Saturday, September 29, 2012

John 3:16 and the ten commandments

I've taken a long time before publishing this post following a previous post  dissecting John 3:16. In that  previous blog entry, I expounded upon John 3:16, a beloved Bible verse of mine. I am also amazed to find out how many of the ten commandments are embodied in John 3:16. This entry follows up on the previous, making explicit how one can see the 10 commandments reflected in John 3:16.

1. For God: In the Ten commandments, the first commandment tells us to not worship any other than God. John 3:16 begins 'For God' also reminding us that God exists and is to be worshiped, honoured and respected. It tells of God's authority and identity.

2. So love: The second of the Ten commandments tells us not to make God jealous. Love and jealousy are apparently connected. Songs of Solomon 8:6 says it all about how 'jealousy is cruel as the grave'.

3. The world: As if in a message to the world system, the third commandment prohibits the misuse of God's name. How holidays such as Christmas uses the Lord's title, but is exploited by paganism and commercialism. Yet, is not using the name of God worse than using his name in vain? Are both not equivalent? For though the world was created by God, there is a great secular movement that takes offence to the use of God name (except as a swear word or for entertainment purposes). Using his name meaninglessly and the efforts to remove his name from the earth, seem like both actions taken to assert an indentity without him. Its like a son renaming himself and eliminating the family's surname, disconnecting with his family and their heritage. Not respecting God's name is the same as not rejecting his identity as Creator of the world.

4. That he gave: The fourth commandment speaks to the Sabbath day. What God gives is special and you must not treat it anyway, but must instead make the effort to take care of what he has given and preserve it. The Sabbath day was to celebrate God's act in creating the earth. Exodus 20:11  gives God's creation as the primary reason why God blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Hence like his name, the Sabbath is another symbol given to humanity that signifies God's identity and authority.

5. Only begotten son: is paralleled by the fifth commandment of giving honour to parents. In this case, we honour God the father, the parent of Jesus the son, by how we treat and deal with Jesus the son of God.

6. That whosoever:  is paralleled by the sixth commandment prohibiting murder. Do not kill anyone, as everyone, whosoever they may be, is valuable and of worth to God.

7. Believeth in him:  This is paralleled by the seventh commandment forbidding adultery. Again this is another statement about being faithful to God. Also one must have trust in God's covenants and agreements. Marriage (between man and woman) is also a symbol or a sacrament of that belief in God, established from Creation. Those that break such a covenant destroys the image of God

8. Should not perish: Do not steal is the eight commandment. Stealing when defined is the act of separating a thing from its owner. implied there is disconnection or preventing something that really belongs to someone else from being in that person's care and possession. This is the work of Satan who comes to steal and destroy (John 10:10). Similarly, our act of disconnecting from God, whether by ignoring his name, authority, identity, covenants or commandments is indeed akin to separating from him what truly belongs to him. We belong to God, but through his granting us free will, he allows us the choice to rob ourselves from him. In so doing, we become like Satan and will suffer Satan's fate. This involves being in hell fire which was never created for us in the first place (See: Matthew 25:41). Such separation from God will indeed lead us to perish.

9. But have: The ninth commandment prohibits lying or bearing  false information. Lies can be defined as beliefs that are not real or falsehoods. The Bible speaks about people making lies. In fact, in Revelations 22:15, the Bible discusses the fate of not only those who make lies, but also loveth lies. The Bible also speaks that in the last days, people will have itching ears to listen to lies (2 Timothy 4:3). People want to chase after things that are not true or real. They even chase after riches that are not real (Proverbs 23:5). God thus cautions us not to have false beliefs and hopes, but to pursue having truth that will lead us to reality and to true possessions. As Jesus declares, it is the search for truth that will lead us into true possessions (Matthew 6:33). Pursuing falsehood and our own ways will never lead us into possessing the earth forever.

10. Everlasting life: The tenth and final commandment forbid us coveting the possessions of others. God wants us to have correct vision. Not to look to what people have in this life, but to set our minds on what we can have in the life to come. Jesus tells us that we must store up for ourselves treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20). Our benchmark and measurements of our life should not be with our neighbours and what they possess. instead, we must covet the life that God the Father wants us to have and offers us through his son Jesus and the Holy Spirit (John 7:38).

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