Have The Ten Commandments Changed?

Have The Ten Commandments Changed?

Law, Justice, Court, Judge, Legal(Activedia)

There is no contradiction between the Old Testament and the New on the question of obedience to the law resulting from salvation by faith. In fact, as we have already seen, the New Testament writers referred to and quoted the Old Testament prophets in defense of their teaching regarding the law.

The moral law of Ten Commandments remains the standard of righteousness. The additional factor introduced in the New Testament is that the life of Jesus, which was a perfect exemplification of God’s law, is a more effective demonstration of the divine standard than the written commandments. The method of arriving at the standard, of emulating Jesus’ life of obedience, is the faith/grace relationship with the Lord.

The experience of salvation by faith does not obviate God’s requirement that we obey His law. Quite the contrary, the New Testament explains that faith results in the law being established in the heart of the believer. Paul wrote to the Romans, “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law” (Rom. 3:31). Because the law is the standard (although not the means) of righteousness it points out our sin. Paul exclaimed, “If it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet'” (ROM 7:7). Paul saw the law as holy, just, good, and spiritual (verses 12, 14). There is no suggestion that he rejected the law because it was nailed to the Cross.

James agreed with Paul by teaching that disobedience to any one of the Ten Commandments is tantamount to rejection of the total law of God. James clarifies which law he is speaking of. “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For the one who said, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘You shall not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:10-12). Hence, the Ten Commandments are a law of liberty, not a burden.

This is exactly what John wrote: “For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” Conquering the world is obeying God’s commandments, and the one who has this conquering power is the born-again believer.

Jesus left us in no doubt about His standard of righteousness. We are not even to think that He came to abolish the law. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17). Anyone who dares to teach that one of God’s established commandments is not binding will be rejected by heaven (verse 19). We know what set of laws Jesus meant because he quoted the Ten Commandments (verses 21, 27).

Some have argued that Jesus’ interpretation amounted to an abolition of the Ten, because He emphasized the importance of the spirit of the law rather than the letter. The fact is that Jesus gave a more strict interpretation of the law than was generally accepted. The spirit of the law does not exclude the letter; it goes beyond it to show what the commandments really mean. The command that says, “You shall not murder” means that Christians are not to lose their tempers with their neighbors or cherish hatred in their hearts (Matt. 5:21, 22). The command, “You shall not commit adultery” means that impure thoughts must not be cherished. Jesus exalted the standard far above what many of His contemporaries thought necessary. He did not abolish the Ten Commandments; He established them permanently as God’s standard of righteousness.

The New Testament teaching regarding the new covenant experience is based firmly on the Old Testament. Hebrews 8:10-12 quotes Jeremiah 31:31-33. The good news is that under the new covenant the law of God is written on believers’ hearts. There can be no doubt that the reference is to the Ten Commandment law, for this was the standard of righteousness accepted by Jeremiah (see Jer. 11:1-8).

The New Testament like the old promotes righteousness and salvation by faith in Christ. It is God’s grace that saves and grace alone, but grace received is never alone. God’s grace includes His gift of spiritual power (1 Cor. 1:4-9). It always results in obedience to the Ten Commandments. God’s law is not merely ten suggestions that may be lightly set aside. It is an established, immutable standard of righteousness, obedience to which is made possible by the free gift of His grace.

Are the Ten Commandments still law for Christians?

(There is much more on here and you can click on the above link to gain more understanding on this. The devil is clever and has done everything in his power to say we do not have to obey, we can dismiss it as legalism, we can do as we wish. This is not so. Faith without works is dead faith and obeying has nothing to do with being self righteous or religious or legalistic)

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2 Replies to “Have The Ten Commandments Changed?”

  1. Excellent Post. No Laws have been abolished. The difference now is the enforcement of those Laws by way of punishment. We can now instead go to Jesus, repent of those sins and we will be forgiven. Prior to Jesus taking on all of our sins, there were certain rules that had to happen when we broke God’s perfect Laws. Some of those rules meant physical death; others would need us to offer up a sacrifice. We no longer have to make burnt offerings or go to a High Priest … Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and He is the High Priest who interceded on our behalf.

    When we state we are under a new Covenant with Christ Jesus, it means that we go to him to repent; it never meant that Old Laws are done away with. Once we repent, we can’t continue in that sin.

  2. Nicely said. I would like to add that the process of being cleansed changed from one High Priest to another High Priest – the Lord Jesus. Consider we are the burnt offering. We do offer sacrifice, just offer ourselves as living sacrifices. Amen!

    The 4th commandment is still the 4th commandment. Commandments are still commandments and commandment 1, 2, and 3, and so on are also still God’s law.


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