The Ten Commandments are God’s great moral Law. But did Christ do away with the Ten Commandments at the cross? Should the Ten Commandments be put into the same bracket as the Laws of Moses? Or does God’s Word distinguish them as two separate laws? We can be certain that the Bible reveals the truth about God's Law.
God's Ten Commandments
Let me start by saying a man cannot be saved by works of the law, he is only saved by grace and faith in Jesus Christ, BUT, true faith in Jesus Christ PRODUCES good works and the keeping of God's Law ....... James 2:18 .....' Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.'
Many Christians believe that the Ten Commandments were 'newly' introduced at Sinai and that the people did not know of them before then. Genesis 4:8-10 ...' Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth.' ….How did Cain know he had done wrong by killing his brother? And how could God judge Cain, if there wasn't a Law already in place?
Genesis 39:7-9 ….' And it came to pass after these things that his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, "Lie with me." But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" ……Joseph says to Potiphar's wife….'because you are his wife…how can I do this great wickedness against God? How did Joseph know that adultery was wrong, if God's moral law was not already in place?
Think about this…… Adam and eve were created as ADULTS, they didn't grow up as children, so they had to have been pre-programmed by God with certain knowledge, and I believe they were pre-programmed with God's Moral Law (ie.. His 10 Commandments).
I believe the Ten Commandments are God's great moral law, that have always been, and always will be.
Exodus 16:28 ...' And the LORD said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? ……This is BEFORE Sinai, and yet God is asking Moses why they are not keeping His Commandments. So one must assume that the people knew of His moral law before Sinai.
I've heard many times christians saying that the old testament law was for the Jews only. Well, take a look at this verse: ....Exodus 12:48-49...'And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.' .....You see, the Law was for EVERYONE that wanted to serve God, not just for the Jews.
So, God gives the Ten Commandments to the people. Can we assume that the Commandments were originally written on the people's hearts, but they fell so far from God and did not keep His moral law, so He decided to write them on the stone tablets to remind them? Exodus 20….
You shall have no other gods before Me.
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.
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.
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.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
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 Bible says that the sabbath was made for man and the majority of Christians today tend to ignore the 4th commandment, when it was meant to be a blessing for us to spend one special day a week with Christ Jesus. And not only that, but one SPECIFIC day each week. See here for more information about the sabbath commandment.
Deuteronomy 5:4,22 ...' The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire'…..These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.' ……God actually spoke the Ten Commandments Himself to the people, and then wrote them with His own finger on two stone tablets. AND ADDED NO MORE !!!
Deuteronomy 4:13-14 …' So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess.'
2 Kings 21:8 ….' and I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers—only if they are careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them." ……God Himself declared His Covenant (Ten Commandments) to the people, and wrote them on the stone tablets, and then He commanded Moses to teach the people statutes and judgements (The Laws of Moses). The Laws of Moses were added because of sin against God's moral law.
Some people say that the ten commandments in Exodus 20 and the Laws of Moses were ONE Law. If we go to Galatians in the New Testament, we will be able to see that the laws of Moses were 'ADDED' to the Ten Commandments and that it was a separate law that had a specific purpose!
Galatians 3:19 ...' Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.' …… If the Ten Commandments and the ceremonial laws were ONE law, then what was this 'ONE' law added to? There's nothing to add it to! Also If the TEN were not already in effect, then how could there be transgression?? Romans 4:15 ..'Where there is no law, there is no transgression.' But, it we split the Ten Commandments and the laws of Moses into two separate laws, then this verse makes sense. The laws of Moses were added to the Ten Commandments, because the people were breaking the Ten Commandments, therefore they need ANOTHER law to put their sins right, UNTIL, as it says in this verse, 'the seed' (who is Jesus) should come. The laws of Moses pointed to Jesus. So why does it just say in this verse 'the law'? Well, if we look at a couple other verses in this chapter, we can see what law it is talking about:
Galatians 3:10 ….' For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.' ….. The laws of moses were written in a book form, on paper. The Ten Commandments were written on Stone. The Jews were continuing to perform the works of the Laws of Moses, because they did not believe in Jesus and therefore they were still under the curse of those laws.
Deuteronomy 29:21…..'And the LORD would separate him from all the tribes of Israel for adversity, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this Book of the Law.'
Deuteronomy 28:58-59 ….' If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.' …..See the curse added to the laws written in the book of the law? (laws of Moses)
Daniel 9:11 ….' Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.'
Galatians 3:13 …' Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.' …. The only curses you would find are in the laws of Moses. Also, the wages of sin is death and Christ freed us from this. He did not free us from having to keep the Ten Commandments, in no way does His Word say that.
Deuteronomy 28:9 ...' The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.' ……Notice the word "if"….It was conditional to Israel keeping God's Law, that He would make them a holy people.
Deuteronomy 29:1 ….' These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.' ….Notice TWO covenants? The Covenant in Moab (Book of the Law) and the covenant at Horeb (Ten Commandments). Two separate covenants.
Deuteronomy 31:24-26 ...' And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, that Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.'
Exodus 40:20 …' And he took and put the testimony into the ark, and set the staves on the ark, and put the mercy seat above upon the ark:'……Note from these two verses above, that the stone tablets (The Testimony) on which were written the Ten Commandments were placed INSIDE the ark, yet the book of the law by Moses, was placed in a pocked BESIDE the ark. This also shows a distinct separation between the two laws.
2 Chronicles 33:8 ….' Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from out of the land which I have appointed for your fathers; so that they will take heed to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.' ….That word 'and' separates the two laws…. The Ten Commandments and the Laws of Moses.
Take a look at the above verse from Deuteronomy 31, where it says ..'that it may be there for a witness against thee.' This is talking about the 'book' of the law, not the Ten Commandments. Now take a look at the following verse from the New Testament:
Colossians 2:14 …' Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;' …..Notice a couple of things from this verse. The Handwriting of ordinances were the laws of Moses, which contained the ceremonial laws and it was these laws that were against us, NOT the Ten Commandments. It was the laws of Moses that were taken out of the way by Jesus Christ, being nailed to the Cross.
John Wesley knew the Bible truth about the above verse: "This 'handwriting of ordinances' our Lord did blot out, take away, and nail to His cross (Colossians 2:14). But the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He did not take away... The moral law stands on an entirely different foundation from the ceremonial or ritual law… Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind and in all ages." John Wesley, Sermons on Several Occasions, 2-Vol. Edition, Vol. I, pages 221-222.
Thought! Jesus didn't perform any of the ceremonial laws, why? Because He didn't break any of the 10 Commandments. He was sinless. We know that sin is lawlessness, and He didn't sin, so there was no need for Him to perform any of the Levitical laws. If Israel didn't break any of the 10 Commandments, then they would have no need for the Levitical laws (Laws of Moses). Those laws were added BECAUSE of transgression against God's eternal, moral, perfect law, the 10 Commandments.
The Laws of Moses pointed to Jesus. He came to fulfil those laws. He became our sacrifice, therefore the levitical (ceremonial) laws were no longer needed, because Jesus fulfilled them, by being the ultimate sacrifice.
Luke 24:44 …' And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.'
John 1:45 ….' Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.'
Ephesians 2:15…. 'Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances…' ….The commands contained in ordinaces (The book of the Law)
NOTE: The Ten Commandments were written on Rock by the finger of GOD HIMSELF, a symbol of something that would last. The ceremonial laws of Moses were written on paper, a symbol of something that would pass away.
Hebrews 8:1-6 ….' Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. ……We know that the tabernacle that Moses had made was a COPY of the ORIGINAL one already in Heaven, that God made. You see, it was the earthly priestly service, the levitical laws that were a shadow of things to come. They were a shadow of Christ. He became our sacrifice and our High Priest. The Ten Commandments were not a shadow of things to come, they were God's Eternal, Moral Law.
Hebrews 8:7-10 ….' For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: ….. Notice that the fault with the first covenant was with 'them', the people, not the laws, it was with the people, because 'They continued not in My covenant.' But, in the new covenant, God said that He would put His laws (Ten Commandments) into their minds, and they wouldn't be just written on stone, they would be written on our hearts.
Hebrews 9:23-24 ….' It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.' ….The earthly sanctuary was a copy of the one in Heaven. Again, it was the sacrificial law that Jesus replaced, not the Ten Commandments. What is the better covenant? The fact that we no longer need earthly priests, and we no longer need to slaughter animals as sacrifices for our sins, and that God will write His Law in our hearts. We can come directly to God through Jesus and ask for forgiveness. How do we know we have sinned? Because the Ten Commandments are written in our hearts.
The Original tabernacle in Heaven is the one we see in Revelation:
Revelation 11:19 ….' And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.' …..This is the ORIGINAL , where the eternal, moral law of His Ten Commandments are. This is the law that we are judged against.
1 Corinthians 7:19 ….' Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.' …..Ceremonial laws have no effect any longer, but the Ten Commandments have!
Does the Old Testament and New Testament work side by side? Can Law and Grace work side by side? Let's take a look:
Mark 5 ….(Snippets) …' And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live'…….. 'And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague'………. 'And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment'……The Woman with the issue of blood for 12 years represents the old testament covenant with the continual flow of sacrificial blood. The 12 year old girl represents the new testament church in the new covenant. They both came together that day and were made whole. Notice the number 12. Twelve tribes in Old Testament, twelve apostles in the new. See under grace not law for more on this.
Revelation 12:17 ….'And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.'
Revelation 14:12 …' Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.'
Above we see the Commandments of God (His Law) and the Grace of Jesus Christ working side by side.
Are we to sit back and just believe? Believe that the Spirit will do all the work? No...
Luke 13:24...'Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.'
2 Peter 1:5 ....' And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
Matthew 19:17 ...' 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.'
John 14:15 ….' If ye love me, keep my commandments.'
John 14:21 …' He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.'
John 15:10 …' If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.'…Well, the above verses are before Jesus death and resurrection, but they are His very own words.
1 Corinthians 7:19 ….' Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.'…..A very clear verse that tells us that the ceremonial laws were nailed to the cross and no longer count for anything, BUT WHAT DOES COUNT, is keeping the Commandments of God…..This has to be the Ten Commandments.
1 John 2:3 ….' And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.'
1 John 2:4 ….' He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.' …Interesting verse!!
1 John 3:22 ….' And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.'
1 John 3:24 ….' And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.'
1 John 5:2 ….' By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.'
1 John 5:3 ….' For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.'
Revelation 12:17 …' And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.'
Revelation 14:12 ….' Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.'
A load of New Testament verses above showing that the Commandments of God are still a vital part of being a true Christian. Did Jesus abolish the law? (The Ten Commandments law). No, Jesus even tells a man Himself in Matthew 19, that the way to eternal life was to keep the Commandments of God, and He then went on to quote the Ten Commandments, because the man didn't know which Commandments Jesus was speaking of.
1 Samuel 13:14 ....' But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.' …….Samuel is telling Saul that God has sought Himself and man after His own heart. This man that God has sought is David. God is saying that David is a man after His own heart. Let's see what David thought about God's law:
Psalm 1:1-2 ....' Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.'
Psalm 19:7 ….' The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.'
Psalm 40:8 …..' I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.'
Psalm 119:18 ….' Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.'
Psalm 119:72 ….' The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.'
Psalm 119:97 ….' O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.'
These verses above are just a small amount of verses David dedicates to God's Law. Psalm 119 is the largest chapter in Psalms by far with 176 verses! and David dedicates it to God's perfect law. This is a man after God's own heart!
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 ....' Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.'....So it is the whole duty of man, not just the jews, but all mankind.