The ‘SIGNIFICANCE’ of the ‘TEN COMMANDMENTS’
January 24 Bible Reading: Exodus Chapters 19-21
"(1) You shall have no other gods before Me. (2) You shall not make for yourself a carved image. (3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. (4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (5) Honor your father and your mother. (6) You shall not murder. (7) You shall not commit adultery. (8) You shall not steal. (9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (10) You shall not covet...anything that is your neighbor's." (Exodus 20:3, 4, 7, 8, 12, 13-17)
In the Law, God gave the Israelites more than six hundred specific commandments. All of them were based on the Ten Commandments (Decalogue) mentioned above, the summary of the Law recorded on stone tablets and stored in the Ark of the Covenant (25:16)
The Ten Commandments were divided by the Lord Jesus into two sections, one covering love to God and the other covering love to one’s neighbor (Matt. 22:37–40). The first four commandments describe how the people are to relate to God, while the remainder describe how God’s people are to relate to each other (Deut. 4:13). Through these, Yahweh summarized for His people the main stipulations of the Mosaic covenant. Thus, a new age has begun in God’s relationship with His people. These commandments are not merely a collection of prohibitions and mandates, but constitute a theological expression of the nature of God Himself as we can see each of the commandments declaring the character of God.
The Ten Commandments are still significant and binding upon everyone today for the following six reasons:
- It is appropriate that God’s authority should be acknowledged by His children.
- These commandments have been written by the finger of God Himself on tables of stone and have never been repealed until today.
- The Ten Commandments are badly needed in the light of present-day immoral conditions.
- Jesus Himself respected the Ten Commandments, taught them extensively, came to fulfill them and confirmed their timeless application (Matt. 5:21-37)
- The teaching of the New Testament Epistles leads us to obey the Ten Commandments (Rom. 13:10)
- God will chastise those who disregard the Ten Commandments (Psalms 89:27-29)
Let us also understand our love to God is expressed by obedience to His will (Psalms 40:8; John 14:21; 1 John 5:2–3). Under the old covenant, God’s law (through the Ten Commandments) was written on tables of stone (Exodus 24:12), but under the new covenant, God writes His word on our hearts (2 Cor. 3:1–3). As we meditate on the Word, the Holy Spirit will make it a part of our inner being, and we become more like the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18).