The Commandments

The Ten Commandments


No, I am not referring to the movie by that name but I am referring to the Decalogue in Scripture. I am convinced by listening to people over the years that there is great misunderstanding of the Decalogue in the light of the New Testament. I will state a great truth that has been repeated through the ages. “You can find most of the Ten Commandments plainly stated in the New Testament.”


Thou shall have no other gods before me.       Luke 4:8

No graven images or likeness.                        Ephesians 5:5

Not take the Lord’s name in vain.                   1 Timothy 6:1, Matthew 5:33-37

Honor thy Father and thy Mother                    Ephesians 6:1-3

Thy shalt not kill                                           Luke 18:20, Mt. 19:18, Romans 13:9

Thou shall not commit adultery.                     Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9

Thou shall not steal                                      Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9, Eph. 4:28

Thou shall not bear false witness.                  Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9, Eph. 4:25

Thou shalt not covet.                                     1 Cor. 6:9-10, Eph. 5:3-5


The law has never saved and was never meant to save. In Exodus chapter 20, when God gave the Ten Commandments He stated that He was the One that bought them out of the Land of Egypt, out of the land of bondage. In this verse we find redemption. Notice that God first starts by telling Israel that He is their redeemer. In the next verses we find the commandments that identified the Israelites as God’s people. Let me restate this. Salvation was not found in the Ten Commandments but Israel being delivered out of Pharoah’s hand was a type of salvation that was offered at that time.  


By the time we reach the time of Jesus we find an interesting thing had taken place. Do you remember playing the whispering game? You would whisper something to the person standing next to you and they would do the same. By the time the message reached the last person the message was distorted. This is what happened to the Israelites in New Testament time. About the time the Ten Commandments reached those in New Testament times the people thought that they would be justified by keeping the law. The argument that Paul makes with the Romans and the Galatian is not whether the law is valid, but that the law is powerless to save and impute righteousness.


I am asked frequently should we keep the Ten Commandments and my answer is always the same. If you don’t keep the Ten Commandments then we are in big trouble.   The last five of the Decalogue is enough to cause havoc in anyone’s life.   Some would ask what about the message of love, aren’t the commandments summed up in one commandment the command of love? Yes you are correct but the key word is summed up. Lets find out the sum of 4 + 4. Well the sum when you add it together is eight but the number four does not cease to exist. The number four and others are located within the number eight. Thou shall not kill, steal, covet, etc. does not cease to exist but it is located in the law of love.  


Now with this information maybe we should sit down and watch the Ten Commandments again or read them with a new appreciation.   The commandments were not made to offer salvation but they were signature badges of God’s covenant people.   When we love God we will not only keep his commandment of love but also His commandments.


Keep Walking with God.