‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
God, to Moses, recorded in, Exodus 20:1–17 esvbible.org
This covers it all.
Everything we can turn into a god, from celebrities to politics, to family, to time, to money, to influence, to power, we are not permitted to worship any of them or turn them into our gods.
The Ten Commandments, the Decalogue, the Ten Words, the Law of God. No matter which phrase is used, each of the subsequent laws that God gave to Israel has its origin in one of the ten, and the first commandment sets the standard for the remaining nine.
And the followers of Jesus still live under these commandments
After all, Jesus said that He didn’t come to abolish the Law.
“‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.’”
And, Paul called the Law his teacher.
“What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” (Romans 7:7)
What we have is law and gospel. We, who are followers of Jesus, know that our salvation is by grace, through faith, and not by obeying the law. However, we also know that when we are saved, we are called to obey God and glorify God in all things.
So, what are these Ten Commandments to us now?
1, By obeying the Ten Commandments we are grounded in our faith.
God calls us to live as His unique people, His royal priesthood, and holy nation. The commandments are congruent with all that Jesus taught and modelled for us, and all that the New Testament provides for our instruction.
2. By obeying the Ten Commandments we are guided in our faith.
The immense distant from Sinai to the 21st Century has not diminished in any way the benefit, blessing and good guidance to the followers of Jesus who live in obedience to all of the commandments.
3. By obeying the Ten Commandments we are guarded in our faith.
Living in obedience to the commandments enables us to put on the whole armor of God, and to wield with confidence, authority and effectiveness the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. By living in obedience to the commandments we are able resist the devil, so that he will flee from us.
4. By obeying the Ten Commandments we are glorified in our faith.
As we give and show and offer glory to God our lives are glorified in Christ. God is pleased when we are faithful and obedient, and as we live in submission to the whole Word of God, and the will of God, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will, always, be obeying one or more of these commandments, including, always, the first commandment.
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:16–17)
The followers of Jesus are known as people of the Book, because within the Book is everything we need to know for our salvation, for our guidance, and about eternal life.
Jesus summarized the commandments and their application to our lives this way:
“‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’” (Mark 12:30–31
The Ten Commandments mattered to Jesus.
Do they matter to you?
Soli Deo gloria!