You might be in a people group where God's law was talked about more than God's love. In fact, you may have been burned by the church because you couldn't seem to get it right. The truth is, the law ultimately points to God's love. We are all law breakers, but we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. And when we see what great links God went for us to be called children of God through Jesus Christ, that compels us to be obedient to his commands. So we obey not because of duty, but out of LOVE. We love others, not just because that is what I am supposed to do, but because it is a reflection of the love God has given us.
The Perfect Authority
When we think of rules, oftentimes we think of authority. There can be, at times, a negative light surrounding both rules and the ones enforcing the rules, due to past experiences and a myriad of other reasons. Simply stated: our relationship with rules and authority can be challenging.
Our God, however, is a perfect God. He is the perfect authority, and He gives us rules to follow in order to help us, protect us, and love us in the best way possible. His Law teaches us more about Himself, and it points us back to the cross and to His love for us. God gave His Law, His Ten Commandments, to His people in Exodus 20, so they would know who He is and what He called them to do as His followers.
What the Bible Says about God’s Laws
In Exodus 20, Moses goes to the top of Mount Sinai to receive God’s Laws from Him – and God spoke directly to Him. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery (Exodus 20:2). God introduces His Laws with this statement, reminding them of who He was and what He did for them. Then, He continues with the Ten Commandments, the laws that He was instructing His people to live by. Through these laws, God was teaching the people how to both worship Him and how to interact with people.
The first four commandments cover our vertical connection with God (Exodus 20:3-11). God touches on how we can live our lives in such a way that we are glorifying God in all that we say and do. The second six commandments cover our horizontal connection with others (Exodus 20:12-17). God’s laws deal with not only our relationship with Him but also our relationship with others, both for us to glorify and honor Him and for us to live in harmony with others.
God’s laws also remind us of our brokenness. When Moses saw the people after coming down the mountain, he said to the people, Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning (Exodus 20:20). We are sinners who are in desperate need of a Savior, and God’s laws remind us of our depravity and desperation apart from Christ.
However, they also point us back to the love of Jesus and the fact that His love changes everything about our lives. God’s laws should always remind us of the love and grace of our God.
Does your love for God drive you towards obedience to Him?
Regardless of what your relationship with authority or rules has been, God is the perfect King. We are all rule-breakers. We are all sinners in need of Savior – but that’s why the law points us back to the redemption of our Jesus. He sent His perfect, sinless Son to shed His blood for us because He loved us just that much.
Therefore, when we know God’s laws, because of His love and Jesus’ sacrifice, we are compelled to be obedient to His laws. Consequently, we obey out of our gratitude and love for Him. We are called to be image-bearers, and when we are loving, kind, and obedient like our God is, we, in turn, point those around us back to Jesus and His love.
Because, ultimately, it’s all about love. It’s all about what Christ did for us and the lengths He was willing to go to in order for us to live eternally with Him. His laws then become a gift, a tool, for us to have to know how to follow Christ with faithfulness and steadfastness all the days of our lives.