Jesus and the Ten Commandments
Many Christians believe somehow that God’s grace canceled the Ten Commandments, and therefore, we don’t have to keep the law anymore. They feel that Jesus kept the law for us so that we don’t have to do it. But here is what Christ said about the law “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).
The great Lawgiver Himself reaffirmed the Ten Commandments as binding upon those who would be His subjects, and announced that anyone who should presume to cancel them either by precept or by example would “in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). The claim that by fulfilling the moral law Christ canceled that law is not in line with the context of Christ’s statement. Such an interpretation rejects the meaning Christ clearly wanted to give.
It is clear that Christ was reading the minds of the Pharisees who were accusing Him of doing away with the law. He said, “THINK NOT.” Instead of abolishing it, He was actually did the opposite. The word “fulfill” means literally “to fill; to make full.” The same word is used in Matthew 3:15 where Jesus spoke concerning His baptism, “suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” Christ fulfilled those Scriptures, just as He fulfilled all righteousness at His baptism, by obedience to them. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15 also 15:14).
The Apostles and the Commandments
Paul admonished the believers to “fulfill” Christ’s law in Galatians 6:2. And in Romans 13:8-10, the apostle repeated the same message of fulfilling the law of the Ten Commandments by obedience to it. He said, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
The apostle John reiterated the same truth. He said, in 1 John 2:4. “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” And He added, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). And in the book of Revelation, the apostle described the saints as “those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12 also 12:17).
Also, the apostle James stated, “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10). All the commandments are manifestations of love at work, either to God or to our fellow men. To choose a part of the law and ignore it, even if in only one detail, shows a desire to do our own will and not God’s.
Thus, it is clear that the Lord and His apostles did not abolish or do away with the Ten Commandments. The law of God can’t be changed or ignored. It is an expression of the will of God, the plan of salvation, and His infinite mercy. Therefore it can’t fail. “The word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8).
In His service,