Core Value 27: And the greatest commandment is . . ?


Core Christian Value

There are 10 commandments. The first 4 pertain to God and the remaining 6 pertain to man. Jesus summarized them and said, “Love God with all your heart, mind, strength and soul and your neighbor as yourself.”

We sometimes struggle with complex requirements of obedience in the Scriptures but in the case of knowing what the two greatest commandments are in the Bible, Jesus made it very simple. In response to a scribe’s (lawyer) question, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”MARK 12:28-31 NKJV

When we study the 10 commandments, we find that the first 4 that are listed point us to loving God and the second 6 concern our relationships with man.

When you think about the commandments, they represent a very tight summary of what we are expected to do as children of God. We do not obey these commandments “to become” children of God, we obey them because we are God’s children. He gives us His grace that we might know Him and then we, by faith, obey Him. Our obedience does not “earn us anything”; it is simply our response to His love for us. We do know that disobedience will bring discipline but there is a big difference between a disobedient person that does not know God and does not love Him and one who does know Him and loves Him. This is a critical point to understand. God calls you to Him. He calls all men and would that none perish. But, some do not respond. Your response to His grace, His call to you, is a response of faith, one of believing in Jesus Christ and what He did that enables us to come into God’s presence completely cleansed of our sin.

Then we endeavor to obey, relying upon the power of the Holy Spirit in us, to help us be more and more like Jesus, every day. Our obedience to the two greatest commandments is important. Discuss the 10 commandments. Which do you feel are most difficult to obey? Which is easiest? Do you think there will ever come a time in your Christian growth where you will “automatically” obey, without thinking about it? That process is called sanctification. The Bible refers to believers as saints. How far do you feel from that designation?

The Ten Commandments

Pertaining to God:
1 Thou shalt have no other gods before Me
2 Thou shalt not worship any graven images
3 Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain
4 Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy

Pertaining to Man:
5 Honor thy father and thy mother
6 Thou shalt not kill
7 Thou shalt not commit adultery
8 Thou shalt not steal
9 Thou shalt not bear false witness
10 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor

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