A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit. (Ezekiel 36:26)
The Ten Commandments were given by God as expressions of his will. They come from his heart of love. They are meant for our good always.
But they are not life-giving. The commandments are not a way of salvation from sin, not a ladder that will lead us to heaven. You will never win God’s favor or find his forgiveness by trying to keep them.
Well, what good are the commandments, then? For one thing, they show us how far short we fall. They call us to love God with all our being and our neighbors as we love ourselves. And no one of us even comes close.
God’s commands then point us to Jesus. In our lostness, we learn to seek through Jesus forgiveness and acceptance, and we are never turned away.
This is the New Covenant of which the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel speak. Through faith in Jesus, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. He writes God’s law not on stone tables but on human hearts. He gives us in Christ a new heart and a new spirit.
Forgiveness is through Jesus. The power to live is by the Spirit. Here’s another good use of God’s commands: they keep on showing us what love looks like in everyday life. Thanks be to God!
Gracious God, transform us within by your Spirit’s power.