The following is excerpted from To Be A Christian: An Anglican Catechism
Jesus Christ calls his disciples to respond to God in three basic ways: by believing in Jesus and God’s revealed truth about him, by belonging to Jesus and communing with God through him, and by becoming like Jesus in doing God’s will. The Holy Spirit enables us to respond to God in these ways.
God wants us to have fullness of life in a relationship of loving obedience to him. He teaches us his will for our lives through the Law, and most fully through the teaching and example of Jesus ( John 12:49–50; Hebrews 1:1–2). God’s Law is outlined and distilled for us in the Ten Commandments, and displayed for us in Jesus’ sinless life and atoning death.
Because God has created human beings in his image, the prin- ciples and standards of his Law are, to some degree, impressed upon the consciences of all people (Romans 2:15). However, God gave his Law in a clear and direct way to his chosen people, Israel. Having delivered them from slavery in Egypt, he established a covenant relationship with them at Mount Sinai, giving them his Law through Moses with the Ten Commandments at its heart. God promised to bless Israel, and Israel vowed to worship and serve God only, by living as his holy people in grateful obedience to his will (Exodus 19:5–6; 24:3).
Israel failed to keep God’s Law, as do all human beings. However, God’s Law was perfectly fulfilled in the sinless life
and sacrificial death of his Son, Jesus, the Messiah. Through Jesus, God delivers us from slavery to sin and death, adopts us as his children, and establishes a new covenant with us. Thus, the Christian life of holiness is rooted in the gracious union that believers have with the Father, through the Son, and by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus summarizes the Law for us in his command to love God and our neighbor. His moral teaching unfolds the Law and ap- plies it to the human heart. His teaching is universal, authoritative, and final. His ultimate goal is to conform us to his own likeness, that we too will be radiant with the holiness of God. Therefore, grateful obedience to the commandments of Jesus is an essential part of the life we have received through faith in him (Matthew 28:20; John 14:15).
God’s purpose for our new life in Christ is to make us like Jesus (Romans 8:28–29). Scripture teaches that our actions are pleasing to God only if the attitudes of our minds and hearts are also godly. God sees our behavior as the “fruit” of our hearts and character, not as something external or separate from our inner being. Thus, the goal of our life in Christ is that we become like Christ—not only in our actions, but also in our thoughts and attitudes.
A Prayer for Spiritual Provision and Protection
Heavenly Father, you made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you: Look upon the heartfelt desires of your humble servants, and stretch forth the strong hand of your Majesty to be our defense against our enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
BECOMING LIKE CHRIST
THE 10 COMMANDMENTS
256. Recite the Ten Commandments.
- I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods but me.
- You shall not make for yourself any idol.
- You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet.(Book of Common Prayer 2019 version from Exodus 20:1–17; Deuteronomy 5:6–21)
257. What are the Ten Commandments?
The Ten Commandments are a summary and outline of God’s Law. (Exodus 20:18–21; Deuteronomy 5:28–33; Psalm 78:5–8) 258. What is God’s Law? God’s Law (Hebrew, torah: “instruction”) is God’s direct pro- nouncement of his will, both for our good and for his glory. (Deu teronomy 30; Psalms 19:7–11; 119:89–104; Galatians 3:15–24)
259. When did God give his Law?
After delivering his people Israel from slavery in Egypt, God established a covenant with them by giving them his Law through Moses. (Exodus 19:1–6; Deuteronomy 5:1–5; Nehemiah 9:13–14; Acts 7:35–38) the ten commandments 91
260. How did Jesus summarize God’s Law?
Jesus summarized God’s Law by saying: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a sec- ond is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Mat thew 22:37–40; see also Deuteronomy 6:1–9; Leviticus 19:9–18; Psalm 31:23–24; John 15:7–17; 1 John 4:16–5:3)
261. How did Jesus fulfill God’s Law?
For our sake, Jesus fulfilled God’s Law by teaching it perfectly, submitting to it wholly, and dying as an atoning sacrifice for our disobedience. (Psalm 119:49–72; Isaiah 53:4–12; Matthew 5:17–20; Romans 8:1–4; Hebrews 10:1–18)
262. How can you obey God’s Law?
As I trust in Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law for me and live in the power of the Holy Spirit, God grants me grace to love and obey his Law. (2 Kings 18:1–8; Proverbs 3:1–12; John 15:3–11; Romans 6:15– 23; 1 John 5:2–5)
263. Why are you not able to do this perfectly?
Sin has corrupted human nature, inclining me to resist God, to ignore his will, and to care more for myself than for my neighbors. However, God has begun and will continue his transforming work in me, and will fully conform me to Christ at the end of the age. (Psalm 14; Jeremiah 17:1–13; Romans 3:9–23; 7:21–25; Philippians 1:3–11)
264. How should you understand the Ten Commandments?
I should understand them as God’s righteous rules for life in his kingdom: basic standards for loving God and my neighbor. In 92 becoming like christ upholding them, I bear witness with the Church to God’s righteousness and his will for a just society. (Deuteronomy 4:1–8; Psalm 119:137–44, 160; Matthew 5:17–48; Romans 7:7–12; 13:8–10)
265. How do the Ten Commandments help you to resist evil?
They teach me that God judges the corrupt affections of this fallen world, the cruel strategies of the devil, and the sinful desires of my own heart; and they teach me to renounce them. (Deuter onomy 8; Psalm 19:7–14; John 16:7–15; Romans 2:1–16)
266. How do the Ten Commandments help you to grow in likeness to Christ?
They reveal my sin in the light of God’s righteousness, guide me to Christ, and teach me what is pleasing to God. (Deuteronomy 4:32–40; Psalms 19; 119:127–35, 169–76; Galatians 3:19–26; James 1:21–25; 2:8–13)
267. How should you keep the Ten Commandments?
Because they both contain God’s prohibitions against evil and direct me toward his good will, I should both repent when I dis- obey them and seek by his grace to live according to them. (Psalm 25:11–18; Romans 6; Colossians 3:5–17)