the tenth commandment do not covet

THE TENTH COMMANDMENT: DO NOT COVET

I must admit, somewhat ashamedly, that when I began this series several weeks ago, I thought I’d find that I had broken a few of the Ten Commandments, but overall, I felt I was doing pretty good.

Oh, how sadly I was mistaken! Again and again as I read what others had said about the Commandments, and then added Jesus’ own thoughts in the Sermon on the Mount, I found that I have been unable to fully keep even a single one of these commandments. Not even one.

In fact, the Bible tells us that there is only One who has ever fully kept the law—not only the Ten Commandments, but the entirety of the law given to Moses—and that is Jesus Christ Himself.

Think about it. When Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” He responded, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:36-38).

The Ten Commandments

How are you doing on that one (which summarizes the first few commandments)? Do you love God with everything you are and everything you have? Is pleasing God the first thing you think of? Do you allow thoughts of God to guide everything you think, everything you say, everything you do? If you are like me, you have to admit you don’t.

Well, then, let’s take Jesus’ second greatest commandment: “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:39). Clearly none of us is keeping that one either. We lie, we cheat, we steal, we gossip, we hate,…

So does that mean we are doomed by our own failures?  No!

Jesus “redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). Jesus did what we could not: He completely fulfilled all the laws. Then He went a step further: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

You see, Jesus not only completely obeyed the law, but He also took upon Himself the entire weight of all of our failures to obey the law. He carried them to the cross and died as the one time for all sacrifice to atone for our sins. In the words of an old hymn, “Jesus paid it all!”

We do not have to obey the law in order to regain a relationship with our heavenly Father. We need only acknowledge our own failures, and cast ourselves upon the mercy of God in repentance. When we do, He “is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

If you cannot at this point say that you are a Christian—a follower of Christ, may I ask you to thoughtfully consider taking the step today to place your faith and your trust in Jesus and what He has done for you?

First, acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of salvation “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). If you are of the mindset that you have not sinned, 1 John 1:8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Well, if you say you have not sinned, you are breaking the ninth commandment—and if you’ve broken one, you are guilty of breaking all!

Second, understand that sin brings death, eternal separation from God. But “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Remember, John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

So, what is your next step? “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). You can call upon the Lord by simply praying to Him. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Ask Him to accept you into His family on the basis of what He did on the cross—He paid for your sins. Ask Him to come into you and help you to live for Him.

If you have taken that step today, please let someone know. Talk to a Christian friend, or to a pastor, or write to us to get information on the next steps you should take in your new Christian life.

If you have taken that step, welcome to the Family of God.

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ABOUT DR. JOHN ANKERBERG Dr. John Ankerberg is an American Christian television host, author, and speaker. Dr. Ankerberg is a graduate of the University of Illinois—Chicago,...

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