Are Christians supposed to obey the 10 Commandments? This question is such a touchy subject that it’s important to understand what God says in the Bible. Let’s start by looking at Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:17-18 and then Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 1:9:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (NIV)
“Realizing the fact that the law is not made for a righteous person…” (NAS)
According to Scripture, there is only one way to be a righteous person – through faith in Jesus Christ alone, not through our obedience. Therefore, the 10 Commandments are NOT for Christians.
For example, imagine waking up every day with a husband whose first words are, “I have a list of things for you to do today. I am going to follow you around to make sure you do them perfectly. I will point out every mistake to you. And by the way, I will not lift a finger to help you. Have a good day!” Would you want to be in a relationship like that every day? Yet, that’s what it is like to be married to Mr. Law.
In contrast, what if you woke up every day to a husband whose first words are, “I love you so much! Let’s go have some breakfast together. While we are enjoying each other, I will share with you some things I want you to do today. But, don’t worry about them. I will not only go with you, but I will actually do each one through you if you will trust me. And if you make a mistake, I will gently let you know. But, no matter what, don’t forget that I love you.”
Who wants to be in that kind of relationship? It’s a no-brainer. This is what it’s like being married to Mr. Grace – who is Jesus!
Yet, some Christians will argue that we only have to keep the law and 10 Commandments for our sanctification (spiritual growth), but not our justification (salvation). Galatians 3:24-25 says:
“So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.”
Can it be any clearer? Once we come to faith in Christ, we are not obligated to keep the 10 Commandments! God has given us something much better than trying to keep a list of laws. According to Hebrews 10:16:
“This is the covenant that I will make with them: After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,”
God has actually written the Law on our hearts. This is referring to our new creation identity in Christ, which gives us the desire to obey Jesus in us. You have Jesus within you so that you can love God, other people, and yourself appropriately. And, according to Romans 13:8-10, love always fulfills the law.
Take a moment today to ask Jesus to live His life through you in the power of the Holy Spirit by faith (not by feelings). When you do, you will live out the 10 Commandments without even thinking about them! Let go of the law today and enjoy your union with Jesus!
Does your Christian life feel more like pressure to keep rules and perform for God? Does the unconditional love of God seem too good to be true? Let us help. Click on a button below to learn more about personal counseling or attend our life-transforming Grace Life Conference.
Bible image by Matt Banks via FreeDigitalPhotos.net