(1) And God spake all these words, saying,
(2) I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
(3) Thou shalt have no other gods before me (1st Commandment).
(4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth (2nd Commandment):
(5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
(6) And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
(7) Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (3rd Commandment)
(8) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy (4th Commandment).
(9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
(10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
(11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
(12) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee (5th Commandment).
(13) Thou shalt not kill (6th Commandment).
(14) Thou shalt not commit adultery (7th Commandment).
(15) Thou shalt not steal (8th Commandment).
(16) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour (9th Commandment).
(17) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s (10th Commandment). *Emphasis and parenthetical notes added.
These are the 10 Commandments, the basis of God’s Standard of Righteousness. This is the standard by which we are to be measured as innocent, or guilty if we have to stand before God and be judged, whether we have earned a place with him in righteousness. Remember that if we are guilty of even one of these, we are guilty of sin, and the wages of sin is death and Hell. (James 2:10; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15)
You must realize that, even though your own opinion of your goodness may excuse your sins, it is God who will judge guilt or innocence. There is no jury of your peers, although there will be many witnesses and much evidence recorded and brought forth against you.
So, take the “Goodness Test”, and see just how you measure up to God’s standard of righteousness.
- You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me. God plainly tells us that He is the only one, true, living God; and that we are to have no other gods. If we accept and believe that there are many ways to Heaven or eternal life, that is not tolerance, it’s sin. Are you guilty of having “other gods”?
- You Shall Make No Graven Images. Idolatry is both literal (Statues of “gods”, saints, etc. that are prayed to) and figurative (placing items and possessions in higher esteem than God. For example, our car, our home, our television, computer, etc.) Anything we worship, including other people (Movie/Music “Stars”) become our “Idols”. Are you guilty of worshiping anything other than God?
- You Shall Not Take The Name Of The Lord In Vain. Have you ever, even once, used the name of God, or of Christ irreverently? Have you ever used God’s name as a curse? Ever used the word God, or Jesus!, or Jesus Christ! as an expletive? Are you guilty of using God’s name inappropriately or in vain?
- Remember The Sabbath Day, Keep It Holy. Do you set aside one day each week to do nothing but rest? If you do any work, or travel more than a short distance from your house on this day, it is sin. You can’t mow the grass, you can’t clean the house. It is a holy day of rest from the week’s labors. Do you observe this commandment? Or, are you guilty?
- Honor Your Father And Mother. Have you ever been disobedient to your parents? Ever brought shame to them through your rebellion or bad behavior? Ever dishonored them with shameful things done or said? Ever embarrassed them by behaving in a way that you knew they would not approve of? Disrespect of one’s parents is sin. Are you guilty?
- You Shall Not Kill (Murder). Hopefully, you’ve never murdered anyone. If you have, you are guilty. But even if you have not physically murdered anyone, the Bible teaches that to have hatred for someone is the same as to murder them figuratively. (1 John 3:15) Have you ever felt hatred for another human being? If so, you are guilty.
- You Shall Not Commit Adultery. Have you ever been unfaithful to your spouse? Even in your mind? If you are unmarried, have you ever looked at a married person with lust? The Bible teaches that to do so is to commit adultery in our hearts. (Matthew 5:28) Are you divorced and remarried? All of these things make one guilty of adultery in God’s eyes. Are you guilty?
- You Shall Not Steal. Have you ever, even once, taken something that did not belong to you without asking, and without paying for it? Have you ever cheated someone to get something for free or at a discount you weren’t entitled to get? Have you ever illegally downloaded software or music? Ever spliced into your neighbor’s cable? Ever received the benefit of something that you did not pay for and did not have permission to benefit from? If so, in God’s eyes, you are guilty of stealing.
- You Shall Not Bear False Witness. Have you ever participated in spreading rumors about someone without checking to see if they were true? Ever outright told a lie, even a “little” lie, about someone? If so, God says you are guilty.
- You Shall Not Covet. Did you ever look at someone else’s life, possessions, or family, and want those things, that lifestyle, etc. for yourself? It is sin to want the things that belong to others. It is sin to look at other people’s belongings and lust or covet after those things for yourself. Are you guilty?
Now, let’s remember a couple of very important points. First, the 10 Commandments are the BASIS for the Law of God. They are the foundation of God’s Law. Breaking these commandments leads to more serious wickedness. For example, coveting can lead to stealing or hatred, and those can lead to adultery and/or murder. Idolatry can lead to covetousness, and these all lead to ungodly, evil lifestyles. Humans are not only guilty of breaking a couple of the Commandments from time to time, but of continuously living in a way that breaks the Law of God, and makes us absolutely guilty of sin on a level that we don’t even realize until we begin to examine ourselves using God’s scales.
Second, many people try to justify their wickedness and guilt by minimizing it. This is common among all criminals when faced with their crimes. Fear of perceived consequences causes them to minimize what they have done, and to deflect guilt toward others. It’s human nature. But no matter how we try to minimize it or justify our sins by saying that times have changed, or cultures have changed, or they were only little sins, etc. It is essential to remember that God set this standard, and nowhere has He ever lowered that standard, or said that the little sins don’t count.
Mankind can dismiss sin in order to justify wicked lifestyles, but God does not dismiss sin. God judges sin, and there is only ever one sentence: death, and then Hell. If we offend in one point, we are guilty of all. Can you imagine being guilty of murder, and standing before a judge. All the evidence has been presented. There is no doubt about your guilt, and there is no doubt that you viciously murdered another human being. The judge asks you what you have to say for yourself, and you say, “I didn’t think it was wrong.”
Do you realize that many people are doing just that today? They are living in denial of God’s Law, His Justice, and His Righteousness, and seem to expect to get through the judgment by denying that their sin is “wrong”. It doesn’t matter whether you think it’s wrong, it only matters that God says it’s wrong. The law is the law.
If you were to be judged only by God’s Law, would you be guilty or innocent. Regardless of whether you believe your deeds wrong or not, if the only way to measure is by using the standard of God’s Law, how would you stand? It’s obvious that we are all guilty by this standard.
But God also provided the payment for sin through His own Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect life, sinless and righteous, so that he could be the perfect sacrifice to satisfy God’s justice once and for all time. He gave his own life, brutally beaten and murdered at Calvary, so that he could spill his own blood to atone for the sins of the world. He arose from the dead, defeating death forever for those who will believe in Him for their salvation. (John 19-21; John 3:1-36)
You can be forgiven of your sins, freed from your guilt, by the finished sacrifice, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and God says it’s a free gift!! (Ephesians 2:8-9) All it requires is your desire to be free (repentance means to change your mind, your way of thinking about sin. Stop living in denial and recognize your guilt and turn to God for your salvation), and for you to accept God’s Gift of eternal life by believing and trusting in Jesus to save you. Call on Him in faith, and He will save you. (Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16; John 3:36; Acts 16:31) You will be re-born, of the Spirit of God (John 3:3-8) (2 Corinthians 5:17-21), and be made part of the family of God as His child (John 1:12; Galatians 4:4-7)
The choice is yours.