to the glory of God forever and is in point of fact
the light yoke of which Christ spoke and which we are to bear. We admit we are not
God by bearing it and plainly declare our salvation by Him and allegiance to Him.

Therefore, this recognition, as a direct gift of God renders the law no longer of
effect once sin has been done away with in the flesh.

"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is
present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that
I will to do I do not do, but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I
do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For
I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in
my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to
the law of sin..." (vss. 18-23)

Sin then, very obviously, that is verbatim, dwells in the flesh. (Note to twisters
of scripture--"dwells in", not 'IS'....) Once the flesh dies, sin dies with it as
it no longer has a place to dwell and functionally has no resources on which to
subsist. The possibility of sin is therefore done away with as well. Therefore
once the sin dies, the Law has done its job and is no longer needed but only
Christ. We cannot return to the Law. To do so would imply we have not seen and
understood sin and we would have to violate our own understanding--again--(be back
in the same situation which Paul describes in Romans 7...) which would be to
demonstrate we are still enslaved to sin while claiming to be freed from sin by
Christ. We cannot be both at the same time.

In Galatians Chapter 2 Paul directly states that implying ANY dependence on the
law is hypocrisy, a lie and a corruption of the very gospel of Jesus Christ (by a
Christian):
"Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was
to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the
Gentiles, but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who
were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews played the hypocrite with him,
so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that
they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter
before them all...." Galatians 2:11-14

Very obviously then the law has not been done away with arbitrarily in a mad grasp
at unrestricted choices but its very purpose has been fulfilled in Christ. We
still are not our own and if God is merciful never will be. The desire to be
independent is a direct grab at unrestricted choice by what knows of and hates
restriction--sin. It was and is our destiny to be one with Jesus Christ and God,
to partake of Him and He of us and thus to be legitimate family. Now Christ dwells
in us, having put to death sin and the possibility of it in ourselves. This is why
we are accounted righteous before God if we have the gift of belief in Jesus
Christ in us from God. He knows His own and to whom He has given the gift of
belief and dependence on the righteousness of Christ.

Sin, to an unbeliever is a grave thing, quite literally in that they are dead in
trespasses and sins.. But once we are delivered from it, Christ throws all our
past lives and thoughts away and brings us to Him in the fullness of perfection.
Thus the derivation of the oft quoted phrase, "Don't make such a big deal over
sin." This isn't meant to imply sin is unimportant to sinners, but once saved and
Jesus Christ dwells in us, we are moved on by Christ toward Himself. Part of this
moving on is leaving the tour through sin as part of our destiny behind.

Biblical?

"He who blesses himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and
he who swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; Because the former
things are forgotten and because they are hidden from My eyes. For behold, I
create new heavens and a new earth and the former things shall not be remembered
or come to mind.." Isaiah 65: 16, 17

"For the law was our tutor, to bring us to Christ, that we may be justified by
faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor." Galatians
3:24,25

"Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a
slave though he be master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the
time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage
under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent
forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under
the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God
has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying "Abba, Father!"
Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God
through Christ." Galatians 4:1-6

"When I was a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I


became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but
then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as also I am
known." I Corinthians 13:11, 12

So then, we are delivered from slavery to sin by the indwelling presence of Jesus
Christ. Sin has been made to pass before the eyes of our understanding and we
literally can no longer understand as a child when we are mature in Christ. Ninety
percent of our thought life was defensive in nature when we were in sin. Once
delivered from sin we are delivered from this and are enabled to declare the truth
in simplicity. Peace and joy are natural to us as Christians, not anger and envy.

What is amazing is that the very fact we must be dependent on the righteousness of
Jesus Christ is the offense to the world. The very effection of salvation is the
offense. Everyone 'doesn't want to owe' and wants to earn and work their way to
God and to bargain with as an equal. This not only demonstrates the law still
tutors them but in fact, by being offended at the recognition that there exist no
other way than the free gift of grace ( that is no way 'an offer') they in fact
prove the law as necessary to demarcate the elect from the non-elect. We as
Christians fulfill the law if the Spirit of Christ indeed dwells in us in our
dependence on Him and we move on to fulfill the rest of our destiny in God having
left sin behind.

Jan 8, 2010-01-08

In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen