Command and Faith
With confirmation class students, we have recently studied the Catechism and the Ten Commandments. In general, the word command can sound negative. You have to do something that someone else says. Naturally, we would like to choose for ourselves what we do and consider important in life. However, the Ten Commandments are given for the protection of life. Without them, or making effort to follow them, or the consequences of not complying with them, the world would be badly confused. 1. I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods. 2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. 3. Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 4. Honor your father and your mother. 5. You shall not kill. 6. You shall not commit adultery. 7. You shall not steal. 8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. 10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his workers, or his cattle, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
We also know that we are not able to act fully and perfectly according to God’s command-ments. We each go wrong, even though we often strive for good. Therefore, Christianity is not about believing in the commandments, but in Jesus Christ, who has fulfilled the law for us. Faith changes the nature of the commandments. By following them, no attempt is made to earn salvation, or to polish one’s image as a good person. Faith in God calls you to love your neighbor as yourself. It invites you to love God, not just to obey the commandments blindly, but to love and trust.
Blessings, Pastor Timo