I’m sure you’re familiar with “The 10 Commandments”. After all, you can find plaques, posters and other items where the text is copied verbatim from one bible translation or another. If you went to some kind of “Sunday School” when you were young (or are still going), you’ve probably been told to memorize a condensed version. The problem with that list of commandments is that it isn’t quite correct for true Christians because Christ made a couple of changes.
What about the Mosaic Law?
The Mosaic Law was, of course, the law as laid down by Moses. Most of it is no longer valid for Christians because the civil part of it expired along with the end of the Jewish civil government and the ceremonial part of it ended with the fulfillment of the priestly work of Christ.
The only remaining, valid part of the Mosaic Law is the moral code and most of it matches the 10 commandments.
Changes Made by Christ
If you read things out of context, it won’t make sense, so you need to find the right verses and read the verses that precede them and those that follow.
About the greatest commandment:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” ~ Matthew 22:37
As you can see, the original “ten commandments” are already reordered. Let’s continue with the Sabbath day:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ~ Matthew 11:28
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” ~ Mark 2:27
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. ~ Romans 14:5
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. ~ Colossians 2:16
As you can see now, keeping the Sabbath day is voluntary. It still honors him if you keep it but if you can’t, don’t worry about it. There’s one more important change about honoring your parents:
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. ~ Matthew 10:34
It’s obvious that we can’t follow the commandment unless the two parties are in total agreement.
The Correct Moral Code – The New Moral Code
Taking the Book of Exodus as the guide, and adding in the remainder of the Mosaic Law that isn’t covered by them (or at least not inclusively), here is how the new condensed list should read:
- Love your God.
- Love your neighbors.
- Do not worship idols.
- Do not use God’s name in vain.
- Keep the Sabbath, if that is your desire.
- Honor your parents, if they are with God.
- Do not murder.
- Do not participate in adultery, incest, homosexuality or bestiality.
- Do not steal.
- Do not lie.
- Do not want that which is not yours.
If you think about it, if you keep the first two commandments, it’s impossible to violate the remaining moral code because if you do… well, you aren’t keeping the first two commandments.
This isn’t an official list or anything of that sort. It’s up to you to view the references and comprehend the meanings for yourself. Don’t worry if you slip up with one of them, unless it’s intentional, because we’re justified by faith and saved by grace, not by obedience to the law (as long as you continue to repent).