But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND GENTILES
“... And he wrote upon the tables the words of the Covenant, the Ten Commandments.” (Exodus 34:28)
“... tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” (Exodus 31:18)
SAME LAW FOR GENTILES?
Does God have two sets of rules, one for Jews and another for Gentiles? Are Jews under the Law of Moses, but Gentiles under a different covenant made with Noah? Both Jews and Gentiles are to be judged by the same Law of God -- the Ten Commandments.
“Now we know that what things soever the Law saith, it saith to them who are under the Law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Romans 3:19)
The Ten Commandments, and they alone (of all God's statutes to Israel) were written directly by the finger of God. They were written on tables of stone to show their permanent nature.
They were first written on the heart of man at Creation. The fall of man into sin did not completely erase it.
“For when the Gentiles, which have not the Law, do by nature the things contained in the Law, these, having not the Law, are a law unto themselves:
Which show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another...” (Romans 2:14,15)
Though his understanding has been darkened by the fall into sin, man still knows some things are wrong. How else could Joseph ask Potipher's adulterous wife “How shall I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)
Joseph lived generations BEFORE Moses (before the Law was given). Yet he knew that adultery was sin. It was written on his heart. And so, to some degree or other, it is written on the heart of every Gentile -- though many have a conscience “seared with a hot iron.”
Murder is still murder, whether committed by Muslim, Mafia or Mother of an unborn child. Theft is still theft, whether stolen by Communist, Nazi or con artist. Worship of graven images is still idolatry, whether performed by Hindus, Buddhists or Catholics.
SABBATH AND GENTILES
The almost universal observance of a seven-day week is another testimony that the Law is written on the heart of Gentiles. The seven-day week was not adopted in the Western world because of the Scriptures. English days of the week all have pagan, pre-Christian names.
The Sabbath is not just Jewish. God ordained the seventh day as a day of rest long before the formation of the nation of Israel. It was a universal decree given at the time of Creation (Genesis 2:1-3). And many pagan nations have followed the seven day week ever since.
The implications of the Law are far reaching. “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.
Thus, the Law CONDEMNS us. It show us our SIN and INABILITY to please God. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)
Man, in his natural state, cannot completely keep the Law of God. When he does outwardly obey God's Law, it is for the wrong reasons (self-interest, opinion of others, rules of society, etc.). Inwardly, he is still a rebel against God. He does not love God.
Yet God demands perfect obedience to His Law. He does not accept fifty cents on the dollar. A drunken servant is a servant still.
His drunkenness does not excuse his disobedience to his master. Nor does man's total inability to keep the Law excuse his disobedience to God.
Fallen men need a Saviour. God has provided one in the person of His own dear Son. Yeshua HaMashiach kept the Law perfectly as the Representative of God's elect.
“For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)
Messiah died as the Substitute for God's people (both Jews and Gentiles). “... Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). When we repent of sin and hide behind His shed blood by faith, we are safe from the wrath of God.
“For as many as are of the works of the Law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the Law to do them.
But that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the Law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:10-14)
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows the Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2002 through 2019 by George Theiss