Lesson 4 - Two-Part Harmony
The world is consumed with fear, unrest, and an overwhelming battle with sin. Could it be that humankind is seeking to exist out of harmony with the spiritual nature that God embedded within he human heart (Hebrews 8:10)? We were originally created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26,27) and God is love (1 John 4:8). Falsehoods about God, and ignoring God's law of love, have inherently distorted the image of God in humankind and enslaved sinners to the law of sin and death. The restoration of the principles of God's law of love in the heart is essential to man's restoration to the image of God. In the beauties of nature, through Bible principles and life's encounters, God seeks to reveal the truth about His love and desire to save us (Hebrews 7:25). The process begins here.
Further reading: Deuteronomy 30:15,19 | Joshua 24:15 | Matthew 6:24 | Romans 7:22-25;8:1-2 | 1 Corinthians 15:44
Under the old dispensation God used various visuals in the form of ceremonies governed by ceremonial laws to maintain the old covenant relationship with God of honor and trust. They also gave hope, pointing to a redeeming Savior who would come and these laws would no longer be necessary (Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14). From the beginning of time, however, the everlasting principles of the Ten Commandments guided the patriarchs of old, and all God's children since - in their relationships with Him and with one another (Genesis 26:4,5; Jeremiah 31:33). The Ten Commandments are the only law twice written on tables of stone with the finger of God (Exodus 31:18; 34:1). This certainly sets, the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17) apart as distinct from all the ceremonial laws given to Moses, which pointed to the sacrificial Lamb of God, the coming Savior, Jesus Christ, who died in our place for our sins (Romans 6:23).
Further reading: Ecclesiastes 12:13 | John 14:15 | Romans 7:7 | James 2:12
Further Reading: Genesis 2:1-3 | Exodus 20:8-11 | Isaiah 58:13,14 | Ezekiel 20:12,20 | Luke 4:16
God identifies His followers as "saints" because they "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12). This is the new-covenant standard by which all shall be judged in the end (James 2:12). The Ten Commandments detail how the two harmonious parts of God's new-covenant agreement of love (Matthew 22:36-40) are to be practiced in the daily life of the Christian. The first four express love and respect to God, while the last six detail our responsibility to our fellow men. Most people accept these as reasonable but question the fourth commandment which conflict with the traditional day of worship.
Instituted at Creation, Saturday (the seventh day of the week, according to the fourth commandment) is forever God's holy day of rest and worship. Only God can make and pronounce something holy. No tradition can take authority over the truth in God's holy Word. God never proclaimed any change in His holy law. It stands as written forever.
Read Psalm 33:11; Malachi 3:6; Revelation 22:19.
Further reading: James 2:10 | Matthew 5:18, 19; 15:9 | Psalms 89:34; 119:92-94, 105 | Titus 1:14
Without the law of God, there would be no way to identify sin. Although the law of God cannot forgive sin or cleanse the sinner of sin, it provides the principles to recognize when we are out of harmony with godly love and treading on the dangerous ground of the enemy of souls. When disobedience to God's Word is revealed, it should cause us to tremble and prayerfully fall on our knees before our loving, forgiving Savior. Without God's intervention of grace, there would be no possible way for you and me to ever realize our highest potential for good here and experience eternity.
See also Romans 3:20; 3:31; 1 John 1:8,9; Revelation 14:7.
Beginning right now help me to trust You with all my heart's concerns and to love You regardless of what I am going through or what others appear to be experiencing. With all my heart I believe You are God, indeed, controlling every circumstance for the ultimate best possible outcome. Help me as I make a commitment to worship You, especially to keep holy what You have pronounced holy, including Your seventh-day Sabbath. I praise You for the holy day You set aside to rest with You and renew our faith in the holy communion of worship! Amen.