Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
(Psalm 119:105)

Mount
Baker
Beacon

Volume 03, Number 05
02/04/2024

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

Location:
  
1860 Mt. Baker HWY

Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

Sunday:
Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Worship..10:30AM; 6:00PM

Wednesday:
Bible Classes.........7:00 PM

Web site: Mt. Baker church
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Editor......John Bass


 

In this issue:


SLIPPERY SLOPES OF SABBATARIANISM (3)
Steven J. Wallace

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS CONSTITUTE GOD’S
HIGHEST EXPRESSION OF HIS WILL!

So they would have us believe the above statement. If it is true that the Ten Commandments are the peak and supreme summit of Jehovah’s will for man, then we would instantly concede the point and spill no more ink on the subject. However, in brief, we will demonstrate that such an expression flies in the face of Scripture.

The highest expression of God’s will to mankind was not written on stones but walked upon the earth. John penned, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). The Word, who was in the beginning with God and is God, dwelt among us. When men saw Jesus, they beheld the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. Paul wrote, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Col. 1:15). Jesus is the replica of the invisible God. Only through Jesus can we truly comprehend God. Later Paul penned, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). Does the Scripture speak like this of the Ten Commandments? By contrast, it speaks of these as the “ministry of death” and the “ministry of condemnation” (cf. 2 Cor. 3:7, 9).

We can only approach God through Jesus. Jesus said to His disciples, “I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6). Access to the Father doesn’t come through the Ten Commandments, but only through Christ. “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father” (Eph. 2:18). Jesus is God’s final Word:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory…full of grace and truth…For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (Jn. 1:1, 2, 14, 17).

The Holy Spirit taught in Hebrews 1:1-3,

“God who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things…being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…”

Jesus is shown to be the Word, the Light, possessor of living water, Bread of life, the Door, the Good Shepherd, the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn. 1:1, 6-9; 4:10-14; 6:32-35; 10:9, 14; 14:6). Those who insist on clinging to the tablets of stones rather than the covenant of mercy that came into force after Jesus rolled away His tombstone, slide away from the grace of God, fall into condemnation, and will be ground into powder by the chief cornerstone (Gal. 5:9; 2 Cor. 3:7-9; Matt. 21:44). Moses introduced a shadow of the great things to come. Moses was a servant in the house of God. Jesus is the Son over the house of God. While the glory of the things written on stones passed away, the glory of our Lord’s last will remains. Paul wrote, “For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious” (2 Cor. 3:11). It is insulting to the glorious ministry of Jesus to insist that the Law of the Ten Commandments remains. It undermines the glory of the New Covenant and exalts the glory of something designed to fade away. How can it, seeing it has passed away?

“But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, [viz., the Ten-Commandment Covenant, SJW] was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit [The New Testament, SJW] not be more in glory…For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious…unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away” (2 Cor. 3:7-13; cf. Col. 2:14; Heb. 8:13; 10:9; etc.).

Why can some not see its “end” today?

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SLIPPERY SLOPES OF SABBATARIANISM (4)
Steven J. Wallace

SINCE THE NEW TESTAMENT NAMES SOME OF THE
TEN COMMANDMENTS, IT IMPLIES ALL ARE BOUND
TODAY.

The above reasoning is too slick and slippery for Sabbatarians to stand on; it allows more than they will accept. Sabbatarians do not want the whole law; their main contention is to keep the Ten Commandments today, especially the Sabbath. They deny their own line of reasoning. Paul referred to the law, “For it is written in the law of Moses, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.’ Is it oxen that God is concerned about?” (1 Cor. 9:9). What if we should contend that since Paul quoted from the Law of Moses that all the Law of Moses was binding upon Christians today? Sabbatarians would oppose this as they
do not want all the Law of Moses in the church. Their reasoning with the Ten Commandments is the same reasoning with bringing in all that Moses wrote. One must either accept their logic until its end or reject it altogether. If it is true regarding the
Ten Commandments, then it must also be true regarding the whole law.

The Law of Moses is not binding upon Christians today. It cannot be kept perfectly by man; it doesn’t give life but gives condemnation. When the Pharisees who believed wanted to bring in circumcision, Peter responded,

“Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear” (Acts 15:10).

Peter understood that it wasn’t simply circumcision. A baby could be circumcised and that would hardly be an unbearable yoke on his neck. Peter understood that if you bring in one part of the Law, you are under all of it, and that Law in its totality is a burden that cannot be carried. The Law identified sin, but it didn’t give full release and forgiveness of sin. Paul penned,

“You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace…this persuasion does not come from Him who calls you” (Gal. 5:4, 8).

And again,

“…you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ . . . But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by…” (Rom. 6:4, 6).

What law was Paul speaking of? He identifies it in verse 7 as the tenth commandment (Exo. 20:17).

“I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’”

Simply because there are some similarities between the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ doesn’t mean that Moses’ law is binding on Christians today. Australian Constitution, V. 5, section 116 prohibits the Commonwealth from making any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

While these are similar, it would be absurd to suggest that Australians must be accountable to US law or vice versa. One state in our union may impose similar laws upon its citizens just as another state does. That doesn’t make one state subject to another. We can’t choose particular laws or liberties in one state and impose those upon another. Choosing some things that were given to Israel and imposing these upon the church would be like imposing Texas speed limits upon Ohio or vice versa.

The New Testament does incorporate nine of the Ten Commandments. It forbids having other gods, idolatry, cursing, murder, adultery, stealing, lying covetousness (1 Cor. 8:4; Acts 19:26; Col. 3:8; Rom. 13:8-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Eph. 4:10; Col. 3:9; Eph. 5:3). We are bound to these laws, not because they are in the Decalogue, but rather because they are found in Christ’s law. We are also told to honor our parents (Eph. 6:2; cf. Deut. 5:16). But regarding Sabbath keeping, it says “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or…a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come” (Col 2:16, 17, NASB). Why then do some judge another about the Sabbath?

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Created by John Bass, last updated.  02/03/2024

The Mount Baker Beacon is a weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.
Send all questions, comments to the editor, John Bass at (360) 325-5149 or johnbass2468@gmail.com