Gateway To Jesus Ministries Presents

The Bible Says!

Should Christians Keep The 10 Commandments?


Is obedience to God's commandments an identifying sign that Christians know Jesus?

Does commandment keeping show a Christian's love for God? 

Should a Christian still keep the commandments after they are saved by grace?

These are all New Testament Scriptures below, directed to us Christians by Jesus and His Apostles.

(John 14:15) "If you love me, keep my commandments."

(John 14:21) "He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."

(1 John 2:3-4) "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that says, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."

I could stop right here with these 3 very specific and plain statements, but there’s more.  Almost everyone knows that a Christian does not need to keep the commandments to earn salvation. We are not justified, or under the law, for salvation. The Bible makes this perfectly and plainly clear in Eph 2:8 and Gal 2:15. Most Christians recognize that grace, not law keeping is the way to salvation, but God says if we love Him, Christians WILL keep the commandments, AFTER we are saved by grace. But which ones?

Even though a Christian is saved by grace isn’t the Bible very clear about obedience to the commandments being the means of expressing love for God? Was Jesus clearly speaking about the ten commandments in Matthew 5, when He said "these" commandments, and then he went on to magnify several of the ten commandments in the next few verses?

(Matt 5:19) "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Did Jesus call the ten commandments the "least" commandments because they were not important and you don't need to keep them? Or was it just a contrast to the two great commandments found in Matthew 22? Are these not all His commandments which Jesus said we are not to break?

When asked what was necessary to obtain eternal life in Luke 18:18-20 Jesus had a great opportunity to say the old 10 commandments were no longer necessary now that He was here, that all we had to do was accept Him, love God and love our neighbor. Jesus didn’t say that. Instead, He started listing some of the 10 commandments.

“You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother.”

Why did He do this? It sounds odd to most Christians who believe the commandments are no longer necessary, but this looks pretty clear as the simple words of Jesus. Was He making a point about the commandments still being required? Elsewhere He plainly tells us we need His shed blood to cover our sins and save us, but here was He also telling us we need to continue to obey God by keeping the 10 commandments AFTER being saved to show our love for Him and His sacrifice? Is this a simple and plain truth that most Christians don’t understand?

(Matt 22:35-39) "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, 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 and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets

The Bible says the ten commandments hang on the two great commandments. It does not say they are replaced by the two great commandments as many churches falsely teach. There are separate commandments differentiated as two great commandments and ten least commandments. When you add John 13:34 as yet another new commandment from Jesus, you can plainly see that the Bible says there are actually thirteen commandments that a Christian should keep.

"A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."

Does this in any way say the previous 10 commandments are now null and void? No. This is a single commandment that appears to be an addition to the previous commandments for Jesus’ followers.

Anytime you find the word "commandments" (plural) in the New Testament is the Bible referring to all of them? John 10:30 plainly shows that the Father and Jesus are one, therefore wouldn’t their commandments be one also?

“I and the Father are one.”

Isn’t it spiritually illogical to believe God is divided and He gave one set of His Royal Law (the 10 commandments) to the Jews, and Jesus gave another set of magnified commandments that look exactly the same, to Christians?  Have we been deceived into believing the New Testament references to commandments only means two or three of them and not all of them?

Two of the commandments that Jesus magnified in Matthew chapter five are clearly part of the original ten commandments that He wants His followers to keep. He plainly said so. They are taught by Jesus as being required both literally and in spirit. Now you not only can't break the sixth commandment literally by committing adultery, you also have to keep the principle of the commandment in spirit, not even lusting in your heart.

(Matt 5:27-28) "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

The same is true for killing someone. Now Jesus says you not only can't break the fifth commandment literally by committing murder, you also have to keep the commandment in principle, not even hating someone in your heart.

(Matt 5:21-22) "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment".

It wasn’t necessary for Jesus to go through the whole list of commandments to make His point here. He had already previously listed these two commandments in His list of commandments we had to literally keep in Luke 18:18-20. Isn’t it clear that Jesus is magnifying all of the 10 commandments here with these two examples? Shouldn’t we conclude from this that Jesus is showing us these 2 examples of this magnification because He wants us to understand it applies to all ten and we should obey them literally and in spirit?

Many Christian don’t like the 10 commandments. They don’t want God telling them specifically what they can and cannot do. They just want to emotionally love Jesus and don’t want to get dragged down with all the effort required to obey God. It’s just too much work and too disruptive to their lives.

There is a phrase for this no effort Christianity.  Easy Believism!  It’s a term used that one needs only to believe in Jesus in order to be saved. They believe that no corresponding need exists for a committed life of Christian discipleship as proof of salvation; no need to obey the commandments out of love for God; no need to do good works out of love for their neighbors. Some believe they’re saved because they prayed the sinners prayer and accepted Jesus, with no real conviction of sin, and no repentance for breaking the commandments. Praying a prayer is easy, but there is more to salvation than mouthing words and feeling an emotion.

True faith in Christ will always lead to a changed life. What we DO will change because we will be obeying God’s 13 commandments both literally and in spirit. So YES, a True Christian, saved by grace and acceptance of Jesus shed blood for their sins, WILL want to obey God and keep His commandments, which the Bible says are not burdensome, out of LOVE for GOD!

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)

Do we believe God? Then shouldn't we show it by doing what He says and keep His commandments rather than continuing to justify ourselves for not obeying God? 

This is what the Bible says!

Learn more about what The Bible Says on other subjects at the Inspirational Christian Connection .

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