2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery." Exodus20:1-2
When we started our subsection on the commandments we said that the commandments are not rungs in a ladder of piety that we have to climb ourselves.
Instead we noted that, more than anything, the commands are part of God's CV: They reveal His character and nature and the way His creation "works".
No matter how hard we try not to, any prolonged exposure to the Ten Commandments tempts us to fall back into legalism. Mentally we pull out the red pen and score ourselves on each of the commands...
- Did I kill anyone today? Nope (thank goodness)
- Did I rob a bank today? Nope...
We need to go back to the introduction."I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."
The commandments are not shackles - they are not our jailers.
When we are filled with His Spirit, when the power of the Risen Christ is unleashed in us, when His life flows through us, when we are wearing His yoke then these commands are true of us:
- Not only do we have no other gods, but we honour Him
- Not only do we have no idols, but we have a clear picture of Him
- Not only do we avoid blasphemy, but our speaking makes His name appealing.
- Not only do we do no work on the Sabbath, but we recreate!
- Not only do we obey our parents, we celebrate them.
- Not only do we not murder, we protect life.
- Not only do we not steal or pilfer, but we are faithful stewards of people's things and time
- Not only do we not gossip and malign, we speak lovingly and truthfully
- Not only do we avoid coveteousness, but we are content.
These "positive spins" on the commandments are not things that we pursue in themselves, we find that as we draw closer to God, these qualities emerge. The commandments are the fruit of our freedom in Christ.