The Ten Commandments"Love God" (first 4) + "Love Your Neighbor" (last 6)
The Holy, Just, and Good Law of God
Deuteronomy 4:13 (KJV)
And He declared
which He commanded
you to perform,
and He wrote them
Two Tables of Stone.
In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and Jehovah called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which Jehovah commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that Jehovah hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto Jehovah.
And Jehovah said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto Jehovah. And Jehovah said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day Jehovah will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because Jehovah descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And Jehovah came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and Jehovah called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. And Jehovah said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto Jehovah to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also, which come near to Jehovah, sanctify themselves, lest Jehovah break forth upon them. And Moses said unto Jehovah, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. And Jehovah said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto Jehovah, lest he break forth upon them. So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.
And God spake all these words, saying, I am Jehovah thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
(1st) Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
(2nd) 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: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I Jehovah 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; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
(3rd) Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain; for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
(4th) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of Jehovah 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: For in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
(5th) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee.
(6th) Thou shalt not kill.
(7th) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
(8th) Thou shalt not steal.
(9th) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
(10th) 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.
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
And Jehovah said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.
And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am Jehovah that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to Jehovah: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
The Exalted Position of the Law of God
by Ellen G. White
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”
What a contrast between the words of the Divine Teacher, and the language of those who claim that Christ came to abrogate the Father’s law, and to do away with the Old Testament! Our Saviour, who knew all things, understood the wiles of Satan, the snares by which he would seek to entrap the children of men, and hence made this positive statement to meet the questioning doubts and the blind unbelief of all coming time.
The ceremonial law, given by God through Moses, with its sacrifices and ordinances, was to be binding upon the Hebrews until type met antitype in the death of Christ as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. Then all the sacrificial offerings and services were to be abolished. Paul and the other apostles labored to show this, and resolutely withstood those Judaizing teachers who declared that Christians should observe the ceremonial law.
The law of ten precepts, spoken from Mount Sinai, Christ himself declares that he came not to destroy. This testimony should forever settle the question. The law of God is as immutable as the throne of Jehovah. It will maintain its claims upon all mankind in all ages, unchanged by time or place or circumstances. The ritual system was of an altogether different character, added to guard the ten precepts of the Eternal.
Christ declares, that he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill,—“to magnify the law and make it honorable,” as Isaiah, hundreds of years before, had prophesied would be the Messiah’s work.
“To fulfill the law.” By his own life he gives the children of men an example of perfect obedience to that law. In the sermon on the mount he made clear and distinct its every precept, in order to sweep away the rubbish of erroneous tradition, with which the Jews had encumbered its sacred statutes, to illustrate and enforce its principles, and to show in all its particulars the length and breadth and height and depth of the righteousness required by the law of God.
The Pharisees were dissatisfied with the teachings of Christ. The practical godliness which he enjoined condemned them. They desired him to dwell upon the external observances of the ceremonial law, and the customs and traditions of the fathers. But Jesus teaches the spiritual nature of the law and its far-reaching claims. Love to God and to men must dwell in the heart and control the life,—the spring of every thought and every action.
Christ declares, “Verily I say unto you,”—making the assertion as emphatic as possible,—“Till Heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.” Here Christ teaches, not merely what had been and were then the claims of God’s law upon mankind, but what shall be its claims so long as the heavens and the earth remain.
There is perfect harmony between the law of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. “I and my Father are one,” says the Great Teacher. The gospel of Christ is the good news of grace, or favor, by which man may be released from the condemnation of sin, and enabled to render obedience to the law of God. The gospel points to the moral code as a rule of life. That law, by its demands for undeviating obedience, is continually pointing the sinner to the gospel for pardon and peace.
Says the great apostle, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid. Yea, we establish the law.” And again he declares that “the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Enjoining supreme love to God, and equal love to our fellow-men, it is indispensable alike to the glory of God and to human happiness.
After the fall, it had been impossible for man with his sinful nature to render obedience to the law of God, had not Christ, by the offer of his own life, purchased the right to lift up the race where they could once more work in harmony with its requirements.
There are persons professing to be ministers of Christ, who declare with the utmost assurance that no man ever did or ever can keep the law of God. But, according to the Scriptures, Christ “took upon himself our nature,” he “was made in fashion as a man.” He was man’s example, man’s representative, and he declares of himself, “I have kept my Father’s commandments.” The beloved disciple urges that every follower of Christ “ought himself also so to walk even as He walked.” All who are Christ’s will follow the example of Christ. All who justify the sinner in his transgression of God’s law, belong to that class of whom our Saviour said, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven.” They can have no part with Him who came to magnify the law and make it honorable. They are deceiving the people with their sophistry,—saying to the sinner, “It shall be well with thee,” when God has declared that “the soul that sinneth [“transgresseth the law”] it shall die.”
Christ’s words are both explicit and comprehensive. “Whosoever”—minister or layman, wise or ignorant—“shall break one of these least commandments”—willfully or presumptuously, as did Adam and Eve—is included in the condemnation. Breaking one of the commandments makes man a commandment-breaker.
“Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” No excuse can avail for him who strictly obeys nine of the precepts of God’s law, but ventures to break one because it is for his profit or convenience to do so. God demands implicit obedience to all his requirements.
“And shall teach men so.” This is a point worthy of careful consideration. Christ foresaw that men would not only break the commandments of God themselves, but would in a special sense teach others to break them. Every Sabbath-breaker is by his example teaching others to transgress. But some are not content with this. They defend the sin of breaking the fourth commandment, and pervert the word of God to justify the transgressor. Such persons shall be of no esteem in the reign of Heaven,—shall have no part there. But the greatest guilt rests upon the professed watchmen, and they will receive the severest punishment. They are in the highest sense enemies of Christ, as they put on, over corrupt hearts, the livery of Heaven to serve the devil in. They do not hesitate to speak evil of the law, and even make those who do not study the Bible for themselves, believe that the curse of God is upon them if they keep it. All we have to do, say they, is to believe in Christ,—come to Christ. The most fatal delusion of the Christian world in this generation is, that in pouring contempt on the law of God they think they are exalting Christ. What a position! In so doing, they array Christ against Christ. It was Christ who spoke the law from Sinai. It was Christ who gave the law to Moses, engraven on tables of stone. It was his Father’s law; and Christ says, “I and my Father are one.” The Pharisees held the reverse of the modern-position, but were in just as great an error. They rejected Christ, but exalted the law. And it makes little difference which position we take, so long as we ignore the true one,—that faith in Christ must be accompanied by obedience to the law of God.
Now, while we point the sinner to Jesus Christ as the one who can take away sin, we must explain to him what sin is, and show him the necessity of being saved from his sins, not in them. He must be made to feel that he must cease to transgress the law of God, which is to cease to sin. Paul makes the inquiry many years after the death of Christ, “Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Thus saying, Paul exalts the moral law. When this law is practically carried out in every-day life, it is found indeed to be the wisdom of God. It serves to detect sin. It discovers the defects in the moral character, and in the light of the law sin becomes exceeding sinful, revealing its true character in all its hideousness.
The law of God given from Sinai is a copy of the mind and will of the Infinite God. It is sacredly revered by the holy angels. Obedience to its requirements will perfect Christian character, and restore man, through Christ, to his condition before the fall.
The sins forbidden in the law could never find place in Heaven. It was the love of God to man that prompted him to express his will in the ten precepts of the decalogue. And when, through sin, man’s understanding became darkened, God came down upon Mount Sinai and spoke his law with an audible voice, and wrote it on tables of stone. Afterward he showed his love for man by sending prophets and teachers to declare his law.
God has given man a complete rule of life in his law. Obeyed, he shall live by it, through the merits of Christ. Transgressed, it has power to condemn. The law sends men to Christ, and Christ points them back to the law.
— Review and Herald, September 27, 1881, par. 1-19 – Ellen G. White
Two Great Commandments
Matthew 22.37-39 (KJV)
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Law of God / Law of Liberty:
Ten Commandments – (1-4) Love God; (6-10) Love Your Neighbor
See Exodus 20 & Deuteronomy 5 for the Ten Commandments.
Ecclesiastes 12.13 (KJV)
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
Nehemiah 1.9 (KJV)
“But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.”
Proverbs 3.1 (KJV)
“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: …”
Proverbs 4.4 (KJV)
“He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.”
Proverbs 7.2 (KJV)
“Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.”
John 14.15 (KJV)
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
John 15.10 (KJV)
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
Romans 3.31 (KJV)
“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
James 1.25 (KJV)
“But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
James 2.12 (KJV)
“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.”
1 Corinthians 7.19 (KJV)
“Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.”
Revelation 12.17 (KJV)
“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Revelation 14.12 (KJV)
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
Revelation 22.14 (KJV)
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
1 John 3.4 (KJV)
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
The Moral Law
by Ellen G. White | Signs of the Times, June 5, 1901
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily, I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
A government, of whatever character, requires a governor. This world has a governor,—the God of the universe. His guardian-care is universal, extending to man and beast, reaching even to the little sparrow; for Christ declares, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
In God’s moral government, which is a government based upon a distinction between right and wrong, law is essential to secure right action. God’s law is the expression of His character, and in His Word it is pronounced holy, just, and good. David says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
Lucifer took the position that as a result of the law of God, wrong existed in heaven and on this earth. This brought against God’s government the charge of being arbitrary. But this is a falsehood, framed by the author of all falsehoods. God’s government is a government of free-will, and there is no act of rebellion or obedience which is not an act of free-will.
As Creator of all, God is governor over all, and He is bound to enforce His law throughout the universe. To require less from His creatures than obedience to His law would be to abandon them to ruin. To fail to punish transgression of His law would be to place the universe in confusion. The moral law is God’s barrier between the human agent and sin. Thus infinite wisdom has placed before men the distinction between right and wrong, between sin and holiness.
God is supreme. It is not for finite man to question His right to govern the universe. God asserted His right to rule when He declared, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me;” “for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.” He is the Creator and the Preserver of the worlds. He upholds the universe by the word of His power. Nature and science bear witness that He has a right to govern His own creation. Angels are subject to His rule; therefore let man bow in adoration before Him.
The Scriptures make it plain that God is Ruler, and that man is under the highest obligation to acknowledge this, and to obey His law with heart and mind, trusting in His power for help and protection. This law which man is called upon to obey as the standard of right for the universe, is the wise and holy counsel of God. It is a moral law, and has its foundation in the difference between right and wrong. Moral law is universal; positive law is not necessarily universal, but may be restricted or extended according to the will of the law-giver. Moral law must be immutable, while positive law may be changed or abolished, as the law-giver may choose.
The Decalog, or moral code of God, consists of ten precepts, engraven on stone by the finger of God. These precepts contain the whole duty of man. The first four define man’s duty to his God; the last six man’s duty to his fellow-man. These two great principles were recognized by the Saviour; for He declared that the whole law hung upon love to God and love to man. Other commands may be found in the Scriptures, but only as an amplification of those contained in the ten precepts of the Decalog.
Christ’s work was to rid the commandments of the traditions and customs placed upon them by the Jewish teachers. The work of covering the law with useless exactions had been planned by the adversary of God, in order that Christ’s pure ministry should not harmonize with the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees. The Jewish leaders had yielded to the temptation to depart from the Lord, and while by their forms and ceremonies making the law a yoke of bondage which the people were not able to bear, they failed to follow its great principles. This led Christ to declare, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
At the opening of His ministry, Christ, in His Sermon on the Mount, gave an exposition of the law, which had long been buried under man-made customs and traditions. He brought to light its pure principles, freeing it from the burdensome exactions placed upon it by man. As He showed the far-reaching claims of the law, the Pharisees saw that their pet theories were being swept away by His plain statements. Jealousy took possession of their hearts; for they felt that their teaching and influence were being made of no effect. In their hearts they had so long mingled human tradition with divine commands that when Christ disregarded these traditions, they thought that He was making void the law. But Christ read their thoughts, and suddenly they were startled by the words, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
With all the exalted influence and glory he possessed before the fall, Satan could not change the smallest letter of the law; and as an apostate and traitor, he has still been unable to alter it. If he has succeeded in his purpose of gaining the professed Christian world to his side, and if the world and the church have formed a bond of fellowship to make void the law of God, this does not prove that it has been changed. To admit that God made a law so imperfect that it needed to be changed would be to stamp God as changeable and imperfect. God has spoken on this point. Let us heed what He says: “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips.”
Christ, in His teaching, fully developed the principles of the law, making it plain that it does not concern the outward actions merely, but has to do with the heart, reaching even to the unspoken thoughts. Christ exalted the law, holding it forth in its original purity as a perfect system of morality. His life was a living illustration of the law of God. He made this law honorable by His perfect conformity to its requirements.
God’s law, enforced in the Old and New Testaments, is an exclusive rule of duty. The objection sometimes brought against the law, that nowhere in the New Testament are all the commandments of the Decalog specified, has no force; for the expressions so often repeated “the law,” “the commandments of God,” mean the whole, not a part.
The Lord has given this rule of righteousness,—the foundation of true religion,—and it must be obeyed. We might better sacrifice all our temporal interests,—houses, lands, riches, liberty, even life itself, than disobey the least of God’s commandments. The Saviour declares, “He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.”
We have many noble examples of loyalty to the law in the history of the prophets and apostles, who endured imprisonment, torture, death itself, rather than break one of God’s commands. Peter and John have left a record as heroic as any in the Gospel dispensation. When called before the high priest, and commanded not to speak at all, nor to preach in the name of Jesus, they answered: “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we can not but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people; for all men glorified God for that which was done.” When they were called a second time before the council, the Jewish leaders asked them, saying, “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” In this answer we have evidence that no human authority has a right to place us under obligation to claims which will cause us to disobey our rightful Sovereign, whose subjects we claim to be.
God has special regard for righteousness of character. In His Word we are told that He takes pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy. He commands the inhabitants of the earth to stand in awe of Him, and yet He invites the most lowly to seek Him, “if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, tho He be not far from every one of us.”
By willing obedience to God’s commands, we show our love for Him. Thus we gain a fitness to be among that number of whom it will be said, “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in thru the gates into the city.”
Mrs. E. G. White
Where do you stand?
“In the precepts of His holy law, God has given a perfect rule of life; and He has declared that until the close of time this law, unchanged in a single jot or tittle, is to maintain its claim upon human beings.” “Many among both ministers and people are trampling under their feet the commandments of God. Thus the Creator of the world is insulted, and Satan laughs in triumph at the success of his devices.” (see full context below)
“Ministers of the gospel sometimes do great harm by allowing their forbearance toward the erring to degenerate into toleration of sins and even participation in them. Thus they are led to excuse and palliate that which God condemns, and after a time they become so blinded as to commend the very ones whom God commands them to reprove. He who has blunted his spiritual perceptions by sinful leniency toward those whom God condemns, will erelong commit a greater sin by severity and harshness toward those whom God approves. ¶ By the pride of human wisdom, by contempt for the influence of the Holy Spirit, and by disrelish for the truths of God’s word, many who profess to be Christians, and who feel competent to teach others, will be led to turn away from the requirements of God. Paul declared to Timothy, “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” ¶ The apostle does not here refer to the openly irreligious, but to the professing Christians who make inclination their guide, and thus become enslaved by self. Such are willing to listen to those doctrines only that do not rebuke their sins or condemn their pleasure-loving course. They are offended by the plain words of the faithful servants of Christ and choose teachers who praise and flatter them. And among professing ministers there are those who preach the opinions of men instead of the word of God. Unfaithful to their trust, they lead astray those who look to them for spiritual guidance. ¶ In the precepts of His holy law, God has given a perfect rule of life; and He has declared that until the close of time this law, unchanged in a single jot or tittle, is to maintain its claim upon human beings. Christ came to magnify the law and make it honorable. He showed that it is based upon the broad foundation of love to God and love to man, and that obedience to its precepts comprises the whole duty of man. In His own life He gave an example of obedience to the law of God. In the Sermon on the Mount He showed how its requirements extend beyond the outward acts and take cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart. ¶ The law, obeyed, leads men to deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts,” and to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Titus 2:12. But the enemy of all righteousness has taken the world captive and has led men and women to disobey the law. As Paul foresaw, multitudes have turned from the plain, searching truths of God’s word and have chosen teachers who present to them the fables they desire. Many among both ministers and people are trampling under their feet the commandments of God. Thus the Creator of the world is insulted, and Satan laughs in triumph at the success of his devices. ¶ With the growing contempt for God’s law there is an increasing distaste for religion, an increase of pride, love of pleasure, disobedience to parents, and self-indulgence; and thoughtful minds everywhere are anxiously inquiring, What can be done to correct these alarming evils? The answer is found in Paul’s exhortation to Timothy, “Preach the word.” In the Bible are found the only safe principles of action. It is a transcript of the will of God, an expression of divine wisdom. It opens to man’s understanding the great problems of life, and to all who heed its precepts it will prove an unerring guide, keeping them from wasting their lives in misdirected effort. ¶ God has made known His will, and it is folly for man to question that which has gone out of His lips. After Infinite Wisdom has spoken, there can be no doubtful questions for man to settle, no wavering possibilities for him to adjust. All that is required of him is a frank, earnest concurrence in the expressed will of God. Obedience is the highest dictate of reason as well as of conscience.“
— Acts of the Apostles, p. 504.1-506.2 • Ellen G. White