Paul called the Ten Commandments (written on stone) as the ministry of DEATH and CONDEMNATION.
2 Corinthians 3 “6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
- The Old Covenant is the letter that kills
- The New Covenant in Jesus is the Spirit that gives LIFE.
What is this Letter that Kills?..it was ENGRAVED on STONES using LETTERS (the Ten Commandments).
2 Corinthians 37 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!”
- The Ten Commandments is the ministry of DEATH….WHY ? because it condemns anyone who breaks even one commandment (EX 31:14, EX 21:17, 22:19, etc..)
- The Law can only declare someone righteous if they obey ALL of it (James 3:10, DEUT 6:25)
- The GRACE of JESUS CHRIST is the ministry of GREATER GLORY and it gives us RIGHTEOUSNESS by GRACE through FAITH and not by works. God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS is a GIFT and not by our works (ROM 5:17)
2 Corinthians 3 “12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.“
- As believers, we are not called to look to MOSES or the TEN COMMANDMENTS which makes people’s minds DULL and BLINDS their eyes.
- We are called to LOOK TO JESUS by FAITH and we are made RIGHTEOUS….and we live the Christian life by FAITH in HIM and the HOLY SPIRIT GUIDES us !!!
- The Ten commandments cannot SAVE anyone or GIVE LIFE to anyone……it brings condemnation and death.
- Look only to JESUS, His DEATH and RESURRECTION and the Holy Spirit guides us.
But didn’t Jesus tell the Jews that the LAW will give life? LUKE 10:25 ???
Let us understand the context of the Old testament:
When God created the world, after Adam’s sin, the entire world was DEAD in sin. Then God CALLED Abraham. He believed God and was made righteous by FAITH and not by the law (GEN 15:5-6). There was no ten commandments/law at that time.God promised Abraham that his seed would be the blessing to all nations (GEN 22:18). After 430 years, the descendants of Abraham were given the Ten Commandments (LAW of MOSES).God told them to OBEY ALL of it to receive LIFE. (LEV 18:5)
Paul also confirms that the LAW was MEANT to GIVE LIFE….but instead it brought DEATH because of man’s INABILITY to OBEY it.
ROMANS 7 “7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.”
The Law is holy and righteous BUT NOBODY CAN OBEY IT because of sin in the flesh….and therefore the LAW BRINGS DEATH ….The TEN COMMANDMENTS is the LETTER that KILLS.
Paul said that the Gentile nations are DEAD OUTSIDE the law and perish outside the law but the Jews are all guilty under the law because the only way to be righteous under the law is to obey it fully.
ROMANS 2 “12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law…….13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.”
But Paul says that NOBODY is RIGHTEOUS….because nobody is obeying the LAW.
ROMANS 3 “For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;”
So then why did God give the Law if it cannot save anyone?
The Law was given to expose SIN……to SHUT PEOPLE’s SELF-RIGHTEOUS MOUTHS……to show them that they are SINNERS who NEED GRACE !!!
ROMANS 3 “19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 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.”
The law was given to Israel UNTIL JESUS died on the CROSS so that Righteousness is given to ALL Who believe!!
GALATIANS 3 “23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith“
NOW that Jesus has died and rose again….we are made Righteous by FAITH and not works of the law!! Hallelujah !!
ROMANS 3 “21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by ChristJesus…received by FAITH“This is who God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled NOT by the LAW but by FAITH in JESUS.ROMANS 4 “13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed“
The seed of Abraham is JESUS and all who believe in JESUS are made RIGHTEOUS by FAITH without the ten commandments.
GALATIANS 3 “16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise…..26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.“