God’s Law – Gospel in Life

God’s Law

Tim Keller |  May 27, 2007

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  • The Ten Commandments
Deuteronomy 5:6-21, 24-29
RS 196-03


The book of Deuteronomy is a series of sermons Moses preached just before he died. In it, he lays out, in the most comprehensive and practical way, how you should live if you experience the grace and salvation of God. If you experience God, how should that actually affect the way in which you live your life? It’s a very, very practical book and an incredibly comprehensive book.

Today, we get to the Ten Commandments. This is one of the most influential texts in the entire history of the world. Let’s take a look and see what we’re taught about it. It’s awfully basic, but it’s awfully basic because it’s awfully important. There are four things we’re going to learn here about God’s Law: 1) the origin of the Law; 2) the substance of the Law; 3) the problem of the Law, and 4) the solution to that problem.

Deuteronomy 5:6–21, 24–29

Deuteronomy is like a handbook that helps us live a life of thanks for God’s love and rescue. It gives us a detailed explanation of the Ten Commandments, which are some of the most important rules in history. There are four main points about God’s rules in this book: where they come from, what they mean, the problems they can cause in society, and how to deal with those problems.

1. Where the rules come from

Verse 16 tells us that we should respect our parents and promises that things will go well for us if we do. This promise isn’t just about this rule, but all of God’s rules. Following God’s rules leads to a life of flourishing because these rules aren’t random; they reflect God’s truth and goodness. Since we’re made in God’s image, following His rules helps us become the best version of ourselves.

2. What the rules mean

The middle part of Deuteronomy shows how all Ten Commandments are connected. According to James 2:10, breaking one rule is like breaking all of them. These rules are about how we relate to God and other people, what motivates us, how we act, and how we balance our personal morals with our responsibilities to society. They call on us to change from the inside out and to be content, showing how they depend on each other and can’t be kept or broken in isolation.

3. The problems with the rules

God’s rules create a dilemma: they’re universal moral truths that we all instinctively know are right, but it’s impossible for us to keep them perfectly. This issue is at the heart of many debates in our culture today. Some people reject the idea of divine moral truths while others insist on them, and both sides run into problems. It’s hard to find a solution to this dilemma.

4. How to deal with the problems of the rules

God wants us to follow Him because we love Him, not just because we’re afraid of what might happen if we don’t. Jesus Christ perfectly kept God’s rules through His life and death, which means we can obey God out of love and thankfulness, without fear or guilt. Understanding this truth about Jesus changes how we see and follow God’s rules, helping us to live in a way that reflects and pleases God, who kept His own rules for us.



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