In the Old Covenant, God’s laws were written on Tablets of Stone. These were the 10 Commandments written on Stone, given to Moses at Mt. Sinai, and later contained within the Ark of the Covenant. We have seen time and time again, that Israel absolutely could not stay faithful to these laws. Why?
This may sound hard to believe, but the Bible teaches that the Flesh, our human flesh, our carnal mind is at enmity with God.
Romans 8:7: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Although the Israelites INTENDED to obey the Law of Moses, they found that their sinful flesh had enslaved them, and they just couldn’t consistently follow God.
They might be obedient for awhile, but again and again, they fell back into the same old sinful patterns. This is because they were trying to follow the law of Moses, God’s ten commandments, by their own strength. The ten commandments were written on tablets of Stone. The stone represents the condition of mankind’s hearts. The Israelites didn’t try to follow God’s commandments because they LOVED Him, they TRIED to follow them because they were afraid NOT to follow them. But, this will only take a person “so far”, before the flesh will “take over”, and sin will creep back in. We see this destructive cycle over and over again with Israel, particularly in the book of Judges, but it was also evident throughout the entire Old Testament. The Bible makes it clear, only Jesus Christ can set us free from the laws of sin that are embedded in our flesh. How does He do this? By forgiving our sins through His Shed blood and by LITERALLY setting up residence within our human bodies via HIS Holy Spirit.
This is why it is really pointless to beat a non-believer over the head about what they “should and should not do” (metaphorically speaking). We’re speaking about using the Bible as a weapon, to “hit” people over the head with the Word of God so that they follow God’s laws. Many well-meaning Christians will attempt this approach, but it will fail miserably.
- First of all, it will just go in one ear and out the other.
- Second, the flesh, which is at enmity with God, will NOT (and cannot) receive God’s Commandments and ordinances, but will instead, reject them.
- Third, even if a non-believer decided by some incredible miracle to be obedient to the Laws of God, they couldn’t obey perfectly and would probably get tired of trying. They may even become resentful at feeling like such a failure.
- Obedience to God’s laws is NOT what saves a person from the eternal death sentence that awaits all mankind. Only the shed blood of Jesus Christ can save a person from sin and death.
The New Covenant has a REMEDY to this problem that was literally prophesied hundreds of years before the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. God was going to “circumcise” the heart, cut away the rough outer edge (spiritually speaking), and exchange our “hearts of stone’ for “hearts of flesh”. How does He do this? Through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Ezekiel 11:19: And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh,
Ezekiel 36:26: “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Deuteronomy 30:6: “Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.
2 Corinthians 3:3: It is clear that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
When we TRULY believe in Jesus Christ, the Messiah who came to this earth to take away the sins of all mankind, then God will exchange our heart of stone with a heart of flesh. God will give us a NEW HEART as His Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us. This doesn’t mean we will be perfect, but we should begin the process of coming out of sin. This is a life long process and one of the hallmarks of a True Believer in Yeshua (Jesus). Once a person comes to realize exactly what Jesus did for them, then all sin should become abhorrent because it is what put our Messiah up on that cross! Our Desire should be to avoid sin. Why? Because we LOVE Jesus and because we LOVE one another!
You see, the 10 Commandments were written on Stone, as a list of what to do and not to do. Mankind’s hearts were made of stone. Mankind did NOT want to be told what to do and what not to do. The flesh is at enmity with God!
Galatians 5:17: For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who PRACTICE such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
So we may wonder, why did God give the Israelites the law of Moses, IF He knew that they would be UNABLE to follow it? Without the indwelling of the Spirit of God, without our heart of stone being circumcised or exchanged for a heart of flesh, there is no way to follow the laws of God. Then, why did He write His Laws on Tablets of stone?
The answer can be found in the Books or Romans and Galatians. Note, that the Law is NOT the Everlasting Covenant, but rather, a Temporary Covenant, like a “tutor”. The Bible describes the law as a tutor or even as a mirror. Because of sin, God gave us the law so that we could SEE our sin. Without the law, we would have NO concept of sin. We would have NO idea of what sin even was. The law is like a mirror. When we look at ourselves, we can SEE our sin in the mirror and therefore recognize it and turn from it, at least, that’s the idea. But the flesh holds powerful chains so it takes a more powerful law, one written on human hearts, to truly turn away from sin.
Romans 3:20: because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
The law is also likened to a “tutor” or a teacher. The law teaches us about what is sin and instructs us to turn from it. But, this tutor was only put in place for a small child. Once a child “grows up”, the tutor is no longer necessary.
Galatians 3:23: But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
The law was our tutor to lead us to Christ. The law shows us our sin. The law either leaves us feeling HOPELESS because we understand that can never get ourselves CLEAN ENOUGH…. OR it makes us feel self-Righteous because we wrongly think “we got this”! In Jesus’ day, we saw this Prideful attitude with the Pharisees, and it’s evident in some Jewish people and Christians today. But the truth of the matter is that we absolutely cannot get ourselves clean enough, just can’t, and that has the potential to lead to frustration and even depression. Sadly, many people will just “give up”, and FULLY give themselves over to the sin that has enslaved them. But others will recognize the chains and bondage of sin and long for a Savior. Jesus Christ, the Holy One of Israel, IS our Savior! He IS the One who took our sins upon HIMSELF, hung them on a Cross and paid the price that we all owe! Once this realization truly “sets in”, God then replaces our stony hearts with hearts of flesh, and we begin our LOVE JOURNEY with our Creator, Redeemer, and FRIEND, Jesus Christ.
Now, through the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives and dwells within us, we can BEGIN to recognize sin, to repent of sin, and to walk away from sin. We don’t do this to save ourselves, we don’t do this because we have our list of what to do and not to do, we do this because we LOVE Jesus Christ. Once we truly recognize that our sin is what cost the Savior of the world…HIS LIFE, then our DESIRE is to never sin! In, fact, we LONG to please JESUS! We long to someday hear “Well done, good and faithful servant”.
The reality is, we will still sin because we are still in the flesh, but we don’t have to be a slave to sin! The Holy Spirit will help us overcome the sin that is in our flesh! What we cannot overcome is covered by the blood of Jesus!! When we LOVE Jesus, we will walk by the Spirit, not by the flesh. Jesus tells us that if we LOVE HIM, we will KEEP His Commandments. The word “Keep” doesn’t mean “obey perfectly, it means to LOVE, REVERE, DESIRE His Commandments. They won’t be a “duty”, they will be our good pleasure to make every attempt to walk in His ways, not our own. This is LOVE. This is the 10 Commandments written on hearts of flesh, not on tablets of stone.
Jesus took the 10 Commandments, and boiled them down into two POSITIVE commandments. Love the Lord God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
When we love God, we won’t take His Name in vain, we won’t set up idols, we won’t have other “gods”, we WILL set aside time for a Sabbath rest. When we love others (our neighbors), we won’t steal from them, we won’t kill them, we won’t covet their stuff…get the picture? In fact, Jesus sets the bar up even higher because these are principles of LOVE…. Jesus tells us that not only should we not steal from our neighbor, we should GIVE to our neighbor. He tells us that we should LOVE our enemies, that we should FORGIVE others, that we should always treat others the way that we want to be treated. You see, These are God’s laws written on human hearts of flesh and not tablets of stone.
People want to know, what about homosexuality? What about fornication? What about abortion? What about Divorce? Shouldn’t we be pointing out other people’s sins? My answer is found in Jesus Christ. Only through the blood of Jesus, only through writing His laws on our hearts, only by FALLING IN LOVE WITH JESUS can any of us overcome ANY “deeds of the flesh”. We can “preach” at people all day long, “Do this, don’t do that”….but at the end of the day, only JESUS who writes HIS LAWS on our hearts, can REALLY change someone from the inside out.