Everybody loves the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:3-17). We love it when children honor their father and mother, for when this happens there is stability and peace in the home and the community. We love it when people don’t commit murder, for then we can live without fear in the home and the community. We love it when people don’t commit adultery, for then there is love, joy, peace, and stability in the home and these traits spill out into the community. We love it when people don’t steal, for then there is trust in the home and the community. We love it when people tell the truth, for then there is trust in the home and the community. We love it when people are content, for then they don’t want what others have, and this leads to stability in the home and the community.
Everybody loves the Ten Commandments . . . well, not everybody. People want the outgrowth of the Ten Commandments: homes that are loving and peaceful, with the result that communities are stable and calm. With the absence of strife, homes and communities like this give a wonderful sense of wholeness and well-being. They are a great place to live!
But of course, we know that no place on earth exists quite like this . . . but we all wish it did. And there is reason for this: the Ten Commandments are not the Six Commandments! They were not designed to function apart from the first four. The first four commandments are all about the God who gave the last six, and all ten commandments were designed to go together. For all the commandments are a revelation about the God who gave them: the Ten Commandments reveal the holiness and righteousness of God. By eliminating the first four, the “Six Commandments” become simply moral suggestions, and human beings do not have the moral ability to keep the six because of sin.
Only when people are in alignment with the moral God of the universe are they able to keep His commands. And to be in alignment with the moral God of the universe requires doing it His way: coming to Him by submitting to the gospel of Jesus Christ. For then God provides not only the commandments but also the ability to keep the commandments through the work of the Holy Spirit. Moral living that brings peace and happiness demands moral accountability to the moral God of the universe. Then, and only then, will there be homes and communities filled with goodness and fullness of life.
The bottom line is this: our country does not need any more laws, but we do need believers committed to sharing the gospel of the Savior. The glorious gospel provides peace, stability, and love because God forgives sinners and He provides power to keep the Ten Commandments.