I had a friend once tell me that he was going to heaven because he obeyed the Ten Commandments. I replied, “Really! Jesus summed up the commandments in Mark 12:30-31. Let’s take a look at his summation and see how you are doing. After all your eternity is resting on how you are keeping those Ten Commandments.” Jesus summed up the Law by saying, “Love your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” I asked my friend, “How do you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?” The honest answer is, you can’t! Thus we learn that obedience to the law never reaches the level required for salvation.
What then is the purpose of the Ten Commandments? The purpose of the law is, “Through the law we become conscious of sin,” (Rom 3:20). It is through the law we realize that we fall short of what God expects of us. This is the whole point of God’s Law, and this should cause the non-Christian to be standing in despair with their arms hanging down crying out, “What must I do, for I am surely lost before God?”
The answer is, God has provided another way to come into a relationship with him than through the law. It is called grace. On Calvary’s Hill 2,000 years ago, God’s Law and God’s Grace met and God’s Salvation was offered.