The New Testament and the Ten Commandments

Title: The New Testament and the Ten Commandments

Bible Book: Matthew 5 : 17-20

Author: Kenneth Hendricks

Subject: Ten Commandments



By the time Jesus and His apostles had shown up on the scene the modern day church (controlled by the Pharisees) had perverted the whole picture of God's will, making "Law Keeping" the way of salvation. Now it wasn't just the Ten Commandments that must be kept but the whole mass of additional laws that they had created. As the Pharisees presented it, keeping the laws of the Ten Commandments was the way to spiritual purity. If keeping the law was the way to heaven, I believe that one of the first two commandments would condemn us all: (1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength; and, (2) Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus didn't take the Ten Commandments lightly and neither should we.

I. We should have a personal appreciation for the Ten Commandments, vs. 17-18.

A. Seeing the Law in the fulfillment, vs. 17.

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill." vs. 17.

Jesus defended the Ten Commandments and so should we! There were 613 edicts in the Law and there was never a moment Jesus didn’t fulfill them all! Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial law and the moral law; He observed all special offering days; He also fulfilled the writings of the Old Testament prophets. He fulfilled Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 and Psalm 69; He fulfilled the prophesies; He did not destroy the words of the prophets! Jesus didn’t say …the law, or the prophets… The correct translation is …the law and the prophets… He fulfilled the Law by doing it; He fulfilled the prophecies by carrying them out! What about us? Do we fulfill the Law and the prophets? Notice Matthew 5:23-24; 5:39; 5:43-44; 6:33. Do we do this? We say we’re not Jesus and we can't do what He did. There is truth in that statement, but folks Jesus wasn’t talking to Jesus when He made these statements, He was talking to you and me!

B. Seeing the Law in the future, vs. 18.

"…Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." vs. 18.

A jot and tittle were the smallest parts of the alphabet and grammatical markings in the Hebrew language. The Law has not been abolished; it has been abused! Misrepresented! Misunderstood! Listen! The Law always had a purpose and that purpose has not changed. Notice Galatians 3:23-25. Before faith and the conviction of the Holy Spirit we were shown our sin by the Law! Once faith came we are kept by the Holy Spirit but the Law still applies! Let me answer the question; Are the Ten Commandments relevant today? Yes, without a doubt! Not only should we have a personal appreciation for the Ten Commandments, but also:

II. We should make a personal application of the Ten Commandments, vs. 19-20.

A. The external lesson, vs. 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."

For the sake of mankind Jesus played into their ignorance. No commandment is below or above another, yet we think murder is worse than lying or stealing. Christ makes it clear here; sin is sin! If you violate even the ones you believe are insignificant or small… you, along with those you teach by your life’s lesson or oral lesson, will suffer loss. Here’s the warning; NO commandment can be safely discarded! If you disregard one you will suffer personal, moral and spiritual loss; you will suffer mental, physical and financial pain; you will suffer loss in God’s millennial reign!

The priests used to have ten ribbons tied to their robes to remind them of the Ten Commandments. The ribbons were all equal in length and quality. Maybe we need something like that today since it seems the Holy Spirit’s conviction is not always enough! You say, I don’t teach others to break them. Do you tell them to dislike others; to try to take something away from someone; that they deserve something that doesn’t belong to them; to miss church once in a while? Now watch this one, parents, if you take you kids off on the Lord’s Day and ignore church to fulfill the lusts of the flesh you’ve taught them that there are things more important than God! Not only do we see the external lessons, but also:

B. The internal lessons, vs. 20.

"…except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees…" vs. 20. How can that happen? Accept Jesus Christ! Jesus says, "I say unto you…" vs. 20. You’re not going to get to heaven by doing the Ten Commandments, but you’re going to be blessed here and now as well as later if you seek to obey them. No one, no matter how obedient to these laws you believe you are, will get to heaven without Christ.


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