The Ten Commandments
The 10 Commandments
“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:1-3 (KJV).
The story of the 10 commandments can be found in the book of Exodus.
Its intersting to note that while the Bible was written by prophets through divine imspiration the 10 commandments were written by God himself!
Today we can say, the Ten Commandments are a profile of God's character. A character that is unchangeable! For I am the Lord, I change not; ... Malachi 3:6 KJV. You see, any change In the law of God would make it less than perfect. Being a perfect law, It can never be altered. That is the truth Jesus spoke when he said: It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law. Luke 16:17 NIV.
What Are The Ten Commandments?
The Ten Commandments are a moral law that God commands everyone to keep. The first 4 commandments deal with our relationship with God and the last 6 commandments deal with our relationship with others. Many of todays man made state and government laws uphold that it’s wrong to steal and it’s wrong to kill however Gods eternal law the Ten Commandments goes beyond just our moral obligations to other people and includes the way we should respect and honour God who by his own omission “Created the heavens and the earth and all things therein”. Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: The Ten Commandments sum up the whole duty of human beings in relationship with God and with fellow human beings. Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.”
Who Wrote The Ten Commandments?
The Ten Commandments came from God Himself, written with his own finger on tables of stone referred to as the Testimony or two witnesses. Exodus 24::12, And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. Ex 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. The golden box that housed them was called the Ark of the Covenant or Ark of the Testimony. Ex 25:16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. John saw the Ark in Heaven, indicating that the commandments are the fundamental principles of God’s government of the universe. As God is eternal, so is His law.
Do We Still Need The Ten Commandments Today?
The 10 commandments are as valid today as they ever were, because they deal with unchangeable things. They are vital for the happiness and well=being of society. However they were never meant to be the means of righteousness. They are a declaration of what righteousness actually is. The purpose of the Ten Commandments is to point out sin (Rom 7:7 NIV what shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.’) and reveal the need of cleansing and salvation that is found only in Jesus Christ. If there is no law there is no sin and if there is no sin there is no need for a savior. The Apostle Paul foretold that the last days would be terrible, because many sins of the world would be found amongst professing Christians. Our present age is noted for its lack of spirituality and its abounding iniquity. We currently live in these times! 2 Timothy 3:1-5 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. “Because of a prevalent disregard of God’s law, the love of the majority will wax cold”. The large majority of Mankind has disregarded God’s holy law. And where there is no regard for the law of God then iniquity, sin, crime, corruption is sure to abound.
Do we still have sin in the world today? Yes. Then we still need the Ten Commandments. 1 John 3:4 NIV “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” Romans 4:15 (Amplified Bible) “For the Law results in [divine] wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression [of it either].” John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 15:10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.”
Haven't The Ten Commandments Been Done Away With At The Cross?
Mathew 5:17-19 NIV “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. For truly I tell you, 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. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly 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. Luke 16:17 “It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.” John Wesley (Forty Four Sermons p254. “But the moral law, contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He did not take away. It was not the design of His coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law, which never can be broken. Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages” Martin Luther - “he who pulls down the law; pulls down at the same time the whole framework of human society. If the law be thrust out of the church, there will be no longer anything recognized as a sin in the world. I never rejected the law.”
But Aren't We Under Grace Not The Law?
Well, since we are not under the law but under grace, we do not need to leep the Ten Commandments? The Bible certainly does say that we are not under the law, but does that imply that we are free from the onligation to obey it? The text is found in Romans 6:14,15. If being under grace does not exempt us from keeping the law, then what does Paul mean by saying that Christians are not under the law? He answers this in Romans 3:19 Law and Grace do not work in competition with each other but perfect cooperation. The law points out sin, and gace saves from sin. The law is the will of God and grace is the power to do the will of God. We do not obey the law in order to be saved but because we are saved. See Rev 12:12.
The New Testament frequently speaks of a moral law, which is of a permanent nature and unchanging character summarized in the Ten Commandments. In many places in the New Testament, Jesus Christ and His inspired apostles teach absolute obedience to all of the Ten Commandments. Some try to dispose of the Ten Commandments on the basis of the “new” commandments of love that Christ introduced. These two great laws of love are a summary of all the law. The fact is that He was quoting directly from the Old Testament when He gave those new commandments. “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart , and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” Deuteronomy 6:5. “Thou shaltlove thy neighbor as thyself” Leviticus 19:18. These were not intended by Jesus to take the place of the Ten Commandments. When a lawyer asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment in the law, he receive the answer: Matthew 22:35-40 “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Notice that these two love commandments simply summed up “all the law and the prophets. They hang upon thses two principles of love.Christ was saying that love is the fulfilling of the law just as Paul repeated it later in Romans 13:10.
Do We Need To Keep All 10 Commandments?
YES. "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,”[a] also said, “Do not murder.”[b] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom." James 2:10-12 KJV
Did Jesus Keep The Ten Commandments?
YES. John 15:10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.”
Even in Jesus death he kept the commandments, he died Friday night at sundown, rested in the grave on the Sabbath Day and rose on Sunday.
Jesus also requests that we keep them as he did John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Are We Saved By Keeping The Commandments?
NO. It is not the law that brings forgiveness and salvation, it is God's grace! Only through Christ's sacrifice can man have eternal life.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Romans 6:23 KJV.”
Salvation can not be earned by keeping the law,
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9 KJV.”
Well, if we are saved by grace, are we free to live a life of disobedience? Never! Paul addresses this very question:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer Therein? Romans 6:1,2 KJV.”
Salvation is offered to those who want to join God's family, to be part of His kingdom, and live by His rules.
But Hasn't The Law Been Changed?
The cross is an eternal memorial of the price God was willing to pay to satisfy the claims of the broken law and to save guilty man. If the law could have been abolished, or changed, Jesus would not have needed to die. Crucifiction on a cross would have been unnecessary. But God could not ignore man's sin. He could not change his law. So sinful man needed a Saviour. And thank God for His love in consenting to give His only begotten Son to die as our substitute:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 KJV.”
Yes, He gave his son to die on the cross. And we are told that "by his own blood he ... obtained eternal redemption for us." (Hebrews 9:12 KJV.)
The 10 Commandments