The Ten Commandments or the Law of God Series
CONTEXT: Chapter six begins as a continuation from chapter 5 and the thought that justification is solely by faith. Matthew Henry breaks it down as follows: The apostle having at large asserted, opened, and proved, the great doctrine of justification by faith, for fear lest any should suck poison out of that sweet flower, and turn that grace of God into wantonness and licentiousness, he, with a like zeal, copiousness of expression, and cogency of argument, presses the absolute necessity of sanctification and a holy life, as the inseparable fruit and companion of justification; for, wherever Jesus Christ is made of God unto any soul righteousness, he is made of God unto that soul sanctification, 1 Co. 1:30. The water and the blood came streaming together out of the pierced side of the dying Jesus. And what God hath thus joined together let not us dare to put asunder. Believers must die to sin, and live to God. (1,2) This is urged by their Christian baptism and union with Christ. (3-10) They are made alive to God. (11-15) And are freed from the dominion of sin. (16-20) The end of sin is death, and of holiness everlasting life. (21-23)
One cannot speak of or in this case write about the Ten Commandments and not speak about the consequences of Sin. If the Ten Commandments are the Moral Law, there must be a penalty for breaking that Law.
As our main text notes God has one standated for Sin, one penalty, death. Harsh you may say, consider all that was offered before sin entered into the world and I think not. Say you (or I) would not have sinned as Adam and I will call you a liar. (See Hodge beginning page 984
Here are some excerpts on the penalty of Sin:
Thomas Watson under heading, The Wrath of God, beginning on page 280:
What does every sin deserve?
God’s wrath and curse, both in this life, and in that which is to come. “Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!” Matthew 25:41. Man having sinned, is like a favorite turned out of the king’s favor, and deserves the wrath and curse of God. He deserves God’s curse. Gal 3:10. As when Christ cursed the fig-tree, it withered; so, when God curses any, he withers in his soul. Matt 21:19. God’s curse blasts wherever it comes. He deserves also God’s wrath, which is nothing else but the execution of his curse…
Got Question Ministries:
Wrath is defined as “the emotional response to perceived wrong and injustice,” often translated as “anger,” “indignation,” “vexation,” or “irritation.” Both humans and God express wrath. But there is vast difference between the wrath of God and the wrath of man. God’s wrath is holy and always justified; man’s is never holy and rarely justified.
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God uses Deuteronomy 32:35 as its starting point, particularly the clause “their foot shall slide in due time.” The message of the sermon can be summarized: “It is only the mercy of God the keeps people from falling into hell, and God is free to withdraw that mercy at any moment.” In Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Jonathan Edwards used vivid illustrations of hell and the perilousness of life in order to force people to consider the reality of their eternal destiny and to invoke a decision to receive Jesus Christ as Savior.
A.W. Pink, defines God’s wrath this way:
The wrath of God is His eternal detestation of all unrighteousness. It is the displeasure and indignation of Divine equity against evil. It is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin. It is the moving cause of that just sentence which He passes upon evil-doers. God is angry against sin because it is a rebelling against His authority, a wrong done to His inviolable sovereignty. Insurrectionists against God’s government shall be made to know that God is the Lord. They shall be made to feel how great that Majesty is which they despise, and how dreadful is that threatened wrath which they so little regarded. Not that God’s anger is a malignant and malicious retaliation, inflicting injury for the sake of it, or in return for injury received. No; while God will vindicate His dominion as Governor of the universe, He will not be vindictive. A. W. Pink, The Attributes of God, p. 36
Finally consider the the wisdom of Martin Lloyd-Jones, in his work, The Wrath of God:
Why should we examine these things? Someone may well ask that question. Why spend our time on a subject like this, a difficult subject? There are so many other things that are interesting at the present time and attracting attention. Why not deal with them? And in any case, amid all the problems that confront the world, why turn to something like this?
Well, lest there be someone who is harbouring some such idea, and is provoked to put such a question, let me suggest certain reasons why it behoves us to consider this matter. The first is that it is part of Scripture. It is here in the Bible and, as we shall see, it is everywhere in the Bible. And if we regard the Bible as the Word of God, and our authority in all matters of faith and conduct, we cannot pick and choose; we must take it as it is and consider its every part and portion.
Secondly, we must do so because what we are told here is, after all, a question of fact. It is not theory, it is a statement of fact. If the biblical doctrine of the wrath of God is true, then it is the most important fact confronting every one of us at this moment; infinitely more important than any international conference that may be held, infinitely more important than whether there is to be a third world war or not. If this doctrine is true, then we are all involved in it, and our eternal destiny depends upon it. And the Bible states everywhere that it is a fact.
Another reason for considering it is this: that the apostle’s whole argument is that we can never understand the love of God until we understand this doctrine. It is – the way in which we measure the love of God. There is a great deal of talk today about the love of God, and yet were we truly to love God, we would express it, we would show it. To love God is not merely to talk about it; to love God, as He Himself points out constantly in His Word, is to keep His commandments and to live for His glory. The argument here is that we really cannot understand the love of God unless we see it in the light of this other doctrine which we are now considering. So it is essential from that standpoint.
Let me put it in this way. I suggest that we can never truly understand why it is that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, had to come into this world unless we understand this doctrine of the wrath of God and the judgment of God.
While the world will always hate the wrath of God, I would suggest it is something “True Christians” should study and embrace.
Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5, The Ten Commandments
Keach’s Baptist Catechism of 1677 – Modern #44-92
Thomas Watson’s classic The Ten Commandments
Systematic Theology, Charles Hodge, Chapter XIX, The Law
The Ten Commandments, by A. W. Pink
The Doctrine of Law and the Grace Unfolded – John Bunyan
A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel by John Colquhoun, D.D