What are man’s duties to God and man?


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The Decalogue covers man’s moral duties to God and man (Matt. 22:34–40; Matt. 19:16-19). It has been the fundamental standard of conduct since the beginning of time (Ecc. 12:13,14). The Bible unites both duties in the deeper aspects (Micah 6:8; Matt. 25:34–45; James 1:27; 1 John 4:20).

The Ten Commandments are expressions of the divine nature. Man was made in the image of the Creator (Gen. 1:27), made to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:15, 16), and the Ten Commandments are Heaven’s ordained standard of holiness (Rom. 7:7–25). Jesus stated that they are applicable as long as the world shall last (Matt. 5:17, 18).

These commandments are the expression not only of holiness but also of love (Matt. 22:34–40; John 15:10; Rom. 13:8–10; 1 John 2:4). Whatever service we give to God or man, if it is without love, the law is not fulfilled.

It is love that protects people from breaking the Ten Commandments, for how could one worship other gods, take God’s name in vain, and break the Sabbath if he truly loves Him? How can one steal from his neighbor, testify against him, or covet his possessions if he loves him? Thus, love is the root of faithfulness toward God and respect to men. And love should be the motive to obedience (John 14:15; 15:10; 2 Cor. 5:14; Gal. 5:6).

The Decalogue also confirms the truth of Christian freedom (James 2:12; 2 Cor. 3:17). Though the letter of the law, because of its few words, may appear limiting, its spirit is “exceeding broad” (Ps. 119:96). Christ gave the spiritual interpretation of the law in the sermon on the mount (Matt. 5 to 7). And He taught that they can be kept by His enabling power (John 15:5).

The Ten Commandments were the basis of God’s covenant with His people (Deut. 4:13). He delivered it to His people both orally and in writing (Ex. 31:18; Deut. 4:13). The tables of stone, on which they were written were placed inside the ark of the covenant (Ex. 25:21; 1 Kings 8:9) in the Most Holy place in the sanctuary where God’s presence dwelt (Exodus 25:10–22).

The Old Testament makes a clear difference between God’s eternal moral law and Moses temporary ceremonial law (2 Kings 21:8; Dan. 9:11) which was abolished at the cross (Ephesians 2:15). https://bibleask.org/what-was-abolished-at-the-cross/

The Bible declares: “Happy is he who keeps the law” (Proverbs 29:18). Instead of lawlessness that results when people follow their selfish desires (Judges 17:6), there are prosperity and happiness when they follow God’s will.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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