Many people don't understand the laws of physics, yet every one of us is subject to them, whether we understand or not. Similarly, we are subject to the rules and laws of the land, whether we are aware of the laws, understand the laws, agree with the laws, or follow the laws - or not.
Laws in a civil society are enacted to help maintain civility in society. They are rules that make it safer and easier for us to go about our daily lives freely, without fearing injury or fraud. When properly adjudicated, the laws render justice against offenders.
Just like the laws of physics are automatic and unfailing in nature and in the universe, so are God's laws. They are for believers and non-believers alike, and they apply without our approval.
And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, (Leviticus 4:27-28).
Offenses against the law of the land can be concealed, however, and justice can be hindered through deceit, bribes, and threats. Our God, however, knows all and sees all. He cannot be deceived. His laws and judgements apply with or without our approval.
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
God is not swayed by bribes and idle threats mean nothing to Him. He doesn't show favoritism or partiality as some judges do. He judges according to His law, without deviation. From the least of us to the greatest of us, all are judged equally and fairly, according to our deeds and we are all given a chance at redemption.
God's laws were not made to oppress, suppress, or depress us. On the contrary, it is by His laws that we know He loves and cares for us. His sincere love for us, His children, are at the core of each commandment:
He commanded us not to steal, because He doesn't want people taking your things.
He commanded us not to bear false witness because He doesn't want people making up lies about you.
He commanded us not to kill because He doesn't want people killing you or your family.
He commanded us not to commit adultery because He doesn't want broken families and broken hearts.
He commanded us not to covet because He wants you to be content and satisfied. Rather than competing with people and pursuing luxuries, we should seek to help others in need.
He commanded us to honor our parents because children need guidance and discipline. (This is the only command with a promise attached to it - that you may live a long life).
He commanded us to have no other gods because He is the one true God, Yahweh, our Father. Just as parents don't expect their children to respect and honor other people more than them, God who gave us all is worthy of our loyalty.
He commanded us not to make carved images because those are idols at worse and objects provoking covetousness at best.
He commanded us not to take His Name in vain because there is POWER in HIS NAME. I believe this law is more significant than people think and that it is referring to the replacing of His Name for the title, "god". His Name is Yahweh but if you don't know the Name, where is your power? (Verses about God's Name)
He commanded us to keep the Sabbath because He wanted you to rest. He wants a day for people to rest, to fellowship, and to study God's Word for refreshing of the spirit.
Some people believe God's laws are archaic and don't pertain to modern times, while others believe the laws were nailed to the cross when Jesus died and now all we have to do is believe in order to be "saved". This is part of the great deception and those who live by this, do so at great peril.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19)
First of all, God does not change. Perfection does not require alteration!
For I am the LORD, I change not; (Malachi 3:6)
Second, God's laws never changed.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)
Finally, if Jesus' victory on the cross abolished the laws, why did Jesus instruct us to keep God's commands? Following is Matthew's account of Jesus' instruction, which is corroborated by Mark, Luke and John, and throughout the scriptures:
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 19:16-20)
Jesus did not do away with the law. Instead, he emphasized and taught them.
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:35-40)
Love is fulfillment of the law.
And above all things have fervent charity* among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
*Note that charity and love are synonymous in Scripture.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Galatians 5:14)
We are commanded to love others as much as we love ourselves.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:8)
We know God's children by their love for others.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)
If we keep LOVE in the forefront of our lives, we will not be subject to sin. We don't steal from people we love, we don't cheat people we love, we don't lie about people we love, and we don't kill people we love. All these things are done in hate, which by translation actually means "to love less". So if we love some people more than others, we open ourselves up to sin and chastisement.
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. (Proverbs 10:12)
The commandments are required as long as the lawless live - and they certainly are still living. The same corruption, greed, and wickedness we see today has been going on for millennia, but the law is still in effect.
Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. (Proverbs 13:13)
Knowing God's laws and His ways is important. God only hears the prayers of the righteous and the humble; those who have repented of their sin and lawlessness. It can be no other way because it has been proclaimed in His Word. God's laws were made for you. Implement them into your life and watch God's blessings and protection pour down.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hosea 4:6)
In conclusion, it is important to know that breaking God's law is sin and the wages of sin is death. There is only ONE "but" in that statement:
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
If you're reading this and think it's too late for you, have hope. Just as His laws and judgements are true, His promises are true too - and there are many!
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
He gives us clear instructions on how to be redeemed and be saved from eternal damnation. It requires repentance - a change of heart and mind concerning sin.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)
Clearly, there is forgiveness for those who repent and turn away from their sin.
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (Ephesians 4:28)
Just as a good father has rules for his children and corrects them for their own good, in the same way, God corrects us and leads us to repentance. He knows that without repentance, eternal damnation will be our fate, and that was not His plan for us, yet we are free to choose.
For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. (Ezekiel 18:32)
Pray and talk to your Father. Humbly confess your sins and accept His plan of Salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour and your sins will be forgiven. Read the Word and get to know the family of Yahweh who defends you. Just like a plea deal, your fines have been paid. It's a deal like no other.
Amen and God Bless.