Today is August 9, 2019

Verse of the Day — Luke 12:15

Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.


You can’t take your earthly toys with you!


God won’t add up your physical net worth to determine how well you did while living on this earth. Granted, we all have stewardship responsibilities for our investments.

Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest? —Luke 19:23

But our real value on Judgment Day will be in our spiritual treasures.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth . . . But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . —Matthew 6:19-20

The Bible warns us to be careful not to make the short-term more important than the long-term. There is nothing wrong with having nice things or an abundance of earthly treasures that you have worked hard to share with your family. But when having more “things” becomes a priority of life, it means you have become greedy. It means you’ve missed the most important teaching of life—to concentrate the bulk of your efforts/investments on eternal rewards.


Dear Compass,

I have had discussions recently with several of my Christian friends and family and none of us knows the answer to the following question: What laws from the Old Testament still apply to Christians today?


You’re right, no one seems to want to take a crack at that. Maybe that’s why this study is longer than usual.

1 John 5:3 says that God wants us to keep His commandments. One of the reasons is that the Law shows us what is actually sin. Romans 4:15 says,

. . . where there is no law, there is also no violation

and Romans 5:13 says,

. . . sin is not imputed when there is no law.

But the Bible also says:

. . . you are not under law but under grace; —Romans 6:14

. . . the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ; —John 1:17

. . . not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ . . . —1 Corinthians 9:21

It seems to sound as if we are both under the law and not under the law, all at the same time. Jesus clears it up a little with His statement,

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. —Matthew 5:17

But the most helpful piece of information lies in determining the difference between the types of Jewish laws and commandments. The law was given specifically to Israel, but its foundation is on the eternal moral principles that are consistent with God’s character. It was given by God to expose His Holy nature and will as a righteous standard, as well as to convict sinners of their inability to keep the law. And if you can’t keep the law, it proved you needed a Messiah/Savior.

because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. —Romans 3:20

There are basically three types of Old Testament laws: civil (government), ceremonial (pointing to a Messiah/fulfilled by Christ/veil torn/new priesthood), and moral laws. Today, of all the Old Testament law given to Israel, only about 6 percent can be applied outside the State of Israel. Combining that fact with what Jesus fulfilled on the cross, it basically eliminates all the civil and ceremonial laws leaving us to deal with God’s moral laws.

The moral laws show God’s eternal and unchangeable wisdom and justice – showing right from wrong. They taught who God is and what He requires. The bottom line is that the moral laws have no relationship to time or place as the civil and ceremonial laws did. So when the Bible says, “I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man (Romans 7:22), it’s referring to God’s moral laws.

The first question to be answered is, “To whom did the moral law apply?” Was it just Israel? Or could people violate God’s moral law before the Ten Commandments were given? If so, then it is much easier to understand how God’s moral laws could apply to us today if they apply to ALL people throughout time.

The answer is yes. Pre-Ten commandments people were held accountable for God’s laws.

because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. —Romans 1:19

in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them —Romans 2:15

  • Pharaoh broke the first three commandments—false gods, false worship, and blasphemy.

    You shall have no other gods before Me.

    You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
    —Exodus 20:3-7

    He was punished (Exodus 5-7).

  • Jacob broke the second commandment when he failed to put away foreign gods.

    So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments —Genesis 35:2
  • Israel broke the fourth commandment before Sinai.

    It came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions? See, the LORD has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. —Exodus 16:27-29
  • Noah’s son Ham broke the fifth commandment.

    Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. —Exodus 20:12
  • Cain broke the sixth commandment by murdering Abel.

    You shall not murder. —Exodus 20:13
  • The sin at Sodom broke the seventh commandment.

    Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven —Genesis 19:24
  • The eighth commandment was broken by Adam and Eve when they took the forbidden fruit.

    The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” —Genesis 2:16-17
  • Cain broke the ninth commandment when he lied.

    Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” —Genesis 4:9
  • Abimelech coveted Abraham’s wife, breaking the tenth commandment.

    But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married.” —Genesis 20:3

These are just a few examples of sins prior to the law even being giving. Therefore, if the Ten Commandments were God’s standard prior to the Law being given at Sinai, they certainly could apply after the time period of Law, and certainly today.

Christians have always been free to enjoy all God’s created good (1 Timothy 4:1-5), PROVIDED they don’t violate God’s moral law or hinder their own, or someone else’s, spiritual well being (1 Corinthians 12-13, 8:7-13). So Christians have not been set free from God’s moral law.

You were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh . . . —Galatians 5:13

But don’t get freedom confused. The penalty for breaking God’s moral law is just as severe today as it was in the Old Testament. The wages of sin is still death. The difference is that the penalty is paid by Jesus, on our behalf.

With that background, the answer to your question is to use the New Testament as your guide. Nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. Only worship on the Sabbath (Saturday) is not specifically taught (though the principle of resting after six days’ work IS taught). Jesus expanded the law to include not only WHAT you do, but included what you THINK as well.

You have heard that it was said, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY“; but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. —Matthew 5:27

Jesus was showing that the law was spiritual, not just physical. It was the heart that mattered, not just external actions.

. . . That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts . . . —Mark 7:20-21

The moral law says adultery is wrong. In the OT, the penalties were clear. But in the NT, adultery is still wrong, but forgiveness is paramount (even though you may pay a civil or government penalty in your country):

. . . forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. —Ephesians 4:32

. . . therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. —Romans 13:10

Does this mean we can do away with the Old Testament? Hardly! It still has tremendous applications for Christians today, and the history of the world is recorded by it. The books of wisdom (Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes) are rich in instruction as Godly wisdom is eternal and never changes. The prophetic books are crucial to PROVING the accuracy of the Bible.

The law can’t save you.

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. —Galatians 2:21

But we will be judged according to its righteous standard as it applies to us.

each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. —1 Corinthians 3:13-15


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