Your mission field should you choose to accept it
Ten Commandments through the eyes of the Epistles
In a previous article I spoke of Agape love and gave a brief definition of what it was, when beginning this study I decided to take a short look at something Christ said. This question occurred when the Pharisees (The teachers of the Law, the ones who should know better) were questioning him about what the greatest commandment was.
Jesus answers in the gospel of Matthew 22:35-40 when he says:
35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
I find this wonderful and what a teacher our LORD was, broke down the 10 Commandments in one sentence! (If you wish to read the 10 Commandments they are in Exodus 20:2-17)
10 Commandments in a paragraph
I am no way as good a teacher as our LORD so I will try to do this in a paragraph. (I also studied this a lot as I wanted to write a book on the subject) The first 4 Commandments refer to your relationship with God. (Verses 3-11) The last 6 refer to your relationship with others. (Verses 12-17)
You can’t love people the way God wants you to until you first love God.
How so you treat your neighbour?
Lets have a reality check here folks, I was in a meeting recently with a local Pastor and we were discussing an issue that was divisive in the church at large and I eventually said to him “we all have to own how we treat each other!” (This was 2014 and it was concerning two Christian brothers at opposite ends of Christendom as far as how they reach people for Christ)
Jesus himself advised this self same point in the Gospel of Luke 10:29-37, so many of us become a “Diotrephes” and become puffed up and start to think we are the main show when we are simply the tolls used by the master craftsman.
The thing that strikes me today about that parable is it is the ones who have been overlooked for the “show ministries” that are making the difference to the guys who are in the ditches, Praise God for those with a Samaritans heart that just get on with it and have the heart to do it for Gods glory and not for the praises of men.
Those folks to me are showing the real Christ, those guys who show Jesus’ love and not judgement to the guy in bondage to drugs, to alcohol or whatever their vice is. That to me is true agape love.
Verses that show the value of keeping the last 6 Commandments
Lastly, we have further reading in the Scriptures that show the principles of the Ten Commandments in other parts of the Bible. They are below:
Respect authority – Ephesians 6:1-3; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
Protect Life – Deuteronomy 19:11-12; 1 John 3:15
Protect Marriage – 1 Corinthians 6:13-18; James 4:1-4
Respect Property – Exodus 22:1-15; Malachi 3:8-10
Honour Truth – Zechariah 8:16-17; Ephesians 4:29-32
Reject Greed – Psalm 106:13-15; 1 Timothy 6:9-10
Love is showing them Jesus
In conclusion, I want to share that it is great to love people on this earth and attend to their day to day needs, but if we really wish to love them we also have to show them Jesus.
To do the first would be like performing the role of a triage nurse in an ER room to a gunshot wound victim. Whilst your role is important, if they don’t have surgery they will not survive. We have to book the person we are agape-ing (is that a word?) in For a “Salvation-ectomy)
Step 1 – Bear them in love
We read in the book of Ephesians the following words:
Ephesians 4:2 (ESV) with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
That is what we were talking about before, this applies to our relationship with believers and non-believers, if you clean a man up when he is at his lowest, he will listen to you when you try to show him a better way.
Step 2 – preaching is not just words
2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV) preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
You notice the word that is in both verses “patience” I love this because when I was in sin, I loved it! I was Mr. I can drink more than you, I can eat more than you, I can party more than you.
The person you are “agape-ing” may still be there, they may have one foot in both camps, they may still be in sin, you have to teach them honestly sound doctrine and show them the reason you are there and why you love.
Step 3 – Have compassion but save by fear
This point is summed up beautifully in the Epistle of Jude:
Jude 1:20 (ESV) But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Some will believe when they hear of Jesus love, some will believe because they do not wish to spend eternity in the lake of fire! (Revelation 20:11-15)
Hell is real folks! Lets not forget, as Christians our MO is to keep as many folks out of there as possible. We are to be missionaries to where God has planted us, and to do what he has called in our lives.
I pray this was challenging and an exhortation to you! God bless you and TGBTG