Summary: This study takes a look at the Ten Commandments from a New Testament perspective.
Thou shalt not murder.
The last five commandments are all directly related to how we should treat each other. Our social culture is held together by God’s moral laws and these are all fulfilled through one commandment – love your neighbor as yourself. Romans 13:9-10 explains:
9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Just as loving God is the fulfillment of our worship and Christian service, loving others is how we fulfill our duty to keep God’s moral law that shores up the culture around us. In the last days God warned that self-love would rule men’s hearts and lawlessness will abound. Consider 2 Timothy 3:1-5
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Notice the one key problem that sets off this chain of ungodly behavior – men will be lovers of themselves. When loving myself is the guiding force in my life, everything in my life will be lived from a ‘me-centered’ perspective. Not one time in scripture are we told to love ourselves. Why? This is basic human nature and a self-centered love can be very destructive. What irony it is that those who set their love upon themselves fall into sin and spend their lives grasping at the wind as they desperately try to gratify their own desires. The true irony is that those who love God and love others as themselves will be the only ones fulfilled. When we die to ourselves, we are putting our faith in the Lord to fulfill us, meet our needs, and reveal His love within us. Consider this amazing promise found in Psalm 36:7-9
7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. 8 They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. 9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.
If you believe this promise, you will put your trust under the shadow of God’s wings knowing that He will satisfy you, fulfill you and enrich your life with true pleasure. Unfortunately very few Christians believe God and are willing to shift their love from self to God and others. Keep in mind that God has told us that His Holy Spirit has poured out the love of God in our hearts. We now must choose to abide in that love by loving others or walk in the flesh by living for ourselves. Many well respected teachers and authors are writing books teaching people to set their love upon self and are placing those who follow this advice right in the middle of the many warnings of scripture.
The fact is that you cannot truly love yourself apart from loving God and loving your neighbor. Self-confidence is not found in self love. All we have to do is observe the culture around us. Why are there so many self-help books, seminars and many ‘experts’ making fortunes off of telling us how to love ourselves but with so little success. Every time there is a study published, the suicide rate is going up, depression abounds, emotional problems are on the increase, yet there are thousands of books available that promise to resolve these problems. Even Christian authors are latching on to the secular philosophy of self-love. It does not work and cannot work.
God’s word has the only solution to man’s dilemma but no one is willing to put God to the test. The word of God has never failed; the problem is that it has not been tried. Instead of looking to the One who created us, people look for help through the people who promise the secret of happiness but they too are struggling with the same problems. You can only find self-confidence through God’s word and His will as you walk in the Spirit like you were created to do. I never found true confidence until I found the will of God. There is an amazing power of confidence God gives to us when we know that we are walking in His will. If I am doing what God has planned and empowered me to do, I cannot help but be confident.