In Part 1 of The Ten Commandments Revisited, it was proven from the New Testament that Christians who are saved by grace should – out of love for Jesus Christ – earnestly endeavor to keep the Ten Commandments. In Part 2, we discovered that when the New Testament speaks of a certain “law” being “abolished” by Jesus Christ, it is referring to “the law of sacrifices” written by Moses, not the Big Ten written on stone by the finger of God. In Part 3, we will analyze a number of oft-quoted New Testament texts which are now being misinterpreted as meaning the Ten Commandments should no longer be strictly obeyed. The truth is, the Ten Commandments remain – not a jot or title has changed – and should be honored by all believers in the Crucified one.
What is the “New Commandment”?
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you.” John 13:34. Christ’s command “to love” was not new. Moses said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Lev. 19:18. What is new is the words, “as I have loved you.” How has Jesus loved us? By dying on the cross for our sins of breaking God’s law! 1 Cor. 15:3; 1 John 3:4. Christ’s “new” commandment should not lead to breaking the Big Ten, for this Jesus never did. Paul wrote, “love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:10. Through grace, love will endeavor to fulfill each of the Ten Commandments. 1 John 5:3. Love does not seek the lowest requirement, but the highest.
What about the “Two Commandments”?
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first … the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Mat. 22:37-40. Jesus was quoting the Old Testament. Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18. The “Two” are simply a summary of the “Ten.” To “love God” is to keep the first four. To “love man” is to keep the last six. Paul said the second table of the law is “briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Rom. 13:9. If we keep the Two, we will keep the Ten.
What Is the New Covenant?
“This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28. “This is the covenant that I will make with them … I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 10:16,17. Thus the New Covenant is: Forgiveness of our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ and the Ten Commandments written in the heart by the power of God.
“Not under the law, but under grace”? Romans 6:14.
To be “under” the law means to be “guilty before God” for breaking the law. Romans 3:19,20. It means the law is figuratively “on top” of us. When we repent of our sins and have faith in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven by his grace and are no longer “guilty before God.” Are we then free to break the law? Paul wrote, “What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Romans 6:15.
Jesus Christ “Fulfilled the Law.” What does this mean?
Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Mat. 5:17. “Fulfill” certainly does not mean “destroy.” Jesus said don’t even think that thought! “Fulfill” means rather to “fill full” or “fill up” in completeness. A few chapters earlier, Jesus said He came to “fulfill all righteousness” when He was baptized (Matthew 3:15). Did that mean He abolished baptism because He “fulfilled” it? Obviously not. He fulfilled baptism as our example. It’s the same with the law. During His earthly life, Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled the Ten Commandments by keeping them as our example. He never stole, lied, or dishonored His parents. Jesus Christ also said, “till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law” (Mat. 5:18). In this light, then He said we should not “break one of these least commandments,” but should “do” and “teach” them. Mat. 5:18,19.
Which “commandments” was He talking about? A few verses later Jesus referred to the 7th commandment which says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Mat. 5:27). He then declared that even the lustful look was committing adultery in the heart (vs. 28) and could send a person to hell (vs. 29). Thus breaking God’s moral law of Ten Commandments is dangerous and potentially soul-damning. That’s what Jesus Christ clearly taught.
Therefore when professed Christians say Jesus Christ abolished the Ten Commandments, someone should ask, “Will the real Jesus please stand up?”
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are … murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.” Revelation 22:14,15 (KJV)