One of the items found in the Ark of the Covenant is the stone tablets upon which the Ten Commandments are written. These laws were presented to the people by Moses. Since then, Jesus has come to fulfill the law. The following scripture reinforces this point:
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17-18)
Jesus teaches that the law was given to us so that we would know the things that are offensive to God, and change our nature based on this knowledge. However, we often defaulted to blindly following these rules without conviction and without changing our nature. Paul correctly describes this condition in some of his disciples when he wrote:
You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. (2 Corinthians 3:2)
Therefore in Jesus, the law (the Ten Commandments written on stone tablets) is perfected because He extends the law to the to include the nature of our heart. Therefore, in accepting Jesus as our Savior, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, our hearts are changed, which means that we have adopted a higher standard. This standard eliminates the physical act of sinning while also eliminating the desire to do evil. The following scripture demonstrates this point:
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:20-30)
Jesus fulfilled the law that was at first written on stone tablets, through the love and compassion that is instilled into the hearts of men by the power of the Holy Spirit. Through this teaching we understand that looking at a woman with lust in our hearts is also adultery. Simply refraining from the act itself is insufficient as it is our heart that must be changed. Jesus replaced blind obedience to the law with real change in the character and nature of men that no longer blindly follow rules of acceptable conduct, but rather, through the conforming of their hearts to the nature of God:
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them, then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:16-17)
In this regard, we are conformed to be like Him.
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