God's Ten CommandmentsQUESTION: How do God's Ten Commandments apply today?ANSWER:
Many people today feel that God's Ten Commandments
are no longer valid because they do not apply to our current society. They look to the Ten Commandments as being outdated and full of inflammatory language which doesn't sit well with our politically-correct viewpoint. The Ten Commandments are also considered by many people to have been abolished by Jesus when He made a new covenant between God and man with His death and resurrection.
The problem in thinking that Jesus came to abolish the Ten Commandments is that Jesus never claimed to have abolished the Ten Commandments. Instead, in Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus says, "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. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
In this verse, Jesus gives a clear indication that the Ten Commandments are still to be followed and adhered to even in our generation and every generation to come until the day that Jesus returns. So what does all this mean to us and how do God's Ten Commandments apply today?
God's Ten Commandments are still valid because Jesus declared them to be. We are still called by God to honor the Ten Commandments and obey what they call us to do. Jesus also told us that obeying the Law or the Ten Commandments is not just a superficial act, but one that carries the essence of the law into our thoughts and hearts.
Jesus proclaimed that if we think
something that is contrary to one of the Ten Commandments, we are to view it in the same light as if we had physically carried out the act. For instance, if we think to ourselves it is okay to slander or gossip about our neighbors, we are in essence breaking the ninth Commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." If we are married and one day we see a handsome man or a pretty woman walking down the street and we lust in our hearts for them, we are breaking the seventh of God's Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
As Christians, we should not think that since Paul tells us "we are set free from the law" the Ten Commandments no longer apply to us. Paul is telling us that because we are now in a relationship with Christ, we are forgiven of our indiscretions when it comes to following the Ten Commandments. We are still called throughout the New Testament to obey God's Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments also apply to non-believers because in the end, they will be judged by the essence of the law and the Ten Commandments. This means that if they are guilty of breaking even one of the Ten Commandments, be it a lack of respect or reverence for God or some indiscretion between non-believers, it will be as if they were guilty of breaking all the commandments.
God's Ten Commandments are still the standard by which we should strive to live our lives. They are not some outdated laws that were only to be used by Moses. God meant the Ten Commandments to be permanent guidelines that we are still to follow in order to have a more meaningful relationship with God and each other.