An excerpt from "Emmanuel Lutheran Church. Org" entitled, "First Become Righteous. Then keep the Commandments" by Rev. Paul Rydeck, states: "As you know, we still believe the Ten Commandments. We still believe that they provide an unchangeable standard of right and wrong. Many don’t, and not just atheists. Many so-called Christians also reject some or all of the Ten Commandments as being outdated at best, callous and unloving at worst.
But even many of those who do believe the Ten Commandments as written get them all wrong. They push the Ten Commandments on our nation and insist that if we, as a nation or as individuals, keep the commandments, then we will earn God’s favor and blessing. Keep the commandments in order to become righteous before God!
That’s directly opposed to what Jesus teaches in today’s Gospel. His message is, First become righteous. Then keep the commandments.
Yes, it’s true, the Ten Commandments teach us what righteousness looks like; they show us the path to the kingdom of heaven. But showing us the path to life isn’t the same thing as providing a way to get there. A NASA scientist could show you the exact trajectory and the exact steps you would have to take to arrive at the moon. But that doesn’t make it possible for you to get there, does it? Knowing the way and being able to follow the way are very different things.
The truth is, it’s much harder to keep the Commandments than most people think. Jesus reveals just how hard in today’s Gospel. As He says, 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." This article may be viewed at: First become righteous. Then keep the Commandments/godwithuslc.org
Reference: Romans 8:4