The Ten Commandments

In the Old Testament we read how God’s chosen people, the Israelites, were subjected to a great many years of slavery under Egyptian rule. This oppression continued for many generations until the Lord, through Moses, freed His people from their slavery so that they may journey to the Promised Land. On being freed, the Lord did not leave them unguided. After a time, God spoke to Moses in order to gift the people with the Ten Commandments.

The Ten Commandments are a list of governances to guide the people towards a proper society, one that leads towards God. The ten items, ranging from honouring God, to respect for one another, create a very basic ethical and Christian foundation for one’s life. Rather than a negative listing as some may see it, as listing what is forbidden, the commandments were designed as St Paul writes, to be “tutor to bring us until Christ”(Gal. 3:24), until the coming of Christ, where the true faith would be made complete for “after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor”(Gal 3:25). This faith St Paul writes of is the True Faith, of which we are enlightened of through the Holy Spirit.

In much the same way as the Israelites lived under an oppressive rule, the human race was enslaved by sin and death before the coming of the Messiah. Through the act of the Crucifixion, mankind was set free from these bonds. And so, in the same way that the ten commandments were gifted a time after the Israelites has experienced freedom, sometime after the Resurrection, on the feast of Pentecost, the new Law was gifted – that is, the Holy Spirit.

This new gift overshadows the ten commandments since, through having God in us, we grow beyond the basic ethical guidelines and are now guided to a true understanding of what it means to be a Christian and to fulfil God’s will.

Source: Lychnos June / July 2016