Before we talk about using the specific commandments of the Law in evangelism let’s back up and review why we would use them at all. In my other post, How to Evangelize: Lessons from Jesus, I told you that the Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:7 “I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’” It is the law of God that shows us our need for a savior, by leaving us condemned before God’s throne of judgment. Therefore, we drive a sinner towards repentance in Christ through examining a person’s life against the Holy standard of the law. Let me be clear, the law does not justify. We are not asking a sinner to keep the law. We are only using it as a tool to bring conviction of sin and leave the sinner desiring salvation. The Law leads to Grace.
The First Commandment
“I am the LORD your God, which has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus20:2,3).
“The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:29,30).
In conversation with people I often run into a common objection for a need of repentance. It normally takes the form of statement like this: “God knows my heart.” And I agree with this. “Yes, God does know your heart and the first commandment says we are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, have you done this?”
Few know and understand the depth and implications set forth in the First Commandment. In the Westminster Shorter Catechism we see stated simply what the essence of this Commandment is.
The first commandment requireth us to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and our God, and to worship and glorify Him accordingly.
The first commandment forbiddeth the denying, or not worshipping and glorifying the true God as God, and our God; and the giving of that worship and glory to any other, which is due to Him alone.
These words before me in the first commandment teach us, That God, who seeth all things, taketh notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other god.
- Westminster Shorter Catechism 1642
Humanity has such a shallow understanding about what God requires of them. However, this should be no surprise because scripture tells us this is the case of nonbelievers:
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” -2 Corinthians 4:3,4
Men do not want to obey God. They instead only want to please themselves. Because of the veil over their eyes they believe they are innocent of breaking this commandment. But we can work with the Holy Spirit to lift this veil by showing a person that they have violated God Greatest Commandment. We must take the time and effort to walk a person through its implications. This will show them that while they have forsaken the Creator, who gave them life, He was still willing to allow His Son to die in their place, thereby taking the punishment they deserve. What wonderful Grace. Only through repentance and faith in Christ can these crimes be forgiven and a new heart, one that desires to love the Lord, be given to them.
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