The Original Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments in the New Testament
Does it matter whether we obey the Ten Commandments? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could ask Jesus Christ if keeping the Ten Commandments is still necessary, especially to receive eternal life?
The longest chapter in the Bible is an extended praise of God's Word and original law. "Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble," it tells us. "I wait for your salvation, O LORD, and I follow your commands. I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly" (Psalm 119:165-167, NIV).
If only the whole world would view God's law in that light! But, to our shame, the original Ten Commandments have been rejected as the standard of human behavior by our society. Even many who profess to follow Christ today treat them as irrelevant because they have been taught that God's law was abolished at Christ's death.
Yet God's Word tells us that His law is "perfect" and His ordinances "are sure and altogether righteous" (Psalm 19:7, 9). Accordingly, the enthusiastic author above again affirmed, "I will always obey your law, for ever and ever" (Psalm 119:44, NIV).
Does it matter whether we obey the original Ten Commandments?
Jewish Ten Commandments
Jesus is Lord of the Commandments
Finding the answer
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could ask Jesus Christ our Lord if keeping the Ten Commandments is still necessary, especially to receive eternal life?
Actually, that is not as difficult as it may seem. That question was directly put to Jesus, and the Bible preserves His reply for us. "Now behold, one came and said to Him, 'Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?' So He said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments'" (Matthew 19:16-17). That is about as clear as one can be. Jesus our Lord said that He expects any who desire to receive the gift of eternal life to keep God's commandments.
The person then asked exactly which commandments Jesus meant. Did He have the Ten Commandments in mind, or was He referring to the many extra biblical dictates taught by other religious leaders? Jesus is Lord
Jesus left no doubt. When asked which ones, Jesus responded: "You shall not murder," "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "Honor your father and your mother," and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (verses 18-19).
He briefly recited half of the Ten Commandments. He then quoted another command, from Leviticus 19:18, that summarizes the intent of the Ten Commandments and confirms the validity of the rest of the law. He was clearly referring to the law of God, not to the restrictions added by certain other religious leaders (Matthew 15:1-3).
Many people have heard that Jesus abolished the Old Testament laws. Here again Jesus gives us His own direct response:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:17-19, NIV).
Again, Jesus spoke clearly and to the point. God's law has not been abolished, and, according to Christ's own words, anyone who teaches so is directly contradicting Him and is in serious spiritual trouble.
Many assume they do not need to keep God's law because Christ "fulfilled" it. But these people fundamentally misunderstand Christ's clear words. The word translated fulfill in this passage means "to make full, to fill to the full" (Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, "Fill"), and that is exactly what Jesus did. He perfectly kept the Ten Commandments and completely filled their meaning. He showed their spiritual intent, explaining that unjustified anger equates with murder (verses 21-22), and lust is mental and emotional adultery (verses 27-28). Jesus expanded the intent of the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments
He also made it unquestionably clear that God treasures people who obey His laws. But anyone who transgresses His commandments quickly diminishes God's favor toward him.
Jesus expects much more from us than lip service. He demands that we do as the Father has commanded. Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). Jesus plainly taught obedience to God's law as a map pointing to the Ten Commandments. Ten Commandments Map
There is simply no excuse for believing that Jesus came to abolish any commandments of God. On the contrary, when asked, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"
He responded, "But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:16-17).
He explained that obeying the Ten Commandments is a prerequisite for receiving God's gift of eternal life. One who repents is one who simply begins keeping the laws of God, because sin is the breaking of those laws (1 John 3:4).
America's Christian Heritage
Centuries later Jesus Christ made this same point, saying that all of God's instruction for mankind, including the Ten Commandments, is summed up in two great principles: "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40; see also Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). This is our Christian heritage. Should one keep Christ in Christmas?
Keep Christ in Christmas
Moses gave Israel God's laws, and in this limited sense he was Israel's lawgiver. However, these were not Moses' laws, but God's laws. Jesus Christ later clearly stated that the Ten Commandments are God's commands, not those of any man (Matthew 15:3-6).
The beauty of this, that this is America's Christian heritage America's Christian Heritage
God inspired Moses to provide the laws, statutes and judgments (Exodus 21-23) based on the Ten Commandments that formed the constitution and body of law for God's people Israel-a law designed to be a great blessing to the nation. After giving His people the Ten Commandments, God expressed His desire that Israel would have "such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!" (Deuteronomy 5:29).
This great law of God still holds for Christians. ". . . The law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good," wrote the apostle Paul (Romans 7:12). "For we know that the law is spiritual" (verse 14).
"Blessed are those who do [actively practice] His commandments," wrote John in the last chapter of the Bible, "that they may have the right to the tree of [eternal] life . . ." (Revelation 22:14). GN
Paul taught obedience to the law
Some selectively use parts of the apostle Paul's writings to say that he taught against God's laws. Yet Paul makes one of the most powerful and unambiguous statements in support of keeping God's law. Contrasting the merits of circumcision with the merits of God's commandments, Paul says, "Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters" (1 Corinthians 7:19). The wording of the New Revised Standard Version is even more emphatic, saying, "obeying the commandments of God is everything."
In the introduction of his letter to the church in Rome, Paul explained that he and the other apostles had all "received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations" (Romans 1:5). What did Paul personally strive to obey? In the context of describing the battle we all wage against the weaknesses of the flesh, Paul said, "So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God . . ." (Romans 7:25). The law of God was written in Paul's mind and heart just as it is to be in ours (Hebrews 10:16).
Paul clearly explained his personal view of God's law: "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good" (Romans 7:12). And "I delight in the law of God in my inmost self (verse 22, NRSV). He calls it a "spiritual" law (verse 14).
Paul taught, "For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous . . ." (Romans 2:13, NIV). These are plain statements showing that Paul fully supported God's law.
Ten Commandments Internaltional Church of God
The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.