Are The Ten Commandments Still Relevant Today?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Are the Ten Commandments still in effect today?  Are they still relevant to the believer in this day?

The Ten Commandments

When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments to bring to the nation of Israel, they are not the “ten suggestions” or “ten rules to live by” but commandments from God. But were these commandments only given to the nation of Israel or were they for all of mankind?  Jesus referred to the Ten Commandments when a rich man came up to Jesus and asked him how he might receive eternal life.  The man came up to Jesus and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother” (Mark 10:17b-19).  The young man, sounding self-righteous said “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”  And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’  Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:20-22).  The fact that Jesus says the man should know the commandments, and then mentions some of them, shows that they were still valid at that time, but what about today, some 2,000 years later?

Are The Ten Commandments Still Relevant Today

The Pattern of the Believers

It’s interesting that believers are often associated with those who keep the Ten Commandments.  This doesn’t mean that they are saved by them because we are saved by grace through faith and not by works (Eph 2:8-9) but it does mean that those who are saved should live lives that are pleasing to God and the way to please God is to obey His Word and surely the Ten Commandments are God’s Word too.  The Bible speaks about Satan, as the dragon, and the Apostle John records, “the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea” (Rev 12:17) and there is also “a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus” (Rev 14:12).

The End of the Age

It would seem ridiculous to believe that the Ten Commandments are no longer valid or relevant today when the Book of Revelation talks about the time of Christ’s arrival where He finds the saints keeping the commandments of God (as best as they can) but also hold to the testimony of Jesus Christ.   John writes that “this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it” (2 John 1:6) so “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4) and it is “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments” (1 John 5:2).  I find it hard to believe John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, would get this wrong.  Believers will live out the commandments and obey them but not to be saved but because they are saved.

Which Commandments are Irrelevant?

If you go through the list of the Ten Commandments, you can see how grievous to God it would be to break them but also, if we break them, they will break us.  Can we really believe that “You shall not murder” (Ex 20:13) is no longer relevant?  Of course not!  That would seem ridiculous.  Is it still unlawful to steal (Ex 20:15)?  Just ask any law enforcement officer. Bearing false witness or lying is sin too because this is a timeless commandment too (Ex 20:16) and in a court of law, lying can send you to jail for perjury.  Today, adultery seems common place but so is the flu and that doesn’t make it right.  Just because something’s popular doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do and in fact, the right thing to do is often very unpopular.  If you had a friend who was committing adultery, would you turn and look the other way or would you tell them that they are becoming one with a prostitute (1 Cor 6:`16) and the final destination of all sexually immoral people is the lake of fire (Rev 21:8) unless they repent?

Conclusion

What is love?  John writes “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3) and Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:16) and Jesus says “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21).  You can’t say you love God and not do what He asks you to do.  That’s not love but disobedience.  Love equals obedience.  We obey, not because we are loved, but because we love Him and do things that are pleasing in God’s sight and so the Ten Commandments are still relevant today.  These were not nailed to the cross by Christ but those ordinances of washings and animal sacrifices have been made obsolete by Jesus’ perfectly atoning death on our behalf.  You say you love Jesus?  Prove it!

Related reading: What Are the Ten Commandments? 

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

marsha February 29, 2016 at 11:38 pm

Thank you for writing this article. It sooo reminds me of what I have been forgiven for. I have broke every commandment. I was so willfull but now I have been forgiven. My heart is mended, although I still feel sad when I think about these things. I just praise the Lord for His suffering to save a wretch like me. Thank you!!!

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Robert March 4, 2016 at 9:22 am

A fine article, Jack. A much needed reminder that it is God who sets the standard for living, not us.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Jack Wellman March 4, 2016 at 9:51 am

Thank you Robert. I appreciate your encouragement my brother.

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Job April 25, 2017 at 11:57 pm

Sir thanks for that nice information… How about sabbath? Plz give a reply….

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Jack Wellman April 26, 2017 at 8:34 am

Hello Job. The Sabbath command was given to Israel as it always came attached with “Say unto the children of Israel” so if you’re an orthodox Jew, keep the Sabbath but it doesn’t really make you draw closer to God (Gal 3). Today we worship on the Lord’s Day as the early church did and on the day Jesus was resurrected. Please read this my friend:http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/should-the-sabbath-be-on-saturday-or-sunday/

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Munashe Manatse July 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Hello Jack.
Is the Lord’s day the first day of the week?
From my understanding it is the day if the Lord when he comes back or the day of wrath.
Again I also don’t think that there’s any commandment we should remove.This includes the sabbath.If you’re saying that the 10 commandments are still relevant then surely the Sabbath is relevant too otherwise you’ll be contradicting yourself.

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Jack Wellman July 27, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Friend, no further comments will be approved. You can use a different name but you are the same person as it’s the same email, so I am sorry but this is the 2nd time that you have criticized someone or an article and used derogatory names against someone, and insulted them, so I pray you repent and remember Jesus’ commandment that shows how people will know we are His disciples, and it’s not the Sabbath! No, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). Please read 1 John and try to see what we are told to do with our brothers and sisters, and it’s not by keeping a day. That’s external works.

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gloria holder January 28, 2018 at 4:51 pm

Do we then make void the law though faith? God forbid: yea, we establish we law Romans 3:31.
Here is the patient of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Rev. 14:12

Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in though the gates into the city. Rev. 22:14

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Jack Wellman January 28, 2018 at 5:13 pm

Thank you Gloria. Yes, read 1 John 3 and this is what you are talking about. I am just glad we have grace (Gal 3; Eph 2) because it is not humanly possible to keep the commandments to gain eternal life, but that does not excuse us from striving to obey them. We should obey them but I’m glad we’re not saved by them, but by Christ alone.

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Lorelei Rooney April 15, 2018 at 6:25 am

Thank you for writing this. It really clarified a few concepts that I’ve been struggling to understand. You made it seem simple. I needed this!

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akydd May 24, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Don’t the “commands” in 1 John 5:3 refer to the commands listed previously in 1 John 3:23-24 and 1 John 4:21? Why, or why not?

Do you have any insight into entole vs nomos?

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Jack Wellman May 24, 2018 at 2:38 pm

Hello Akydd. I think you are right. They are both about loving. We are commanded to love God and then our neighbor, and those that do can know they are the children of God. As for “entole vs nomos,” I only know that we who are saved will naturally obey God’s commands, but not because we are compelled to but because we love God. When we love someone, we seek to do good things and please them, so even more so with God. Law doesn’t save, but a saved person will strive to obey the law.

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Dan A. Rodriguez October 24, 2018 at 9:25 am

I wrote 6 articles that I collected and expanded into a free 62-page PDF about this subject last year: “Did the grace of God cancel Biblical commandments?” The PDF sounds out a warning and shows many Scripture references in the New Testament that the church is not subject to any commandments that were dependent upon the Temple, sacrifices, or the Levitical priesthood, because those were given only for Israel. Yet, the references to the moral commandments of God, either directly or indirectly, are all over the New Testament. It is really foolish to deny it. The commandment of “love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:8) SUMMARIZES all the moral commandments of God according to Paul in Romans 13:9. A summary is not a deletion, replacement, cancellation, or rejection. Look me up if interested -Dan A. Rodriguez, and the page to download the 62 page where the free PDF is found is: X out the commandments under grace? The church at large desperately needs this info today.

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