Is there a difference between, “You cannot be or do evil” and “You shall not be or do evil” ?
Many summarized The Ten Commandments to be “You cannot be or do evil”. But the reality is that the Ten commandments are to be summarized as “You shall not be or do evil.”
To tell anyone that they cannot be or do evil is a lie in itself because people are in general evil and do evil at every challenging moment.
Someone once said, “If you, then, though you are evil…”. Do you remember who said that? Jesus.
So what does it mean, “You shall not do or be evil?” It’s a prophecy. God knows a time will come when He will empower us to not do or be evil. Everything that God had commanded is what He will accomplish by His Spirit, not by our efforts, by His perfect will accomplished through Christ, not by our own evil will.
So, for some of us who make it a goal to teach our children or anyone the Ten Commandments as their way to live, we’re doing nothing else other than teaching them self-condemnation.
What if we were to take time to teach them how weak we are and how strong God is so that they come to understand themselves why not to sink themselves to self-condemnation?
What if we were to teach them no matter how hard they try, one day they will give in to fear and do exactly what God doesn’t want them to be doing and yet God’s love remains theirs no matter what?
Seeking satisfaction in what we do or don’t do is a never-ending journey until Christ crosses our path and gives us his rest. Yet, even after receiving his rest, we will sometimes put his rest aside and seek to resume our journey of finding satisfaction in everything else but Christ.
Why is that? Why do we try to go back to slavery?
“No, it’s not slavery. It’s work”, we say, because this time we’re getting paid.
The reason that most folks struggle with letting go of legalism is because, well, in this world, people get paid for abiding to legalism. And if they receive some money for sticking to legalism, then legalism is to be revered even when no money is involved, according to the weak mindset. Even when fame and power replaces money as the wage of legalism.
The world we live will pay us to work, not to rest. The question is, “are we after the money or the rest?” That’s the dilemma. We need to money to purchase goods and services. Yet, have we made procuring money the end goal of living?
What Christ gives is not “work for pay”. What Christ gives is way better. What Christ gives is rest. No more sacrifices. As our high priest, unlike other high priests who were religiously offering sacrifices, Christ offered one sacrifice and sat down. No more sacrifices. He sat down because all sins for all time have been forgiven once and for all by his own perfect offering of his body on the cross as the sacrifice to God for all mankind.
No more sacrifices. That is a rule only Christ can carry out and make a reality through us. Fear usually leads us to sacrifice. Yet, Christ’s sacrifice forgives and thus replaces whatever weak sacrifices we may engage into. That’s basically why we can stop seeking satisfaction in our own sacrifices. Because Christ is sufficient, including his sacrifice.
Thank you Lord for your sacrifice. Amen.