|Teen Bible Study: Are the Ten Commandments for Teens Today?
Imagine a huge boulder, balanced precariously at the edge of a cliff. What happens if it's given a push?
Even in our imagination we firmly believe that gravity will send it plummeting to the valley below. It's a physical law — we don't expect it to go floating into space.
There are other laws — just as sure as gravity — that show you how to have a happy, interesting and fulfilling life.
Jesus Christ came to this earth to show both young people and adults how to live happy and abundant lives here and now (John 10:10, last part of the verse). He also revealed how we may become born-again members of God's universe-ruling Family!
But before we go further, be sure your Bible, a pen or pencil and some notebook paper are before you so you can look up, read and write out the Bible verses answering the questions.
1. In what one word is the very nature and character of God summarized? I John 4:16. How did Jesus Christ sum up the Ten Commandments — the law of God? Matthew 22:35, 40.
God's law is the way of God's love. It is the way the two members of the God Family have always lived. Thus God the Father and God the Son live in total harmony. The Father is the head of the God Family and Christ does exactly what the Father tells Him to do (John 8:29, 10:30).
These two divine beings lived the way of love before they created angels and before they brought the material universe into existence. God's way of love resulted in joy, peace and great accomplishment.
God's law of love also regulated the conduct of angels toward one another and toward their Creator when He placed a third of His angelic host on the earth to finish its creation. That is until Lucifer, the great and beautiful archangel whom God placed over the angels to guide their activities on earth, turned to rebellion against God's government — His way of life — and sinned!
2. What is the Bible definition of sin? I John 3:4. Does the Bible clearly tell us that Lucifer and his angels sinned? Ezekiel 28:14-16, II Peter 2:4.
Sin is the transgression of God's law of love — the way of peace, cooperation and harmony — the way of service and concern for others equal to one's love for self.
God reveals in His Word that Lucifer became the first sinner. Vanity, lust and greed welled up with in him. He became dissatisfied with rulership over the one planet. He wanted to rule the universe. Thus he organized his angels into an army and ascended to heaven in an attempt to take over God's throne of rulership over all. But Lucifer and his angels failed and were cast back to this earth (Isaiah 14:12-14, Jude 6). Lucifer became Satan, God's adversary, and his angels are now called demons. Together they attempt to thwart God's plan and have deceived the world about the necessity of obeying God's law.
3. Are all 10 points of God's great law conveniently listed for us in the Bible? Exodus 20:1-17, Deuteronomy 5:6-21. How can we know that there are 10? Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:13, 10:4.
4. Did the patriarch Abraham the father of the faithful — know of God's law and think it was important to keep it? Genesis 26:5. Did God teach David His way of life from his youth? Psalm 71:17. What was his attitude toward obeying God's law? Psalm 119:97-100, 105.
Both Abraham and David were commandment keepers. They had great respect for God's law. That is one vital reason why they will hold very responsible positions in the future government of God on earth.
5. Did Christ obey the Ten Commandments? John 15:10. Did He teach others to obey them? Matthew 19:16-19. These verses in Matthew 19 clearly show that Jesus specifically referred to the Ten Commandments, though He did not mention every one.
6. Does the Bible show that the very Church Jesus built would be teaching obedience to and actually be keeping the Ten Commandments and other instructions of Christ? Revelation 12:17, 14:12. (Chapter 12 personifies God's Church as a woman.)
God's Church today echoes the words of David and follows God's law as the Christian standard to live by.
7. Is the law of God holy, just and good? Romans 7:12. Does peace of mind come from keeping the Ten Commandments? Psalm 119:165. Does God bless those who obey Him? Deuteronomy 11:26-28, Psalm 1:1-6.
The youth or adult who keeps God's law has a clear conscience. He is at peace with God, with himself and with his neighbor. He has "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:7).
God's law was given to make man happy and to lead him into the peaceful, full, abundant life — and above all to lead him into eternal life. But because of disobedience to our Creator's holy, righteous law, the world is filled with strife, poverty, ignorance and suffering today — the opposite results of the love of God!
8. How did Jesus summarize the Ten Commandments? Turn to Matthew 22:35-40 once again.
As the essence of God's spiritual character is love (I John 4:16), the Ten Commandments are expressions of the very character of God. Jesus showed that the Ten Commandments are in reality a guide to teach us how to love. The first four commandments show us how to love God, while the last six show us how to love our neighbor — all fellow human beings.
The love of God is manifested first of all in adoration and worship of God and literal obedience to Him, and then in outgoing concern, compassion, kindness and service toward fellow human beings.
9. Could there be any truth whatsoever in the widespread belief that having "love" nullifies the need to literally keep God's law? I John 5:2-3, John 14:15, 15:9-10, II John 5-6.
The apostle John placed a great deal of emphasis on love. But not once did he or any other writer of Holy Scripture — all of whom were inspired by God (II Timothy 3:16) say that love put away, superseded or destroyed the law of God. John, who was a close friend, disciple and apostle of Jesus Christ, made it plain that one who truly has the love of God will be obeying the commandments of God!
10. Is it possible to earn one's salvation by obeying God? Romans 6:23. Yet can anyone enter God's glorious, universe-ruling Kingdom — the very Family of God — as a lawbreaker? Matthew 7:21, 19:16-17.
You cannot earn your salvation by keeping the law of God. Eternal life is not for sale. It is clearly a gift from God! No one can earn immortality in 10,000 lifetimes of keeping the Ten Commandments! But neither can anyone enter into eternal life as a sinner (I John 3:4, Romans 6:23). No rebel will ever be born into God's Family!
Obedience to the Ten Commandments helps one to grow more like God, whose very character is love, until he is finally born into God's spiritual Family at the resurrection. Of course, you'll need to receive God's Holy Spirit to enable you to build God's spiritual character and complete the process, but that can come later when you are an adult.
Meanwhile, you can be striving to follow God's way to the best of your ability. God will take a special interest in you, as He does in all who obey Him. He will help you and work personally with you. And you will be building the habit of obedience to God while you are still young.
The young people who choose to begin obeying God now can begin to reap the blessings of living by God's law of love and be spared the misery, heartache and suffering of living a life of sin!