Speaking the Truth in Love
Should We Keep The 10 Commandments Today?
We hear a debate quite often today concerning the posting of the 10 Commandments in schools and other public places. The thought is that if we do this, these good moral teachings will have a good influence on those who read them. The 10 Commandments were everything God intended them to be. They were commands that He wanted His people of the time, the physical Israelites, to keep. But the question we want to consider is “Should We Keep The 10 Commandments Today?” First let us look at scriptures that tell us the purpose of the Old Testament and how that brings us to Christ.
The Old Testament brings us to Christ
Romans 7:1-6 – Death of the Law in order to be married to Christ.
Hebrews 7:1-28 – Jesus was not of the priesthood of Levi and Aaron but of a greater priesthood: the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 8:1-13 – The first covenant was done away with so the new and better covenant could be put in place.
Hebrews 9:1-15 – We have a greater and more perfect tabernacle, with a new covenant of redemption of sins.
Hebrews 9:16-10:10 – Death of the Testator was required (He died once for the sins of the world) in order to establish the New Covenant.
Galatians 3:19-4:7 – The Old Law was the tutor (guardian) to bring us to the Master (Christ).
Ephesians 2:14-22 – Jesus abolished the law of commandments contained in ordinances to bring about peace in His holy temple to the Lord.
Now that we see the purpose of the Old Law was to bring us to Christ, let us examine the 10 Commandments. Let’s start with a reading of them from the OT. They appear in Exodus 20:1-17 and also in Deuteronomy 5:6-21. We have already talked about how the Old Law (Old Testament) was done away with and the New Testament (New Covenant) instituted by Christ. We are no longer to follow the Old Testament Law in any way, however let us examine each of the 10 Commandments and see which ones are repeated and enhanced under the New Law of Christ.
The 10 Commandments in the New Testament
One of the biggest problems with posting the 10 Commandments is that the most important commandments of the loving God with all of one's heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving one's neighbor as himself, are left out (Mark 12:28-34). On these two commands hang all the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:34-40). These commands were essential under the Old Testament and are essential under the New Testament.
We have seen from the scriptures that we are no longer to follow the Old Testament, including the 10 Commandments, but are now under the New Law, New Testament, or New Covenant of Jesus Christ. Also known as the Law of Liberty (James 1:25 and 2:12) and the Law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). We are now to keep the commandments of Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20, John 14:15). We have also studied and found that 9 out of the 10 commandments from the Old Testament are either repeated or enhanced in the New Testament. The only one that is no longer within the Law of Christ is the command to keep the Sabbath. Many today misunderstand that the Sabbath day has now been changed to Sunday, The Lord’s Day, the first day of the week. That is not the case. The Sabbath Day of rest was not kept from the beginning, but was made known to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai (Nehemiah 9:13-14). God blessed, sanctified, and made the Sabbath holy after He completed His creation (Genesis 2:3, Exodus 20:11). It is important to note that there was not a specific command to keep the Sabbath except to the Israelites in Exodus 16:21-30 and finally in the 10 commandments (Exodus 20:8-11, Deuteronomy 5:12-15). Later there were also specific laws regulating its observance which were also restricted to the Israelites.
The answer to the question, “Should We Keep The 10 Commandments Today?” is NO. No longer are the Israelites or Gentiles under the Old Testament as God has taken it away to establish His New Testament. Today people can worship God (sing, pray, study His word) (Hebrews 10:24-25) on any day of the week and on Sundays partake of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7) and give as they have prospered (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), just like the first century Christians did!
The Old Testament did exactly what God intended it to do. It was our tutor to bring us to Christ. We can now be a disciple of a better covenant, with better promises, with a better tabernacle, with a better High priest, and salvation from our sins. How about you tonight? Are you a New Testament Christian? Have you confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, repented of your sins, and been immersed in water for the remission of those sins? That is what the New Testament tells us we must do in order to become a child of God and have the hope of living forever in Heaven. Please consider seriously what we have said and come to the Master today. We hope to see you next time on, “Speaking The Truth In Love”!