The Ten Commandments in the New Testament


The Ten Commandments in the New Testament

Churches across the world teach that God's Ten Commandments were abolished - nailed to the cross with Jesus Christ and that they are no longer required to be kept under the New Covenant. Is this what Jesus and His Apostles taught? Did they continue to teach and observe the commandments? What does the Bible say?

In Matthew 5:17, Jesus declared, "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law . . ." So why is it that this is what people think? Jesus clearly said do not even think this, yet ministers and Bible "scholars" alike go ahead and go against Jesus' clear teaching by saying that we do not have to keep God's Law. We are warned of these false teachers by the apostle Paul in 2Cor 11:13-15, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness: whose end shall be according to their works." Satan's ministers pawn themselves off as Jesus' ministers and Satan makes himself out to be Christ!

The apostle John taught throughout his writings that the law is still to be observed by God's people. You could read in John 5:14 & 8:11 where Jesus told people to "sin no more". What is sin?  I Jn 3:4 states, " . . . sin is the transgression of the law". Would not the breaking of God’s commandments be sin? Jesus said not to break them anymore! John said that we don't even know Jesus if we don’t keep the commandments (I Jn 2:3-6). He continued to show that we are to keep the commandments in the book of Revelation. Rev 12:17 says, "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Now read Rev 14:12, "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Rev 22:14 states: "Blessedare they that do His commandments . . . "

What about the apostle Paul? False teachers take Paul's writings out of context to say the Law is done away with. The apostle Peter gave warning of this in 2Pet 3:15,16. Paul himself kept the law and declared, "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good". He wrote to the Romans that ". . . the doers of the law shall be justified" (Rom 2:13). Concerning the GRACE of God that we are under, he asked, " . . . Shall we continue in sin (lawbreaking), that grace may abound? God forbid! (the Greek words here mean, "May it never be conceived of" – don’t even think it!) How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Rom 6:1,2). And concerning Law and Faith he asks, "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid (Again – may it never be conceived): Yea, we establish the law". (Rom 3:31)

These are just a few of the many Scriptures which show the Truth of Lawkeeping for Christians. Let's now take a survey of the New Testament and make a list of the Ten Commandments as they appear throughout it. We'll list each of the commandments as they appear in Exodus 20 first, followed by their New Testament counterparts.

NO ONE/NOTHING BEFORE GOD

1st Commandment OT: "I am the LORD thy God, Which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."(Ex 20:2,3)

1st Commandment NT: " . . . Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. " (Matt 4:10/Luke 4:8)

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.Ye cannot serve God and mammon."(Mt 6:24)

IDOLATRY

2nd Commandment OT: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous GOD, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fouth generation of them that hate Me; And shewing mercy unto thousands who love Me, and keep my commandments." (Ex 20:4-6)

2nd Commandment NT: "But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols . . . "(Acts15:20)

"Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" (Acts 17:29,30)

" . . . I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." (1Cor 5:11)

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1Cor 6:9,10)

"Neither be ye idolaters." (1Cor 10:7)

"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry." (1Cor 10:14)

"Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led." (1Cor 12:2)

"And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" (2Cor 6:16)

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal 5:19-21)

"For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." (Eph 5:5) [This verse and the next both show the connection between covetousness and idolatry - when you covet something, it becomes your idol, and therefore your god (breaking the 1st commandment also)]

"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." (Col 3:5)

" . . . how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God." (1Thes 1:9)

"Little children, keep yourselves from idols." (1Jn 5:21)

"And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk." (Rev 9:20)

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Rev 21:8)

"For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (Rev 22:15)

VAIN USE OF LORD'S NAME

3rd Commandment OT: "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain." (Ex 20:7)

3rd Commandment NT: "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." (Mt 6:9/Lk 11:2)

"I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." (Mt 12:36)

"This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Mt 15:8,9)

"And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." (Mt 23:9)

" . . . that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed." (1Tim 6:1)

SEVENTH DAY SABBATH

4th Commandment OT: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Ex 20:8-11)

4th Commandment NT: "For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day." (Mt12:8/Lk 6:5) [So the Sabbath is the TRUE Lord's Day]

" . . . it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days." (Mt12:12)

"But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day."(Mt 24:20 speaking of the time of tribulation just before His second coming)

" . . . they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he (Jesus) entered into the synagogue, and taught." (Mk1:21)

"And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." (Mk 2:27,28) [Notice: The Sabbath is NOT just for Jews, or Israelites, or Hebrews, or Semites (descendants of Shem), but FOR ALL MANKIND]

"And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach . . . " (Mk 6:2)

"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day . . . " (Lk 4:16)

" . . . (Jesus) taught them on the sabbath days." (Lk 4:31)

AFTER JESUS' DEATH, HIS DISCIPLES OBSERVED THE SABBATH:

"And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment." (Lk 23:55,56) [ This occured after Jesus' death obviously, which is when the false teachers claim the law was done away. They say the law was "nailed to the cross", but His disciples obviously didn't believe that, as we see here, they "rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment"]

" . . . when they (the apostles) departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day." (Acts13:14)

"And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath." (Acts13:42) [Notice: the Gentiles (non-jews) wanted to hear the word of God on the next Sabbath. Paul DID NOT tell them, "Come back tomorrow, the first day of the week, because that's the day us Christians keep." He had them return the following SABBATH]

"And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God." (Acts13:44)

"For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day." (Acts15:21)

"And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made." (Acts16:13)

"And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures." (Acts17:2)

"And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." (Acts18:4)

"For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works." (Heb 4:4) [See Eph 5:1 where it states that we are to be imitators of God.]

"There remaineth therefore a rest [See margin: Greek word is "Sabbatismos" which means "Sabbath-keeping"] to the people of God." (Heb 4:9)

"For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 66:22,23) [I realize this is an OT scripture, but as you can  see here, this is dealing with the NEW heavens and earth (after Christ's return) and it states that ALL shall keep the Sabbath then. It is not reasonable that God would give the seventh day Sabbath to mankind at creation (Gen 2:1-3), re-introduce it to Israel BEFORE Sinai - after they lost sight of it in captivity (Ex 16:4,23,27-29), codify it at Sinai (Ex:20) having all His people observe it, including Christ, then change it to Sunday, just to change it back to Friday sunset - Saturday sunset. The Sabbath has never changed and is still to be observed.]

HONOR PARENTS

5th Commandment OT: "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." (Ex 20:12)

5th Commandment NT: " . . . Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death." (Mt15:3,4/Mk 7:10)

"Honour thy father and thy mother . . . " (Mt 19:19/Mk 10:19/Lk18:20)

"Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." (Rom 1:29-32)

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." (Eph 6:1-3)

"Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." (Col 3:20)

"But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God." (1Tim 5:4)

MURDER

6th Commandment OT: "Thou shalt not kill (murder)." (Ex 20:13)

6th Commandment NT: "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." (Mt 5:21,22 - see 1Jn 2:9) [Jesus says unjustified anger is equal to murder]

" . . . Do not kill . . ." (Mk 10:19)

" . . .Thou shalt not kill . . ." (Rom 13:9)

"For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law." (James 2:11)

"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." (1Pet 4:15)

"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." (1Jn 3:14,15)

ADULTERY

7th Commandment OT: "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Ex 20:14)

7th Commandment NT: "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." (Mt 5:27,28) [Lustful fantasies are equal to adultery]

"I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorcedcommitteth adultery." (Mt 5:32)

"Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery . . ." (Mt 19:18/Mk 10:19/Lk 18:20)

"Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, shecommitteth adultery." (Mk 10:11,12)

"Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." (Lk 16:18 )

". . . this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. . . . Jesus said unto her, . . . go, and sin no more(Jn 8:4-11)

"So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress" (Rom 7:3)

". . . Thou shalt not commit adultery . . ." (Rom 13:9)

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1Cor 6:9,10)

"Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." (1Cor 6:18)

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal 5:19-21)

"For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication(1 Thes 4:3)

"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." (Heb 13:4)

"Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." (Jude 1:7)

"And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds." (Rev 2:21,22)

THEFT

8th Commandment OT: "Thou shalt not steal." (Ex 20:15)

8th Commandment NT: "Thou shalt not steal . . " (Mt 19:18/Rom 13:9)

"Do not steal . . . " (Mk 10:19/Lk 18:20)

" . . . thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1Cor 6:10)

"Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." (Eph 4:28)

"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." (1Pet 4:15)

"Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts." (Rev 9:21)

LYING

9th Commandment OT: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." (Ex 20:16)

9th Commandment NT: " . . . every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Mt 12:36,37)

"For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man." (Mt 15:19,20)

" . . . Thou shalt not bear false witness . . ." (Mt 19:18/Rom 13:9)

" . . .Do not bear false witness . . . " (Mk10:19/Lk 18:20)

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.(John 8:44)

"But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty . . . " (2Co 4:2)

"Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour." (Eph 4:25)

"Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds" (Col 3:9)

"Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things." (1Tim 3:11)

" . . . speak evil of no man" (Titus 3:2)

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Rev 21:8)

"For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (Rev 22:15)

COVETOUSNESS/LUST

10th Commandment OT: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's." (Ex 20:17)

10th Commandment NT: "And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."(Lk 12:15)

"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." (Rom 7:7)

" . . . Thou shalt not covet . . . " (Rom 13:9)

"But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;" (Eph 5:3)

"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1Tim 6:10)

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Heb 13:5)

Mt 22:37-40 states "Jesus said . . . , 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 neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (See also Luke 10:25-28). False teachers use these scriptures to say that the Ten Commandments are no longer required to be kept - that the only commandments are to love God and fellow man. Jesus clearly stated that "all the law" HANGS from these two commandments, meaning they are a source of all of His law. If you keep the Ten Commandments, you are keeping the Two Great Commandments.

The Two Great Commandments summarize the Ten Commandments. The first five commandments deal with the "Lord thy God" and the second five with "thou" and "thy neighbour" - "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery (7th), Thou shalt not kill (6th), Thou shalt not steal (8th), Thou shalt not bear false witness (9th), Thou shalt not covet (10th); and if there be any other commandment (concerning neighbors), it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Rom 13:9).

If we love God with all our heart, and mind, and being, we certainly would not want to place other gods before Him (Anything we put before Him, becomes our god). We would not worship idols (this would break the first commandment also). Nor would we vainly use His name. Israel did this by placing His name on their idols and pagan customs they observed (Is 29:13; 42:8; Ezek 20:39), just as modern professing "Christians" place the name of Christ on their idols and pagan customs (man's holidays). Those who love God should observe His Sabbath, for it is the day HE set aside to spend with us to further our loving relationship with Him. It is the sign He gave that shows Him to be the True God - the Creator (Gen 2:3; Ex 20:11; 31:17). And if we really love Him, we would also honor him as our heavenly Father by obeying all of His commands (Col 3:20). If we would do these things He asks of us, we would show our love for Him.

And if we love our neighbours, would we be murdering them, breaking marriage vows through adultery, stealing from them, lying to them or spreading lies about them, or coveting anything of theirs (which could lead to all of the previous things listed)? Of course not! The apostle John stated in I Jn 5:2,3, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."

The origin of God's law is LOVE. He has set the guidelines for love in His commandments. They set the path for us to walk in love for God and fellow man. "He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love." (I Jn4:8). His love is the source of His covenant with us (Jn 3:16). He is seeking those who will love Him in return. As stated above, we show Him love by obeying His voice.

"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them" (Heb 10:16). Far from abolishing the law, God said He would write His Laws in our hearts and minds. "My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart." (Prov 7:1-3, see also Prov 3:1-3)

Man was hardhearted and stiffnecked to God's law: "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great . . . and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Gen 6:5) Even when He set forth His Law at Sinai, He knew man's heart was against Him: "O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!" (Deut 5:29). God had to create in us a new heart and give us His spirit so we could overcome our evil ways and walk in His ways. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." (Ezek 36:26; read also Ezek 11:19). God had to remove our stony hard heart that would not accept His Law (read Rom 8:7). With the new heart He puts in us we may say in truth, "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart." (Ps 40:8).

The Law was codified by God in tablets of stone on the day of Pentecost (Ex 19) at Mt Sinai. The spirit of God was sent on Pentecost (Acts 2) to write His law in the tablets of our hearts (2Co 3:3). And with the gift of the holy spirit, we can overcome sin (lawbreaking) and walk in His law.

As we have clearly seen, the Ten Commandments were kept by Christ, His apostles, His disciples, their disciples - both Jew and Gentile, and that they are to be kept by Christians TODAY. We all must be overcoming our sinful (lawless) ways (Rev 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21; 21:7). REPENT, turn to God & keep His commandments that He may heal you and you may have eternal life in His Kingdom.

May God be blessing you

Authored by Brian Hoeck

©1998 Truth On The Web Ministries: All the articles originated by Kenneth Hoeck or Brian Hoeck may be freely distributed or mirrored as long as presented in their entirety (including this statement), attributed to Truth on The Web, and that proper author credit is given.