Christian Churches of God
The Basis of Christian Living
(Edition 2.0 19941231-20000408)
This paper shows the biblical position to be that the ten commandments are the basis of Christian living. This is then discussed. It leads into the other works in the Grace-Law series
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1994, 2000 Wade Cox)
(Summary ed. Wade Cox)
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The Basis of Christian Living
Christ defined the basis of Christian living as keeping the law given on Mt Sinai, which is the vital prerequisite to eternal life (Mat. 19:1). All true Christians should be committed to keeping the Ten Commandments, not only on a physical basis, but also on a spiritual basis. The teaching of the church should be according to the whole law and testimony, which is the test of a true teacher (Isa. 8:20). The commandments are the central core of the teachings laid down by the law and prophets. Parents should teach them to their children daily in all situations. Our whole lifestyle should reflect them by the ways we think and act.
The first four commandments concern our relationship and worship of God. They identify the One True God, the Father of all, forbidding us to put any entity, including Jesus Christ, before or equal with Him. The commandments also identify the religious system with which one associates. Any organisation that doesn’t keep the Law of God is not Christian. The name of God confers authority and a responsibility to act together to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all nations.
One cannot offer spiritual sacrifies acceptable to the One True God in the company of those who don’t keep His Laws that originate from His nature. We are required to come out of those rebellious, unfaithful systems. Saturday, the seventh day Sabbath, which flows onto the holy days, shows us the calendar system by which we know when to worship the One True God. Establishing another day of worship other than the seventh day not only breaks the commandment, but also it becomes itself a symbol of idolatry, being external to the will of God. It is an act of rebellion and hence the equivalent of witchcraft (1Sam. 15:23).
We can know God if we keep His Law (1Jn. 2:3). The first four commandments are under the major heading of the law namely: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30; Mat. 22:37-38). We cannot be one with God and not keep the commandments. Christian living is based on a right understanding and relationship with God. The revelation of God comes through obedience (Mat. 11:26-27). Jesus Christ was obedient until death to the Laws of his God and Father (Phil. 2:6-8).
The source of confidence in a Christian’s life is the humble obedience to the will of God as expounded in the Scriptures. We are given the Spirit of God through obedience (1Jn. 3:24). God reveals His mysteries, plans and purpose for all nations to us through His Spirit (1Cor. 2:10; Eph. 3:5).
After loving God, the second great commandment is: "You shall love your neighbour as yourself" (Mat. 22:39; Mk. 12:31). All humanity is our neighbour. The last six of the Ten Commandments tell us how to relate to each other. A loving family relationship is the fundamental building block of all nations. Society reflects what state the family is in, with either good or bad consequences. It is the responsibility of all Christians to provide for their family (1Tim. 5:8; Mk. 7:6-13). By the law, we are judged on a higher spiritual level, so being angry or hating another is the same as killing them.
To lust in the mind after another who is not their spouse is the same as committing adultery. Stealing is not only taking physical things, but also a person’s reputation, name or time. It is doing violence to our neighbour thus breaking our relationship with God. Righteousness and justice are essentially the same concepts, so we must be just and morally good in all our dealings with others. To covet or have an inordinate desire or longing for something not ours is in a sense idolatry. It places material goods or a wrong relationship, above one’s relationship with God. This makes another object the focus of desire, which makes the commandments circular as the last then breaks the first, putting something in front of God. If we breach one aspect we break the law entirely. Sin is the transgression of the law (1Jn. 3:4).
Christ explains the true understanding of the law (Mat. 5:21-48). Loving our neighbour follows on from loving God (1Jn. 4:20). God is love (1Jn. 4:16). So the laws of God are love in action, firstly to God then to mankind (1Jn. 3:16-24). If we don’t follow this truth we are given over to delusions so we believe lies (2Thes. 2:11). We are saved by Christ’s sacrifice and after baptism we must live Godly lives as an example to the world. This example is often as sheep amongst wolves (Mat. 10:16; Lk. 10:3). The example of Daniel shows what is expected of us (Dan. 6:3-28). It represents the gift of the Holy Spirit to true Christians amongst the unconverted world.
The unconverted mind under the influence of the adversary, Satan, seeks to destroy us. The attack is centred on the first commandment, which is the test of the elect unto death. Daniel kept the law and remained faithful in an extreme test, as an example to the people, to show God reigns supreme.
Christian living is living as Christ did, placing the love of God before all else. From the love of God proceeds the love of mankind, even our enemies. In the last days many are weighed down with the cares of this world, as materialism and selfishness is a characteristic of these times, with many trapped in apostate religions of all kinds (2Tim. 3:2-9). We must hold fast to the truth as revealed in the entire pages of the Bible, showing by the love of the One True God and each other that we are the people of God.