By Nick Bibile
John Owen lived in
But when you speak on the law to some Christians, at once they brand you as a legalist. As we studied before, the ceremonial law is abolished in Christ, but the moral law, the Ten Commandments still exists and continues. Let us see some scriptures in the New Testament.
Mt “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”
So even Jesus did not destroy the law, he fulfilled on the cross and if he did not break them then it continues.
1Jo 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
Sin is forbidden in every detail, and if we say the moral law (Ten Commandments) does not apply to us today as we are in the New Testament times, then how can anyone know that he is a sinner, no need to repent, as repent of what? Sins? How did I sin if there is no law to break?
Ro “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
Paul clearly states that Apostolic teaching does not void the law; rather, Apostolic teaching establishes it.
Jas “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
Here the New Testament shows the authority of the law, the law is still existing to us, and if one violate the least point of the law is to break it entirely and it shows that we are all sinners.
Man is carnal and the law is spiritual, so the carnal man, the fallen man cannot keep the law. But once a person is regenerated (born again) for the first time his eyes will be opened, and he will get a thirst for spiritual things, and when he hears of the Law of God, he will realize that he had sinned against God, he sees the terrors of the law and will cry out to God in repentance.
Now let us go back to our subject, this is the part 2 of the first commandment.
Ge 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Satan is the author of all the other religions and his main objective is to take your focus away from the true God. He is the author of all the other religions, all these religions have another way of devotion and worship and these religions have robbed the adoration that belongs to the living God, and as a result the people who are blinded from the truth is worshipping the devil. People have made a god to suite their philosophy and their desires. And they deny the true living God.
Q104: What are the duties required in the first commandment?
A104: The duties required in the first commandment are, the knowing and acknowledging of God to be the only true God, and our God; and to worship and glorify him accordingly, by thinking, meditating, remembering, highly esteeming, honoring, adoring, choosing, loving, desiring, fearing of him; believing him; trusting, hoping, delighting, rejoicing in him; being zealous for him; calling upon him, giving all praise and thanks, and yielding all obedience and submission to him with the whole man; being careful in all things to please him, and sorrowful when in anything he is offended; and walking humbly with him.
The first and second commandments are directed against idolatry of every form. . God said, “Thou shall have no other gods before me.” If you love anything more than the living God, then that thing or person becomes your god. Rejecting the word of God is idolatry, as soon as you stop studying the word of God, as Martin Luther said, “The devil will have a lot of things for you to do.”
Do you love Jesus? Many would say, “Yes.” Do you love the Word of God? Many would say “yes” Do you read it daily, study daily? Many would say “No” Jesus is the Word, if you love Jesus you will love the Word of God and read daily, but if you say, you love Jesus and you do not study the word of God, be honest you are lying in the presence of God.
1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
When you stop loving God, you reject him as the king as you have many other thrones you worship and adore more than the living God. But men, women and children have forsaken to love the Lord and instead they adore other things more than God What about your husband, wife or children? If you love them more than God, then they become your god, because your adoration is more to them than God. You have time for them and not for God. You are concerned of them which is good, but not on God. Today many are so fond of the Hollywood stars, the sports stars, the music stars, they know all the programs in the TV, they are excited to talk about the football and the basketball games, oh! The sales in this store and that store and some have all the time for internet shopping in the computer and no time for the Word. People are excited of worldly things but have no excitement to talk on the Bible. On Sundays they go to church like going to a lecture and they focus on the sermon intently, they listen and turn their Bibles and sing songs of worship, as soon as the service is over, it is like the lecture is done, they run to their worldly activities and in a few minutes time have forgotten all what the preacher said. Even on the Lord’s Day, they say they are having fellowship, but their talk is all worldly things. It pleases the flesh and not the spirit. The true born again Christian loves to talk on God.
In the Old Testament, idolatry was looked upon as a cancer in the state; it was considered to be in rebellion, and treated according to the laws of war. Its inhabitants and all their cattle were put to death. The Lord was the theocratic King of Israel, the civil Head of the commonwealth, and therefore to an Israelite idolatry was a state offence (1 Sam. 15:23), high treason. In the New Testament the term idolatry is used to designate covetousness Covetousness means to desire for something with real eagerness, earnestly to posses something, craving for something, greediness.
Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Mt 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Eph 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Our priority to is to love him, because he loved us first. We need to adore him more than anything else. Mt 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Our Savior said, “This is the first and great commandment.” It is “the first” commandment—the first of the commandments, for this is oldest and the first of the Ten Commandments relates to this. —“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.” This is the king of commandments; this is the emperor of the law. How many men do break this? One class of men does break it willfully and grievously; for they hate God. There is the infidel, who gnashes his teeth against the Almighty; the atheist, who spits the venom of his blasphemy against the person of his Maker. You will find those who blaspheme in denying his existence. These men say there is no God, because they wish there were none. The expression of David, (Psalm 14: 1, 53: 1,) “The fool has said in his heart, There is no God,” Psalmist introduces them as distinctly denying that there is a God, because although they do not disown his essence, they rob him of his, majesty, justice and providence. They have closed their eyes to the living God, and as a result they will not believe in his judgments, hell and punishment and as the Psalmist said, the wicked has “no fear of God before his eyes,” (Psalm 36: 1;)
But there are others who have no time for God, they know there is a God, but they have no time for him. They rise in the morning without a prayer, they rest at night without bending the knee, they go through the week’s business and they never acknowledge God. Sometimes they talk about good luck and chance, but still I believe they are as good as the others; I am good, and moral and loving. I do not go to church or read the Bible, as there are many hypocrites in the church. “ Now, my dear friend, allow me just to say one word—what business is that of yours to talk about the hypocrites in the church? Religion is a personal matter between you and your Maker. Your Maker says—“Thou shalt love me with all thine heart:” it is of no use for you to point your finger across the street, and point at a minister whose life is inconsistent, or at a elder who is unholy, or to a member of the church who does not live up to his standard. You have just nothing to do with that. When your Maker speaks to you, he appeals to you personally; and if you should tell him, “My Lord, I will not love you, because there are hypocrites.”
There are others, too, who delight to spend time of study. They believe in Jesus, in the Father, in the Spirit; they believe that there is but one God, and know the doctrines. And they are very sound in the faith, extremely orthodox, and very knowing; they can fight about doctrines, they can dispute about the things of God with all their hearts; but, their religion is like a dead fish, cold and stiff, and when you take it into your hand, you say there is no life in it; It is all in the head and not in the heart and as a result there is no love for God, no adoration and no affection towards him. They are cold-blooded thinkers. —“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.”
If we are called to die for God, we are to prefer God before our own life. We shall never reach the fullness of this commandment, till we get as far as the martyrs, who gave their lives to be cast into the fire, or to be devoured by the Lions. We must be ready to give up our house, home, freedom, friends, comfort, joy, and life, at the command of God, or else we have not carried out this commandment, “Thou shalt love him with all thy heart and with all thy life.”
John Owen said, “Beholding of the glory of Christ...Herein would I live; --herein would I die; --herein would I dwell in my thoughts and affections, to the withering and consumption of all the painted beauties of this world, unto the crucifying all things here below, until they become unto me a dead and deformed thing, no way meet for affectionate embraces.”
In our modern language what he is saying is, “I am fixing my mind upon the glory of Christ. In him I live. In him would die. My thoughts and affections are in him, and not of the painted beauties of this world which are fading away, I will crucify all earthly things until it becomes dead and a deformed thing so there is no way I can affectionately embrace them.”