The Ten Commandments

Are the Ten Commandments still relevant today?

John 14:15
“If you love me, keep my
Matthew 5:17-20

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Serving the Law

We have firmly nailed down the perpetuity of the God’s Law. Both Old and New Testaments, and Jesus Christ bridging the two, state our duty to obey its requirements. It’s authority over us is from everlasting to everlasting.

Now we turn to Paul’s letter written to the Galatians. In order to understand what he was saying to them, it doesn’t do to just pick out select statements by Paul. To really know what he was communicating, one must read and study and dissect the whole epistle. We must read between the lines and learn what were the actual issues with which he was dealing. To whom was he speaking? What were their hang-ups? Were they dedicated Christians like the Philippians and Ephesians? Were they Jews or Gentiles? What was their background and the background of Paul’s letter to them?

The reason all this is so important is that otherwise we can miss the whole point of the epistle. Not using the context has led to so much misunderstanding of the epistle to the Galatians and of the Bible as a whole, and consequently of God and His plans for us. Not taking the counsel of the whole Bible into account has brought disastrous doctrines into the church—thus the study from the four previous essays concerning the Law.

One overriding issue in Galatians is that Paul’s gospel was not an invention of his own mind. The mysteries he expounded were firmly rooted in the word of God of his day, the ancient Hebrew Scriptures. Paul didn’t make it all up, he understood the scriptures by revelation (Galatians 1:16-18). So even if an angel were to come and convince them otherwise, that glorious being should be considered accursed by God (vs. 8). Thus Paul laid the foundation to the Galatians, that when he spoke of the law and gospel he was speaking by authority of heaven.

On that note, even Peter, James and John didn’t have the authority to dismiss the claims of the gospel Paul preached, though they had attained high acclaim in the church (Galatians 2:9). They were even rebuked by Paul for repudiating the principal precepts of Christ by allowing pretense to displace sincerity because of the fear of offending legalistic leaders of the established religion, a God-forsaken Judaism (vs. 11-14).

Pretense, imitation righteousness, fake service to God, all Paul threw off. It is a yoke of bondage and product of Satan which God hates, and He moved upon Paul to publicly cast it away as refuse. Christ had given the church something better. After a thousand years of patient waiting since David’s wonderful revival of spirituality, and 400 years of dead silence from heaven since the last prophet Malachi, Christ wouldn’t wait any longer for the Jewish religion to reform. The captivity that it had brought, the souls it had kept in Satan’s snare, the obstacles it constructed to keep the Gentiles from a knowledge of God, must be openly and convincingly rejected, proven alien to God by His word through His servants, and by miracles and providences dismaying the ignorant (Galatians 3:5; 4:15).

At this point in our discussion, let’s make it be clear that when Paul spoke of the law, he was referring to Judaism—that mounting conglomeration of doctrines of men mixed with original divine precepts. It is ever and always Satan’s best deception to mingle truth with error, for error by itself is too easily detected and avoided, even by blind sinners which we all are. For Paul to speak of the law, he must address all that those people knew to be the law—showy rituals, vengeful human regulations that had assumed the spirit of the Roman Lex Talionis or the Law of Retaliation, thousands of rules beyond the original 613 Mosaic laws, acceptable self-sufficiency which never leads to conversion. All must go. Stripped of all that made the Hebrew religion dead to true holiness and consecration to God, the new product was a religion, circumcised by God. Free to serve God, the church now stood naked and open, crucified together with Christ (Gal. 2:20).

And there was no going back. The break from the past was determinedly ordered of heaven. (Isaiah 10:23; Daniel 9:27; Matthew 27:51). Any move in that direction would be brought with swift judgment by Paul, if no one else would stand up against the defection. Faith was the new keynote—going it alone, from the world’s standpoint; going it with God alone. Let the world, even the religious world, huddle together and try to imbue each other with the sparks of their own fire (Isaiah 50:11). Spoken of the Jews, “They shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.” (Isaiah 8:22).

Out with the dead rituals, and in with the blessedness. Out with empty going through the motions, in with self-sacrifice (Galatians 4:8-10, 15). Out with distancing oneself from God, and in with dying with Christ and living for Him (vs. 2:20). Out with a lackadaisical, lukewarm worshiping the group, in with a religion that accepted personal accountability to God and duty to man (vs. 6:14). No more carelessness toward the duty of uplifting a dying and crying world under the devil’s thumb. No more pretense, no more self-pity, no more self-manufactured morality. The cross was raised, the ax laid to the root. God had waited long enough; war on sin and selfishness was declared, beginning with the professed true religion.

How would the massive, well-established formalism be sloughed off? Through the heaven-sent message of grace by faith alone, period. (vs. 3:5-14). Not grace by faith plus works, but grace by faith alone, which is the only combination that really does work to uplift humanity. Grace by faith plus our own effort has been at the foundation of every false religion from the very beginning (Genesis 4:3). This unholy mix has allowed self-congratulation to remain imbedded in our sinful race. In Paul’s question, “Where is boasting then?” we see how invasive pride has been, it had even invaded the true religion. He explains the solution, “It is excluded.” “By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:27-28). Here must be the ground zero for God’s attack on sin.

But doesn’t justification by faith alone, “without the deeds of the Law,” completely destroy the arguments in favor of God’s law in the previous parts of this essay? No, John, James, and even Christ all maintain the gospel and the Law, that they both are equal in weight and importance, and both necessary for our salvation. This premise becomes wonderfully clear in this absolutely indispensable epistle to the Galatians.

Many sincere, well-meaning Bible students have concluded that Paul speaks of the Ten Commandments when writing to the Churches of Galatia. But this is incorrect. The context indicates that he was only speaking of the ceremonial laws. As much as the moral laws, God’s ceremonial law also dealt with “righteousness” (Galatians 3:21), “sin” (vs. 22), and “justification by faith” (vs. 24). Please read Galatians and the Law Commentary for greater detail.

This is very important to understand, because the real force of this letter doesn’t come through otherwise, and neither does the true liberty of being adopted children of God through the gospel.

We are dealing with some deep issues here. We must translate doctrine to real practical life now. The issues are about sin (separation from the God of love and law,) righteousness (the love and laws that God stands for,) and justification (a removal of our rebellion and a reconciliation with that God who loves His creatures as well as He does laws of righteousness and perfection.) Anybody need peace with God? Anyone been searching for Him and His acceptance? We will find God’s love grounded in law; a love so unchangeable He gives us His everlasting covenant carved in tables of stone.

But what we see, in this epistle to the Galatians, is that God didn’t just act when this world’s need for grace arose. He couldn’t; the human bent to presumption wouldn’t let Him. Instead He waited. And He waited a long time. We could say that He waited ever since bringing Israel out of Egypt. He spent centuries working out the full gospel message for us.

At that time He declared to Israel His terms of their covenant. If they would be obedient to Him, He would protect and care for them because He loved them. And what was their reply? Was it, “Woe is us, for we are undone and naked before You; You know how corrupted we are by Egyptian slavery and You choose us to represent You?” Was that their answer to His terms? Not at all. Their reply— “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.” (Exodus 19:8.) Did they really know what there were saying? Did they really know their weaknesses? Obviously not. So God met their brazen foolishness with a mercifully small sample of His power. Down came the booming Voice from Mt. Sinai; down went every arrogant man, woman, and child, quivering on the ground. A little later, as if they forgot the lesson at the giving of the Ten thundering Commandments, Christ gave them another opportunity to rethink all that entailed obedience to the all-powerful God of holiness. “[Moses] took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” (Exodus 24:7). Thus, the first covenant was faulty (Hebrews 8:7) because it was based on the self-sufficiency of a nation ignorant of spirituality and surrender to God.

Despite their sincerest promises to be good, not even 50 days later, they got tired of being holy. They decided to have a raging party at the bottom of the holy mount, right in their God’s presence. Did they know what obedience meant? Did they comprehend the holiness of God? Obviously, they did not; and it would take 1500 more years to teach them. At the end of that long period and many ups and downs in loyalty to Jehovah, they might finally appreciate the gift of holiness when God would offer it to them. This came after four centuries of silence from heaven, and six centuries of subjugation and foreign rule. Centuries of pagan influences, moving in and altering the landscape of Hebrew religion and culture. One empire followed another; without let up, one wave of darker idolatry succeeded another.

Not until “in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full,” (Daniel 8:23) when outright demon-possession was rampant, and Satan’s not-so-obvious control of hypocritical morality even more pervaded the world, did God send forth His Son (Galatians 4:4-5). Not only were the Jews under the curse of the law, but, through disease and death, the whole world reeled from its disobedience (Romans 3:19; 5:13-14). This is why Paul can speak to both Jews and Gentiles as one group (Galatians 4:8-10). Both groups were in trouble and didn’t know it; both were Law-breakers. Both had adopted idolatry and rebellion toward God and His requirements. Both were the pawns of the devil. Satan just approached each prey from different angles, that’s all. He’s wily and voracious, and eventually gets the whole world to worship him (Revelation 13:3-4).

Christ’s adversary knows he must get us to distrust God before he can lead us to serve himself. One proven method by Satan is to move us into unbelief by getting us involved in pleasing God but keeping us ignorant of God’s love for us. This brought the whole Gentile world to appease God, and that through the most grotesque self-inflictions (1Kings 18:28). Instead of trusting in a loving God, it descended into a never-ending attempt to please a perceived tyrant in heaven. And we are prone to this anyway since Eden, when the Father banished us from His presences and we came under the new careless and abusive management of Lucifer.

This same relationship to God happened in Israel; they just tried to “appease” the Deity from a different approach. If they weren’t allowed to appease Him by human sacrifice or self-flagellation, they would try to do so by being “good enough.” One way or the other, our proud human nature will work hard to prove that we don’t need help or blessings, especially from God. We’re children of wrath, and we like our misery (kind of.) We will ignorantly assume that God hates us and we’ll build an evil straw-man of Divinity; then we have all the fire-power to feed our angry selves in self-improvement and still remain comfortably at arm’s length from God.

Thus both Gentiles and Jews “did service unto them which by nature are no gods” and “observe[d] days, and months, and times, and years.” Both ended up worshipping gods; Tammuz, Jupiter, Caesar, Abraham, Moses, David. Both claimed the most ancient religion and history, both had their sacred calendars they prided in, both considered the other vulgar and unclean. Pride controlled both nemeses. Both limited their thoughts to this miserable world. All felt the bitterly painful separation from God and free reign of the demonic hosts; all were “driven to darkness.” (Isaiah 6:12; Romans 1:20-22).

Now God could act. He had promised, “Therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him.” (Isaiah 30:18). Now the human race was ready to listen. To many, this world offered only slavery by men and possession by devils.

“But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:23-24).

Here we see the crux of the matter. In keeping the commandments, in trying to be moral, the children of Noah had not served God. They had served the law. Even the Jews, the holiest people that this world could produce, were not serving God. They thought they were, but they didn’t know Him, or they would not have killed the Son of God. They had only known the law, and they served it, thus they could not obey it. (Romans 9:31-32). This was the issue. Obedience can only come by serving a Person and receiving the appreciation in return, creating a bond. They chose to serve the Law over the Person behind the Law. Thus, surrender to God’s love and heart conversion never happened, a work God had wanted to do for them all along (Isaiah 6:9-12). Legalism and workaholism is the natural human inclination. Paganism stays busy outside of religion; papal religion works real hard within it. Often when we start our journey of following Christ, we naturally do so legalistically and self-sufficiently, because that is all we know. Legalistic obedience comes from the devil’s training while we were under his control. That is the spirit of the world, the devil’s world. We come to God ignorant of our true condition, not realizing what real trust and obedience are, and He works with us to bring us to faith, and then to Christ for reconciliation, reunion, and restoration with heaven.

If we are truly determined to know the unknown God, we will eventually get to Him. The road back will be full of difficulty, serving a distant, impersonal God of our devising, a God we define by His laws, His Bible. But we can get to Him, in spite of all that Satan contrives to hinder us. He offers two paths of equal deception. And either path—that of the modern religious person (like the Jews of old) or the atheist/agnostic (the Gentiles of the Bible)—the devil fills with trouble, stress, loneliness, and disease. But if we persevere the long, arduous, and circuitous route from sin to peace with God, we will find Jesus joyfully ready with open arms, and we will recognize heaven’s ceaseless work to lead us all the way out of legalism into full trust in love and righteousness.

We can learn much about God’s methods today from the way He dealt with the human race in the past. Until heaven’s greatest demonstration of its love for us at the cross, God’s offer of grace we would have quickly transformed into presumption, as seen in the Israelite picnic below Sinai. The hold Satan had upon the fallen race was so unrelenting, that the death of the heavenly Son of God alone could inspire faith in us; only the love pouring from the broken body and spirit of Jesus could reconcile us to His Father, and teach us responsible, accountable love; only the truth streaming from the cross could rivet our attention away from the bewitching spell sin had upon us.

Without that spell broken, faith could not happen. The best response we had to offer was selfish. Compassion was self-pitiful, faith was only make-believe, and love only infatuation and presumptuous self-indulgence. The wisdom of God worked out our salvation by keeping law in place, in spite of its eventual decline into Lex Talionis. Even despite the absence of grace in the world to balance the violent power of uncontrolled law (because humanity had brought itself to completely lose the ability to be gracious,) the human race was safer with violent law than without any law at all. Thus the heaven-ordained need for world empires until Christ should come to establish better laws, laws of the coming kingdom where “mercy and truth are met together.” (Psalms 85:10). And we still experience this whole process today.

The concept of God binding us up with law we find revealed in heaven’s messages through Jeremiah. He lived at the time when God was about to do something real big for mankind. “And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them.” (Jeremiah 43:10). “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.” (Jeremiah 51:7). “Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.” (Joel 1:3-4).

Babylon swept in, conquering civilizations, bringing the rule of law where pagan antinomianism was corrupting the earth. After Babylon, followed a succession of three more empires, each conquering the previous nation. While each conquest brought morality to a new low, some form of law and order compared better than the muck of mysticism and Satan’s desire for a world of complete lawlessness. No pagan empire could prevent the decline of morality, but the natural government need of civil control slowed the descent until the Messiah could come to truly fix the problem sin had brought our fallen race.

Israel had been given the opportunity to be placed at the top of the world. “Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” (Exodus 19:56) By accepting the offer of “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation,” the result would be world domination. “And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them.” (Deuteronomy 28:13). This promise was fulfilled for a very short space during the rule of David and Solomon, an example to the world of righteous rule. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long.

Disobedience to the covenant of Jehovah prevented that beautiful plan from being executed for the blessing of the world. The faith and beautiful magnanimity that those two kings exemplified never took root in the nation. In keeping with the spirit of the heathen nations, a formal, legalistic approach to God remained in tact, while conversion, true heart bonding, and real consecration were known by only a small remnant among the myriads of Israel. All the profession that formal, distant service to God had to offer could not provide a barrier against the licentious religions around them. Again and again, the whole nation was lured into idolatry. Only the law, unmoved from its original place in their economy, kept the nation from complete desolation at the hand of God and at their own hands. It was legalism that caused Israel to lose their sovereignty and leadership position in the world.

Then Messiah came. The only Son of God corrected all of our misunderstandings and freed us from the hold sin had had on us. “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” (Matthew 11:12-13). Never before had men known the extent of self-sacrificing love that God brought to bear against the power of sin. Moses’ offer to lay down his life for the people, and all the other demonstrations of unselfish service in the pages of sacred history, had been lost sight of. The Scriptures had been neglected in the pursuit of ostentatious worship copied from pagan nations for almost a thousand years. A personal friendship to God was unknown. When the Gentiles sought Israel for hope and a saving knowledge of God, all that they received were dead rituals and human teachings. The ceremonies were empty of any revelation of God’s loving character.

Christ brought all that back to light when He arrived. From the very start of His ministry, He shined forth with unabated glory the grace and power of God in His every word and deed. How could the disciples fast, when it wasn’t time to fast? They lived in the presence of an incessant love that made them drink it all in! From His inauguration address on the mount of blessing, “Blessed…Blessed…Blessed,” to His parting words, “Lo, I am with you always,” “having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.” (Matthew 28:20; John 13:1).

His body nailed down, that rough cross dropped into its deep hole, those crushed feet and mangled hands for the first time held back from blessing the world, that modest body humiliated with nakedness, that sorrowful and earnest brow with thorns cramming it down; that bloody face spewn with Priests’ saliva still interceding and praying for us, His mouth, constant to honor His Father and to exalt His Father’s Law now stricken with the woe of the world’s sin, His arms pinned back by the Father’s providence, calling out to the world His Father’s message, “Everyone, come to Me!” a heart that only stopped loving when pierced by the blade of a rusty spear: these were all the subjects that the apostles took to the world, and that Paul had brought to the cities of Galatia. He led the people to that cross, the greatest demonstration ever of justice and mercy, together forging responsible love. Their faith took hold of the mighty argument of the cross and they broke from the service to all that had held their attention. All the barriers against sin that the law had weakly provided now love for Christ provided, and much, much more. Deeper than ever was their loyalty to righteousness. All that they could give to God in the way of obedience, before knowing the love of God, was stained by selfishness and a resentment toward Him. They had been separated from God, children of wrath. They hopelessly bristled under that separation until Christ redeemed them back to Himself again, and from Himself to His Father—now their Father. After having tried hard to please God or appease Him, now they found God had been working all along to please them and appease them. Knowing the work of the Almighty in sending His son for their reconciliation, they experienced a blessedness that transported them as if to heaven (Ephesians 2:6; Revelation 5:9-10). Living in the light of God’s love (1 John 1:7), heaven and earth were again reunited (Ephesians 3:15), awaiting the redemption of the purchased possession (Ephesians 1:14).

Without the harsh, but effective rule of violent law, they would never have been prepared to appreciate this precious Gift from heaven. God is merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth, yet He would cause centuries of suffering upon the race, if necessary, to properly ready them for His wonderful gift of forgiveness. That entrance of the Anointed One, the Messenger of mercy, that central point in the history of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, must not be bungled by man’s presumption. Squashing human presumption under the heaviest burden of Satan’s falsely-advertised kingdom of fun, and allowing him almost complete freedom with the fallen race that God still had claims on, God must permit for His successful mission to redeem humanity.

Just when Satan thought he had us, heaven slipped us from his grip. Just when sin had almost destroyed us, we were rehabilitated by the loving ministry of the Servant of heaven. What a wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, what a wonderful Savior to me. He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, where rivers of pleasure I see.

Folks, in all this epistle to the Galatians can we see a lesson for us today? Paul’s message stated in our vernacular: “Is obedience to the Law today antagonistic to the gospel of Christ? God forbid. If obedience could have given life, truly righteousness should have been by the Law. But the scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to those who trust in Him. But before faith comes, we are kept in legalism and bound down under laws and rules, shut away from the faith which eventually is revealed to us. Therefore, obedience to stern law has been our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that He might reconcile us to God, and thus to God’s Law.” “Thus He can be just and the justifier of anyone who has come to Jesus.” Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

And now, another equally exciting concept. “Once faith comes in, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For we are now the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Coming from someone as I, who believes in the perpetuity of God’s Law, this may sound like I’m very confused. How can I reconcile the authority of God’s Law while no longer being under it?

It is simply this: that after centuries of being under stern law, the concept of obedience became deeply ingrained in the world. God showed them mysticism and spiritualism to be what it was, loose and destructive, and He also showed His demand for law and rules. Restraint and supervision was seen as a necessity by those who submitted to it. Those, humbled and meek, who then heard the word of God’s grace, now subconsciously incorporated humble submission and obedience to rules into their new understanding of God’s love. They saw no problem with God’s Law and His claim on them. Thus, religion is still intact; God’s Law is still valid. By Christ’s infusing law with grace, He drives pretentious legalism away and brings His children to His Father and to His Father’s Law.

Even more than that! Now those who served the Law and were driven to look to heaven for grace, and now trust in Jesus, can look away from the Law’s condemnation and behold Jesus alone; for there is no discrepancy between Jesus and His Father’s Law (John 15:10). In His person the Law of God shines out in new and living luster. From His self-sacrificing life and death, a demonstration and affirmation of the Law of self-sacrificing love brought life into what had appeared cold and personless. His grace is foremost in our thinking, while His Law remains playing in the background, “For we are now the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” This is what Abraham and David discovered, but was lost sight of by the succeeding generations.

Thus the perpetual nature of God’s Law is retained and we are perfectly happy with it, so long as we look upon Jesus who mirrored that Royal Law of mercy and justice. We surrender up our rebellion through the work of the Holy Spirit, and are reconciled to our Father and His Law because now we are on good terms with Jesus.

Only those who wrestled with obedience to law and accepted the importance of discipline were ready for the gospel when it arrived; thus the stern work of John the Baptist to prepare the people for the work of the Messiah. They could accept Christ’s warnings as messages of love, and they recognized in the nudges of His rod and staff His help to keep them true and good. Everyone else, who rejected the importance of discipline and correction, was blinded. Nations who would hear the glorious gospel, but were ignorant of restraint and abstinence, would need to learn it before comprehending the infinite love of God, which has been the work of missionaries throughout the Christian age since. But many who rejected Roman law and the gifts of submission and humility, or who altered the Mosaic laws to suit themselves, rejected the grace of God presented by Jesus and His apostles, and they became the enemies of the gospel.

“He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true…. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:33, 36). “And whosoever shall fall on this Stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matthew 21:44). Those who have refused to come under the rod of iron that Christ has represented (Revelation 19:15) throughout the whole period of departure into sin from Eden until His reign in glory, will never surrender their miserable heart, that “gall of bitterness,” and “bond of iniquity.” (Acts 8:23).

We need to know bounds, we need limitation. “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life.” (Matthew 7:14). It is only for our happiness that God gives us His requirements, just as good parents do the same for their children. Otherwise, their children become impossibly unhappy. Today’s news is full of stories of misguided children who had no rules at home. History has been marred with the heinous crimes against humanity by those who refused to come to God, and thus became unable to bow their pride, which ate them up until they became murderous. Of these it was written, “the wrath of God abideth on” them.

The divine psychology forever retains the demands of law throughout the realms of the universe, upon the fallen human race, and even upon the redeemed children of God. Through the warning away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God instituted restraint in the garden of Eden before sin ever existed; this, simply to add to the happiness of His innocent, sinless couple by showing His care for their development.

But in our fallen state of rebellion, once we do surrender to law, the gospel finds a special place in our hearts. Justification or reconciliation with God becomes a reality that couldn’t happen while we refused law. True reconciliation to God can only be received by those who have accepted His rulership, that is, His Law. Only the peace and humility experienced by acceptance of the claims of His Law can, from deepest gratitude, receive the promises of the gospel. Only that humility of a child will bring forth the fruit of childlike simplicity and charity. Fellowship and brotherly love is never so close and genuine than for those who have bowed the pride and submitted to the Father’s requirements—the Law and the prophet testimonies.

When we can finally accept correction and reproof and discipline, when the lofty looks of man are finally laid in the dust (Isaiah 2:11-12), then we will hear the musical voice of Jesus saying to us, “Wilt thou be made whole?” “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” (John 5:6, 8).

And then when we hear that majestic invitation, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light,” we will truly find rest. We will be reconciled to Christ, and through Him we will be reconciled to His Father—now our Father; and to His Father’s Law—our Law. We won’t mind the yoke, we won’t mind His Law; we will glory in His burden because we finally have Him, Him who is “chiefest among ten thousand.” (Song 5:10) The Law has transformed itself from stone to flesh, the requirements from legalism to fluid, living tissue. We will carry it yoked with Jesus, He will be carrying it with us; we will be carrying it together. We have His Law in our heart. We are crucified together with Christ (Galatians 2:20).