Seventh-Day Adventists/The Ten Commandments and Sin
Do you agree that the Ten Commandments encompass every possible sin? “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4 KJV).
Thanks in advance,
Thank you for your question.
I do not agree that the Ten Commandments encompass every possible sin. The law consisted of 613 commandments including the Ten Commandments (aka the Torah). The Israelites promised to obey all 613 laws and if they broke one law, they were sinning and guilty of breaking them all. In addition, there are other laws to be considered such as the laws of the land (rendering to Caesar), the laws of nature, our conscious, etc. which would include speeding laws, paying taxes, taking care of the earth as commanded by God and searing our conscious by ignoring what it is telling us.
The law was an indivisible unit that could not be separated or divided. Man came up with the idea of dividing the law into categories for convenience. You will not find this division in the Bible, neither will you find that only the so-called ceremonial laws were nailed to the Cross. According to the Bible, the law in its entirety was nailed to the Cross. The Bible refers to the 613 commands, including the Ten Commandments as ‘the law’ or Torah.
When John said that sin is the transgression of the law, he could not have been referring to the Ten Commandments since the entire law was nailed to the Cross after Jesus fulfilled it. Under the New Covenant, believers live under the Royal Law of Love or Christ’s Law. We are commanded to love God and others.
James 2:8 (NIV)
8 If you really keep the royal law
found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.
1 John 3:22-24 (KJV)
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments
, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23 And this is his commandment
, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment
24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
Galatians 6:2 (KJV)
2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ
The word ‘commandments’ in the Bible does not always refer to the Ten Commandments. For instance,
Exodus 16:28 (KJV)
28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
God was not referring to the Ten Commandments when He questioned Israel. He was referring to His commandments that He had just given them. The commandments were to gather twice the amount of manna on the 6th day and to stay in their tents on the 7th day. He was introducing the Sabbath to Israel because He wanted to give them a day of rest. They disobeyed and He was angry with them because some of them broke the aforementioned commandments He had just given them. Whatever God commands is a commandment, law, decree, etc.
Genesis 26:5 (KJV)
5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice
, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Abraham did not have the law. The law was given to his descendants 430 years after his death. Abraham obeyed God’s verbal (voice) commandments. The initial recorded commandment was to take his wife and leave his father's house, etc. God spoke
to Abraham throughout his journey telling him what to do. Abraham walked by faith and not by a written code of law or the Torah.
When God gave the law to Israel, obeying it would be their righteousness
but they couldn’t obey it.
Deuteronomy 6:22-25 (NIV)
22 Before our eyes the LORD sent miraculous signs and wonders--great and terrible--upon Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household.
23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers.
24 The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.
25 And if we are <u<careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us</u>, that will be our righteousness.
Jesus came as a Jew to fulfill the Jewish law and to reconcile us to the Father. Once His mission was completed, the law ended.
Romans 10:4-5 (KJV)
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness
to every one that believeth.
5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
Romans 9:31 (KJV)
31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness
, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Deuteronomy 4:8 (KJV)
8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law
, which I set before you this day?
What was the law for righteousness? For Israel it was the Torah (613 commands including the Ten Commandments). When Christ died, He ended the law for righteousness and now all believers are led by the Spirit and not the law. Salvation is by faith and not by works of the law.
Romans 8:14 (KJV)
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Whatever God tells us to do is a command and His commandments are not confined to Ten but can be summed up in two.
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
Before closing, I'd like to share other definitions of sin:
Sin, as defined in the original translations of the Bible, means "to miss the mark."
James 4:17 (NIV)
17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
1 John 5:17 (NIV)
17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
Romans 14:23 (NIV)
23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin
Proverbs 24:9 (NIV)
9 The schemes of folly are sin, and men detest a mocker.
I hope this answer has been helpful.