The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments are God’s moral law for man. Though knowledge of God’s laws was clearly available earlier (Genesis 26:5), the Israelites had forgotten His requirements during their Egyptian bondage. So, God Himself spoke them with His own voice above Mount Sinai (Exodus 20:1). And He also wrote them Himself, with His own finger, on two ‘tablets of stone’ (Exodus 31:18; 24:12; Deuteronomy 5:22). The Ten Commandments are listed in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. Here is how Exodus 20 reads:
And God spoke all these words, saying:
1-“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.”
2-“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”
3-“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
4-“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
5-“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
6-“You shall not murder.”
7-“You shall not commit adultery.”
8-“You shall not steal.”
9-“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
10-“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
The Ten Commandments in the New Testament
Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17,18).
The great Lawgiver Himself now confirmed the Ten Commandments as binding upon those who would be His followers, and announced that anyone who should attempt to cancel them either by precept or by example would “in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).
And the Lord added,” If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). It is impossible to love the Lord and not keep His commandments, because the Bible says, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).
God Empowers Man to Obey the Ten Commandments
Here is the good news that God gives man the strength to keep His commandments: “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Hebrews 8:10).
Only God can “put” His law in the hearts of His followers, though, of course, not without man’s consent and cooperation (Revelation 22:17). When Christ dwells in the heart, living out His life in the believers (Galatians 2:20), they are born of the Spirit and bear the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23).
In His service,