Several years ago, a friend introduced me to the writings of a modern-day evangelist who used the 10 Commandments as a tool for leading people to faith in Jesus Christ. I was very intrigued as a grace teacher. Upon reading one of Ray Comfort’s books, I saw how he strategically showed from Scripture how he did this with great success. One of the most familiar Scriptures was from Romans 3:20. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Ray gave examples of how he did this. I am not quoting this verbatim but paraphrasing it. After striking up a conversation with a person, he would lovingly turn the conversation to the person’s belief in God or lack of it. Then he would mention the 10 Commandments and quote one such as, You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15) The conversation continued something like this, “Have you ever stolen anything?” “Yes, I have,” the person would often reply. Comfort would continue, “Then you have sinned against God. The 10 Commandments also say, You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16) Have you ever lied about or to someone?” Again, the person most often would say “Yes.” “Then you have sinned against God.”
Having established that this person had sinned, Comfort would go on to tell them that if they died having committed these sins they would stand before God and be judged as guilty. God would then banish them from His presence. Yet, he did not stop there of course. He would let them know that God loved them and did not want to judge them but forgive them for their sins. And God had made this possible because Jesus Christ had died on the cross to accomplish this and had risen from the grave. Some would believe in Jesus and some would not.
Though the 10 Commandments were written by God to the nation of Israel when they were delivered from slavery under Pharoah, they are still useful today. They point out a person’s sin who does not yet have Christ in them. What about we who do have Christ in us? Some say it is our guide to live by, yet, Jesus, writing through Paul in 1 Timothy 1:9, says, We also know that the law is made not for the righteous… That is you and me. We have been given God’s righteousness in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21) His law, meaning his character, has been written on our new hearts through our union with Him. (Hebrew 10:16) However, though it is not for us, it can remind us of who we are in Christ. For example, we are not thieves; we are generous people in Christ. Stealing is contrary to who we are in Christ. Giving generously is consistent with who we are in Christ. We are not liars; we are people who are truth-tellers in Christ. Lying is contrary to who we are in Christ. Truth-telling in love is consistent with who we are in Christ. You get the idea. If it has been a while since you read the 10 Commandments, I am including them.
How I wish that everyone who does not know Jesus would be aware of these and would also hear the good news about the Messiah, the Savior, Jesus Christ who is our Life so they might be saved.
3 You shall have no other gods before me.
4 You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 Remember the sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 You shall not murder.
14 You shall not commit adultery.
15 You shall not steal.
16 You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Share the 10 Commandments with those outside of Christ as you are led and share with them about Jesus and His gospel of grace.