Jarrod Jacobs: Do The 10 Commandments Apply Today?
From time to time, we are asked about the place of the Ten Commandments in modern times. Some say they will be saved by following the Ten Commandments. What is the truth? Put simply, we do not live under the Ten Commandments today because we are living under the New Testament. The book of Hebrews makes it clear that the Old Testament is done away (7:12-14, 8:13, 9:15-17). The Old Testament (including the Ten Commandments) was given to a specific group of people, the Jews (Ex. 19:3-6; Deut. 5:2-5). When reading the New Testament, we learn that the Old Testament, including the Ten Commandments, was a “tutor to bring us to Christ” (Gal. 3:24). God’s plan today is that all people be “one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). Paul wrote to the Ephesians and said that Christ broke down the “middle wall of partition” and made both (Jews and Gentiles) “one” in Christ (Eph. 2:14-16).
Some may ask, “Aren’t some of the Ten Commandments mentioned in the New Testament?” The answer is “yes.” For instance, in Romans 13:9, we read five of the Ten Commandments mentioned in a single verse. (Interesting note: The command to keep the Sabbath day is not mentioned anywhere in the New Testament!) Yet, just because some of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament does not mean that the Old Testament is still in force.
To illustrate this point, consider the following. From our history, we know that the 13 original colonies of the U.S. first belonged to England until we won our independence. Now, when the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution of the United States, and the various states began to make laws, they used laws similar to the ones drafted in England (Ex: Laws against murder, stealing, etc.) Yet, what citizen of the United States (then or today) would say that they are following the laws of England when they do not murder, steal, etc.? No one (then or today) would say that those in the U.S. are keeping “both” the U.S. and British laws because we are not.
Another example: When a wife is widowed and marries again, perhaps her new husband has things he likes which are similar to what her dead husband liked. (Ex: A certain meal for supper or he likes to go bowling, etc.) If she cooks that meal for him or goes bowling with him, is she doing it because it is what her dead husband liked, or because it is what her current husband likes? Paul used this reasoning in Romans 7:1-4. He told those “who know the law” (i.e., the Law of Moses) that they had become “dead to the law” that they should be “married to another.” In other words, these Jewish Christians were to understand that they were no longer under the Law of Moses, but were now subject to Christ and His law/testament.
Today, it is no different. We are not subject to the Old Law or Old Covenant; this includes the Ten Commandments! The apostle Paul said the Old Law was “done away” and “abolished” (II Cor. 3:7-16). We are subject to the New Testament now and need to live according to it all the days of our lives.
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