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Whether you’re living under a medical dictatorship (as I am now) or in relative freedom, the Ten Commandments don’t change. God doesn’t give you permission to kill and steal just because the government does. The Ten Commandments don’t change any more than your requirement to abide by them changes, regardless of the circumstances.
Regardless of the circumstances.
That’s why it’s so important that you first and foremost know precisely what the Ten Commandments are – not the politically correct version that’s presented in the worldly denominational churches, but the pure version as taught by Jesus. It’s possible that you might be breaking one or more of the Commandments without even knowing it. And if that’s the case, and you’re genuinely a follower of Jesus, you’ll want to know you’re breaking the Commandments so you can stop doing it.
The main purpose of this foundational tutorial is to reacquaint you with the Law. At the same time, we’ll be digging deeper into the meaning of each Commandment, based on Jesus’ teachings. As we know from the Gospels, Jesus was a huge fan of the Ten Commandments, so he talked about them a lot. But I warn you – the tutorial is very likely going to put some spiritual noses out of joint. I won’t be watering down the Gospel message any more than I do at any other time. The Commandments will be taught as Jesus taught them – straight up, with no chaser.
If you’re willing to come along for the ride, I’d suggest doing a little background reading before starting the tutorial. At the very least, reread the Commandments as presented by Moses in the Old Testament. Even better, reread the Commandments and then reread the Gospels, with an eye to how Jesus taught the Commandments. They’re interwoven with his other teachings; sometimes he mentions them by name, and sometimes he doesn’t, so doing a quick reread of the Gospels is the best way to approach these lessons.
As I mentioned in my first announcement a few days ago, we’ll be doing the Commandments as a count-down, starting with the tenth. So along with prepping by rereading the Ten Commandments and the Gospels, it would also be a good idea to spend some timing thinking about the concept of coveting and how it plays out in the world today. If you don’t have time to do any background reading as preparation for the tutorial, that’s OK too, but keep in mind that the more you put into learning Jesus’ teachings, the more you’ll get out of them.
Finally, it’s critically important to understand that the Commandments were written for you. They’re meant for you, so you need to take them personally. When God commands not to covet, he’s talking directly to each one of us by name. I hear the Command as: “Charlotte, don’t covet”. I make it personal because God meant it to be personal. The Commandments are not so much decrees as they are pleas and strong advice and reminders and wise words of caution. God has imprinted them on our hearts, and every time we call the Commandments to mind, we retrace them and imprint them deeper.
I’m reminded of old tombstones that after a while can’t be read anymore because the stone around the words has been worn away. We don’t want our hearts to be like those tombstones; we want God’s Commandments to remain vivid and legible for the rest of our time on Earth. To accomplish this, we not only need to know God’s Commandments, we need to keep them, and we need to teach them, as Jesus taught us.
“O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.
Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.“
Psalm 119: 97-98