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Protestants Testify about the Ten Commandments


I wonder exceedingly how it came to be imputed to me that I should reject the law of Ten Commandments….Can anyone think that sin exists where there is no law?…Whosoever abrogates the law must of necessity, abrogate sin also. Martin Luther, Luther’s Works (trans., Weimer ed.), Vol. 50, pp. 470-471; originally printed in his Spiritual Antichrist , pp. 71, 72.

He who destroys the doctrine of the law, destroys at the same time political and social order. If you eject the law from the church, there will no longer be any sin recognized as such in the world. Martin Luther, quoted in M. Michelet’s Life of Luther (Hazlitt’s trans.), 2nd ed., Vol. 4, p. 315.

We must not imagine that the coming of Christ has freed us from the authority of the law, for it is the eternal rule of a devout and holy life, and must, therefore, be as unchangeable as the justice of God, which it embraced, is consistent and uniform. John Calvin, Commentary on the Harmony of the Gospels, Vol. 1, p. 277.

‘Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil’” [Matthew 5:17]…The ritual or ceremonial law, delivered by Moses to the children of Israel, containing all the injunctions and ordinances which related to the old sacrifices and service of the temple, our Lord indeed did come to destroy, to dissolve, and utterly abolish. To this bear all the Apostles witness; not only Barnabas and Paul, who vehemently withstood those who taught that Christians ought ‘to keep the law of Moses;’ (Acts 15:5;) not only St. Peter, who termed the insisting on this, on the observance of the ritual law, a ‘tempting God,’ and ‘putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers,’ saith he, ‘nor we, were able to bear;’ but all the Apostles, elders, and brethren, being assembled with one accord, (Acts 15:22,) declared, that to command them to keep this law, was to ‘subvert their souls;’ and that ‘it seemed good to the Holy Ghost’ and to them, to lay no such burden upon them. (Acts 15:28.) This ‘hand-writing of ordinances’ our Lord did blot out, take away, and nail to His cross.

But the moral law, contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He did not take away. It was not the design of His coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken, which stands fast as the faithful witness in heaven. The moral stands on an entirely different foundation from the ceremonial or ritual law, which was only designed for a temporary restraint upon a disobedient and stiff-necked people; whereas this was from the beginning of the world, being ‘written not on tables of stone,’ but on the hearts of all the children of men, when they came out of the hands of the Creator. And, however the letters once wrote by the finger of God are now in a great measure defaced by sin, yet can they not wholly be blotted out, while we have any consciousness of good and evil. Every part of this law must remain in force, upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other. John Wesley, On the Sermon on the Mount, Discourse 6, Sermons on Several Occasions (1810), pp. 75-76.

Now men may cavil as much as they like about other parts of the Bible, but I have never met an honest man that found fault with the Ten Commandments. Infidels may mock the Lawgiver and reject Him who has delivered us from the curse of the law, but they can’t help admitting that the commandments are right…they are for all nations, and will remain the commandments of God through the centuries… The people must be made to understand that the Ten Commandments are still binding, and that there is a penalty attached to their violation…Jesus never condemned the law and the prophets, but He did condemn those who did not obey them [see Matthew 5:17-19]. Dwight L. Moody, Weighed and Wanting , pp. 11, 16, 15.

Jesus did not come to change the law, but he came to explain it [see Matthew 5:17-19], and that very fact shows that it remains, for there is no need to explain that which is abrogated…In addition to explaining it the Master went further: he pointed out its spiritual character. This the Jews had not observed. They thought, for instance, that the command ‘Thou shalt not kill’ simply forbade murder and manslaughter: but the Saviour showed that anger without cause violates the law, and that hard words and cursing, and all other displays of enmity and malice, are forbidden by the commandment [see Matthew 5:21, 22]. They knew that they might not commit adultery, but it did not enter into their minds that a lascivious desire would be an offence against the precept till the Saviour said, ‘He that looketh upon a woman to lust after her committeth adultery with her already in his heart.’ [see Matthew 5:27-30]. He showed that the thought of evil is sin, that an unclean imagination pollutes the heart, that a wanton wish is guilt in the eyes of the Most High. Assuredly this was no abrogation of law: it was a wonderful exhibition of its far-reaching sovereignty and of its searching character.

Once more, that the Master did not come to alter the law is clear, because after having embodied it in his life he willingly gave himself up to bear its penalty, though he had never broken it, bearing the penalty for us, even as it is written, ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.’ ‘All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ If the law had demanded more of us than it ought to have done, would the Lord Jesus have rendered to it the penalty which resulted from its too severe demands? I am sure he would not. But because the law asked only what it ought to ask— namely perfect obedience; and exacted of the transgressor only what it ought to exact, namely, death, as the penalty for sin,—death under divine wrath, therefore the Saviour went to the tree, and there bore our sins and purged them once for all. Charles Spurgeon, Perpetuity of the Law of God, pp. 4-7.

Bible prophecy predicts:

And the dragon was wroth with the woman,
and went to make war with the remnant of her seed,
which keep the commandments of God,
and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
(Revelation 12:17)

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