Is the Conclusion to the Ten Commandments something new to you? If you have gone through catechism instruction in the Lutheran church as a youth, the chances are extremely high that you covered the Conclusion. The Ten Commandments are a great summary of the holy will of our God. But it’s important to understand what they are and what they are not.
The Ten Commandments are not your road map to heaven. You’ll never be good enough. The Ten Commandments really aren’t the way that you can make God “happy”. The only way God is pleased with us is through our faith in Jesus. The Ten Commandments are great if we want to see how we can thank our God for all that he’s done for us.
So let’s apply this a little. If I told my children that I REALLY want the dishwasher emptied sometime in the next hour. And if they do, I will give them $20. If they fail to empty the dishwasher in the next hour, I will ground them for a month. (That’s not the normal course of events in the Guldberg house.) They would probably #1 think, “Dad must really want that dishwasher emptied.” And #2 – I hope they would empty the dishwasher.
That is the simple message of the Conclusion. That’s good so far as the dishwasher goes. The problem is that the threat of “grounding for the month” and the reward of $20 are not a gospel message.
The gospel message is that Jesus saw us in our sinful state. He knew that we would fail in emptying the dishwasher (eventually) and keeping all of the Ten Commandments perfectly all of the time. In spite of that knowledge, he loved us. He proved that love by his death on the cross. All that is left for us is a life of thanks. We won’t go to hell if we fail – Jesus took our punishment. We won’t go to heaven BECAUSE we succeed. Our successes are never perfect and our successes spiritually can’t take our sins away.
Want to hear more, including what our God owes us for our lives of service? Watch this Sunday’s study of the Conclusion of the Ten Commandments. This is the final lesson in our series, Back to the Basics: A Study of the Ten Commandments.
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.