Points to Ponder:
- Are the Ten Commandments relevant today? If so, how?
- What is the impact if a Christian breaks one of these commandments? Do you go to hell? Do you have to confess it in order to be forgiven? What does it do to your standing with God?
- What is the benefit if a Christian keeps all of these commandments? Does it enhance your standing with God? Should these commandments be paramount, or primary?
Executive Summary (for those who can’t stand the suspense):
Q: If the Steelers played the Ravens in the Super Bowl, who do you think would win?
A: It’s an invalid question. Both teams are in the same conference. The playoff structure of the NFL precludes this from ever happening.
Q: If Jesus Christ were to come to earth today as a man, who would he vote for?
A: It’s an invalid question. Jesus came to earth as a man when it was the right time to do so. Today wasn’t the right time.
Q: Does a Christian need to obey the Ten Commandments?
A: It’s an invalid question. The Ten Commandments have nothing to do with us becoming a Christian or staying a Christian.
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5)
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
10. Thou shalt not covet.
The Ten Commandments Equates to The Law
In the New Testament, the Ten Commandments were either equated with the entire Old Testament law, or given prominence, much as the Declaration of Independence or the Preamble is equated with the entire Constitution (e.g. “We the People”). Some examples are:
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
(Matthew 19:16-19, also repeated in Mark 10:17-19 & Luke 18:18-20)
Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
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.
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. (Ephesians 2:11-17)
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
If you believe that a person goes to Heaven based on their adherence to the Ten Commandments, then you believe in salvation by works (Romans 3:20, 4:1-5, Ephesians 2:8-10).
If you believe that after receiving Christ as your Savior, you must keep the Ten Commandments, then you believe in legalism (Acts 15:1-5; this is the topic Paul addressed in Galatians).
For Next Time:
The Ten Commandments has been inscribed on many secular, academic and government buildings. Recently, there is a concerted push by some to remove them. Consider some questions, which we will withhold answering until the end:
• What was/is the purpose or statement of those displaying the Ten Commandments?
• What is being stated or implied by those who are removing the Ten Commandments?
• What should be Christianity’s response?