God's Moral Law: the Revealer of Sin

God's moral law is summarized in the Ten Commandments.  His laws reflect His character, will and knowledge.  If we would know God, we must know how He has revealed Himself. It is the standard by which all human thought and action is measured.  This was true before the Fall and has been true since. By definition it measures our thoughts, words and deeds.

The Scriptures teach that all fall short of the perfect obedience required.  This is made clear in Romans 3:19,20:
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

This highlights the first principle use of the law, the conviction of sin.   "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23.  It is the law that points us to Christ.  We can never earn salvation or be worthy of heaven. The answer to our sin the the Gospel of Jesus Christ .

God's Moral Law: the Pattern of Gratitude

So then, obeying the Ten Commandments is NOT how we earn or become worthy of heaven.  Salvation comes only as a gift from God through faith in Jesus Christ.  "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" Romans 6:23.  This does not mean however that the way we live our lives or our obedience is somehow unimportant.  On the contrary, the Scriptures are clear that Christ came to both redeem and purify His people: 
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might REDEEM us from every lawless deed and PURIFY for Himself His own special people, ZEALOUS FOR GOOD WORKS.  Titus 2:11-14

For believers then, the Law becomes a guide or pattern for obedience. It becomes the measure by which they can show their gratitude to God for the grace He has given.  The familiar verses in Romans 12:1,2 teach this:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which isyour reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what isthat good and acceptable and perfect WILL OF GOD.

God's Moral Law Becomes the Desire of Believers

There often seems to be tension between the free gift of grace and the place or role of good works.   It is a reality that requires clear thinking.  As Ephesians 2:8 boldly declares, "For by grace you are saved through faith and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God."  What about good works?  Are they important?  Optional?  Required?  

We believe the Bible teaches that good works and the desire to obey all God's commands are the inevitable consequence of a heart that's been washed and regenerated by the Holy Spirit.  True faith will always bear true fruit. There will always be the evidence of a transformed life.  2 Corinthians 5:17 speaks of this: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

While good works do not save a person, a saved person will always do good works.  The Heidelberg Catechism summarizes this tension in QAs 86 and 87

86.    Since, then, we are redeemed from our misery by grace through Christ, without any merit of ours, WHY MUST WE DO GOOD WORKS?

Because Christ, having redeemed us by His blood, also renews us by His Holy Spirit after His own image, that with our whole life we show ourselves thankful to God for His blessing,1 and that He be glorified through us;2 then also, that we ourselves may be assured of our faith by the fruits thereof;3 and by our godly walk win also others to Christ.4

[1] Rom. 6:13; 12:1–2; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9–10; 1 Cor. 6:20. [2] Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:12. [3] Matt. 7:17–18; Gal. 5:6, 22–23. [4] Rom. 14:19; 1 Pet. 3:1–2; *2 Pet. 1:10.

87.    Can they, then, NOT BE SAVED who do not turn to God from their unthankful, unrepentant life?

By no means, for, as Scripture says, no unchaste person, idolater, adulterer, thief, covetous man, drunkard, slanderer, robber, or the like shall inherit the kingdom of God.1

[1] 1 Cor. 6:9–10; Eph. 5:5–6; 1 Jn. 3:14–15.

Below you will find a the Ten Commandments.  They are found in both Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.  They are all together wonderful.  They teach the Wisdom of God and are the standard of His righteousness.  The longest Psalm and chapter of the Bible ( Psalm 119)  is a song of praise to God for His law!  It's our opinion that every Christian should know from memory the Ten Commandments.   If you can't list them order, you might review them until you can.  :)

The Ten Commandments 

“And God spoke all these words, saying:”
FIRST COMMANDMENT

SECOND COMMANDMENT

THIRD COMMANDMENT

FOURTH COMMANDMENT

FIFTH COMMANDMENT

SIXTH COMMANDMENT

SEVENTH COMMANDMENT

EIGHTH COMMANDMENT

NINTH COMMANDMENT

TENTH COMMANDMENT

(Who to worship?)

(How to worship?)

(Where to worship?)

(When to worship?)

(How regard authority?

(Protect neighbor's life)

(Be sexually pure)

(Respect neighbor's property)

(Speak the truth)

(Be satisfied...  content)