Many people will have heard of the commandments of God, even those who are not Christians. When they think of them, they will probably bring to mind the *Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) given by God at Mount Sinai to His chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2) via Moses (Exodus 19). The Commandments were part and parcel of the Law of God consisting of the first five books of the Bible (Nehemiah 9:3).
According to Paul the Apostle, the Law of God, known as the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 31:24-26; Ezra 7:6), is for those ‘who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God (Romans 3:19).’
Certain teachers of God’s Word, the Bible, incorrectly say that Christians are to obey the Ten Commandments, including the fourth commandment to honour the Sabbath, but Christians are not under the Mosaic Law, for they are not saved (justified) by obeying it, but by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:27, 28; Ephesians 2:8, 9). Christians live by faith in the Son of God (Romans 1:17) who reveals God’s righteousness apart from the law (Romans 3:21).
The fact that Christians live by faith does not mean they are lawless, i.e., without law (1 Timothy 1:9); they obey the Law of Christ, but what is the ‘law of Christ’? Galatians 6:2 specifically uses this term with the meaning of bearing ‘one another’s burdens’. However, obeying the ‘law of Christ’ is so much more; it is acting in accordance with the teachings of Christ and those of the New Testament prophets (2 Thessalonians 3:4, 6; 1 John 2:8) who were led by the Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16).
So when it comes to obeying the Ten Commandments, apart from the Sabbath commandment, a Christian will endeavour to obey them, in faith. Furthermore, he will obey Christ’s greater commandments (Matthew 5:21-48).
Unlike the Old Testament Jews, New Testament Christians have the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), and through the power of the Spirit (Romans 15:19; 1 Corinthians 2:4, 5) they can overcome sin; they are not helpless. Their bodies are not yet redeemed (Titus 2:13,14), but their souls are (Psalm 55:18; 71:23)! Because of the indwelling Spirit they can be servants of righteous in Christ (Philippians 3:7-9), and they can be lights that shine in the darkness of the world (Matthew 5:14-16).
* Summary of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17)
1) I am the LORD your God; you shall have no other gods before Me.
2) You shall not make a carved image of anything and worship it.
3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
4) Remember to keep the Sabbath holy and do no work on it.
5) Honour your father and mother that your days may be long.
6) You shall not murder.
7) You shall not commit adultery.
8) You shall not steal.
9) You shall not bear false witness.
10) You shall not covet.
The Greatest Commandment and the Second (Matthew 22:37-40)
Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’