“Of course there are rules,” said Matt, “otherwise it would be anarchy. There are just two: ‘love God with all your heart’ and ‘love your neighbour as yourself’.”
“Is that all?” I asked.
“Isn’t that enough, Sami?”
I thought for a moment.
“What about the ten commandments?” I asked. “What’s wrong with them?”
“There’s nothing wrong with them,” he said. “They were the basis of God’s promise to the people – what they called the Covenant – and the commandments were perfect. The problem was that people weren’t and they couldn’t keep them. So God replaced the Old Covenant with a New Covenant. Now, instead of trying – and failing – to keep the Law, we put our faith in Jesus, who lived a perfect life and died for our sin – our failures to keep the commandments. Does that make sense to you, Sami?
I shook my head.
“But I’ve never murdered anyone,” I protested. “Why should I need forgiveness?”
“Do you actually know what the ten commandments are?”
“Er … don’t murder … um don’t commit adultery …. What else is there, Matt?”
“Don’t steal, don’t covet-”
“Don’t covet? What does that mean, Matt?”
“Don’t envy. When a Rolls Royce glides past you, you mustn’t think, ‘I wish that was me driving it.'”
“But that’s impossible!”
“I know. And that’s precisely the point I’m trying to make. The ten commandments are fine. The world would be perfect if everybody kept them, but they can’t. No one can. Well, just one man did – as I said – Jesus. And they killed him. But it was all part of God’s plan. He died for our sin and gave us the New Covenant – which based on faith, not trying to keep the Law.”
I shook my head again.
“No. Sorry, Matt, I still don’t get it. I’ll carry on thinking about it,though”