Can we really keep the 10 Commandments?

Dear Pastor Charles: I heard my own Pastor say from the pulpit that we Christians are not able keep the Ten Commandments. That does not make sense to me. Why would God give them to us if He didn’t expect us to keep them? Unlike many people I know, I always keep them and that is why God blesses me. What do you say? Righteous Man.

Dear Righteous Man:  

      I say that you need to have a good long look in the mirror. What your Pastor was trying to tell you is that it is totally impossible for you to keep the Ten Commandments. If you could keep all ten without ever making one mistake; that is, never telling one lie, never stealing anything in your entire life, never coveting someone else’s possessions, never having an impure thought about someone of the opposite or same sex, or never placing anything in your life before God, then you should change your name to Jesus because He is the only one who ever led a totally sinless life on this planet. 
    The reason that God gave the Ten Commandments is to reveal His divine nature to the world that we might see that we are sinful creatures who are desperately in need of a Savior. When you say to me that you have always kept the Law of God, then, according to God’s Word, you are calling Him a liar. Look at 1 John 1:8-10, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”  

    The Book of Galatians sheds some light on this for us in Galatians 3:22-26, “But the scripture hath concluded that all are under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law (the Ten Commandments) was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”  
    So you see, this is why you need to reevaluate your standing before God. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Law of God. He did not abolish it, He fulfilled it, by being the only one to ever live a perfect and sinless life. We still need the Ten Commandments today to point us to Christ, but it is only by God’s grace through faith that we are saved. Ephesians 2:8-9“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” So, as you can see, it is impossible for you to please God by any means other than by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. 
    You can be the best person outside of Jesus ever to be born and you would still fall short of God’s glory. Romans 3:23 tells us that, “… all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”.  Therefore, since Christ has come and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, it is for us to accept His finished work and not try to add anything to it. For sure you are sinning when you break any of the Ten Commandments and for sure you should try to live by them, but don’t trust them to save you because they were not given to save us but to condemn us. Do you really want to stand before God on the judgment day and tell Him that He should allow you to enter heaven on the basis that you have kept the Ten Commandments and never sinned?
    My friend, I realize that I have been rather hard on you but it is only because I care about your soul. I want to shock you out of your self-righteousness that can send you to hell, and into Christ’s righteousness that will save you for all eternity.
    When people write me it is usually because they are seeking Biblically based answers or advice. I sincerely seek God in prayer before I answer any question I receive because I want the answer to be unfiltered and straight from God to you. I sometimes struggle with the answers I give because I am trying to grasp the tone of your question and to discern your true Spiritual need. Please don’t tell anyone this but I am only human, and believe it or not, I am sometimes wrong in my assessment. That is why I try to stick to the Bible, which is never wrong, with my answers. So, I pray that you will find value in my advice. 
    What I want you to do is to go to God in prayer with an open heart and an open mind. Thank Him for giving us the Ten Commandments and for revealing His righteousness through them. That is the easy part. Then, I want you to ask God to remove any spiritual blindness you have and to let you see yourself as He sees you in your own righteousness. That is the harder part. Lastly, swallow your pride. That is the hardest part. 
    Ask Him to forgive your sins even as He reveals them to you, one by one. Ask Him to come into your life in a brand new way on the basis of what Jesus did for you on the cross and not on the basis of what you have done by trying to keep the Ten Commandments. If you do this you will live because the Bible says in Romans 10:13, For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”. If you do not do this you may die apart from Christ and spend eternity in a place you do not want to go.
    My prayer for you is that you will come to a more perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ and the blessed Word of God. I leave you with these familiar Scriptures of how very much God loves you, and all of us. John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

                                                                                  May God Bless and keep you,
                                                                                                             Pastor Charles


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