The Ten Commandments

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Table of Contents

Many religious people embrace the idea of loving others as themselves but remain blissfully unaware of how the Bible defines love. As a result, they do not understand the necessity of putting into practice the biblical principles that determine the success or failure of their relationships.

1. "You shall have no other gods before Me." Establishing, developing and maintaining that personal relationship with the true and living God is the most important commitment we can ever make. That is the primary focus of the first of the Commandments.

Do we realize how fragile our existence is, how constantly dependent we are on God’s care?

2. "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them." The Second Commandment goes to the heart of our relationship with our Creator. What is the proper way to worship the only true God?

3. "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." The use of God's name in a degrading or in any way disrespectful manner expresses an attitude of disdaining the relationship we are supposed to have with Him. Having a relationship with God demands that we represent Him accurately, sincerely and respectfully.

The Bible uses a variety of names for God. He calls things what they are, and He calls Himself what He is.

4. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." The Fourth Commandment, to remember the Sabbath, concludes the section of the Commandments that specifically helps define a proper relationship with God—how we are to love, worship and relate to Him. It explains why and when we need to take special time to draw closer to our Creator on the seventh day.

5. "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you." The primary focus of the Fifth Commandment is the importance of learning to respect others while we are still children.

How can we honor parents or grandparents whose behavior is unworthy of admiration? How can we apply this commandment to them?

6. "You shall not murder." Who possesses the authority to take human life? Who has the right to make that decision? The emphasis in the Sixth Commandment is on the word you. You shall not murder! You are not to deliberately kill-premeditatedly or in the anger of the moment.

7. "You shall not commit adultery." Unless the natural desires that attract us to members of the opposite sex are channeled exclusively toward a loving marriage relationship, the temptation to engage in sexual immorality can easily overpower our self-control. This weakness is the focus of the Seventh Commandment.

8. "You shall not steal." The Eighth Commandment safeguards everyone's right to legitimately acquire and own property. God wants that right honored and protected.

9. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." How important is truth? To fully appreciate the Ninth Commandment, with its prohibition of lying, we must realize how important truth is to God.

10. "You shall not covet." The last of the Commandments—against coveting—is aimed directly at the heart and mind of every human being. In prohibiting coveting, it defines not so much what we must do but how we should think. It asks us to look deep within ourselves to see what we are on the inside.

Does it matter whether we obey the Commandments? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could ask Jesus Christ if keeping the Commandments is still necessary, especially to receive eternal life?

Jesus Christ and the apostles viewed the Commandments as a necessary part of Christian living.

God's grace through faith requires a law that defines the sins that are to be forgiven.

Does this new commandment supersede the Ten Commandments and replace all other biblical laws?

Do you have a difficult time remembering the Ten Commandments recorded in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5? Are you trying to teach your kids God's commandments? Download this free infographic and share it with others.