1. Moses never ever actually refers to them together the “ten commandments.”

Exodus 20:1–2 introduces among the most famed sections in the Bible—indeed, among the most vital pieces of religious literature in the entirety world—the Ten Commandments. Weird enough, they are never ever actually referred to as the Ten Commandments.

The Hebrew expression, i m sorry occurs 3 times in the Old testament (Ex. 34:28; Deut. 4:13; 10:4), literally means “ten words.” This is why Exodus 20 is frequently referred to as the Decalogue, deka gift the Greek word because that “ten” and also logos definition “word.” These space the Ten Words that God gave the Israelites at mount Sinai—and, I would certainly argue, the Ten Words that God wants every one of us come follow.

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2. They show us that God is.

The law is one expression the the Lawgiver’s heart and character. We need to think about that prior to we say, “I don’t care for laws,” or prior to we bristle in ~ the thought of do’s and also don’ts. The commandments no only show us what God wants; they present us what God is like. They to speak something around his honor, his worth, and also his majesty. They tell us what matters to God. Us can’t disdain the legislation without disrespecting the Lawgiver.

3. They collection us apart from the world.

As Christians, we room a kingdom of priests and also a holy country (1 Pet. 2:9). We have to be all set to was standing alone, come look different, and also to have rules the people doesn’t understand. That course, we aren’t constantly the holy civilization we need to be, however that’s what he has dubbed us come be. That’s that we are. We space God’s people, set apart to live according to god’s ways.

4. Castle don’t strip our freedom, however instead administer it.

We too regularly think of the Ten Commandments together constraining us—as if God’s means will store us in servitude and also from establish our dreams and reaching our potential. We forget the God method to offer us numerous life (John 10:10) and true flexibility (John 8:32). His laws, 1 man 5:3 speak us, are not burdensome.

God is no trying to crush us v red tape and also regulations. The Ten Commandments space not jail bars, however traffic laws. Maybe there room some anarchists the end there who think, “The civilization would it is in a much better place without any traffic laws.” A few of united state drive as if the were so! yet even if you obtain impatient once you’re at a red light, try to zoom through the yellow, and also turn left top top a very stale pink—overall, aren’t you glad the there is some semblance that law and also order? people stop and also go. Human being slow down as soon as driving through schools. They protect against for institution buses. You wouldn’t be able to drive your auto to the grocery store without laws. Once you drive on a switchback on a hill pass, perform you curse the guard rails that keep you from plunging to an untimely death? No, someone placed them there at good expense, and also for our good, the we might travel around freely and safely.

The Ten Commandments are not accuse on just how to obtain out that Egypt. They space rules for a complimentary people to remain free.

We space God’s people, collection apart come live follow to god’s ways.

5. They were not given so that we can earn our salvation.

Some civilization view Christianity as: God has actually rules, and if i follow the rules, God will certainly love me and save me. That’s no what occurred in the story the the exodus. The Israelites to be an oppressed people, and God said, “I hear your cry. Ns will conserve you because I love you. And when you space saved, free, and forgiven, ns going to provide you a new method to live.”

Salvation is not the reward for obedience; salvation is the reason for obedience. Jesus does no say, “If friend obey my commandments, I will certainly love you.” Instead, he very first washes the feet the the disciples and then says, “If you love me, you will save my commandments” (John 14:15). All of our doing is only since of what the has an initial done for us.

6. They are much more trustworthy than our intuition or social code.

We live in a paradoxical age where many will say, “Right and also wrong is what girlfriend decide because that yourself,” and yet this same civilization will rebuke others for violating any number of assumed commands. Together a culture, we might be quite cost-free and liberal when it pertains to sex, but we can be certain fundamentalist as soon as it pertains to the moral claims of the sexual revolution. The old make an oath words might not scandalize us any kind of longer, but now there are other words—offensive slurs and insults—that will conveniently put someone out of polite company. We are still a society with a ethical code.

But, the scriptures says the fear of the mr is the start of wisdom (Prov. 9:10). The means to uncover moral accuse is no by hearne to her gut yet by listening come God. If we want to know right native wrong, if we desire to know how to live the great life, if we want to know exactly how to live in a means that blesses our friends and also neighbors, wednesday be way to execute things oh my god way, which way paying mindful attention to the Ten Commandments.

7. The church’s most vital instruction has actually been based on them.

The church has historically placed the Ten Commandments at the facility of its teaching ministry, specifically for youngsters and new believers. For centuries, catechetical instruction was based on three things: the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and also the Ten Commandments.

In other words, when people asked, “How execute we carry out discipleship? exactly how do us teach ours kids about the Bible? What do new Christians should know about Christianity?” your answers always included an emphasis on the Ten Commandments.

8.They are an important to our expertise of the rest of the Old testament law.

While it’s true that the bible doesn’t to speak to print the Ten Commandments in boldface, we shouldn’t undersell their special stature in ancient Israel. They come from God as he speak to the civilization face-to-face (Deut. 5:1–5), and they come from mountain Sinai amidst fire, cloud, thick darkness, and also a according to voice (Deut. 5:22–27). Exodus 20 point out a literal and also spiritual high allude in the life the Israel. The no wonder the tablets of the law, along with the manna and Aaron’s staff, were put inside the ark that the covenant (Heb. 9:4)

There room many much more laws in the Old Testament. But these an initial ten room foundational because that the rest. The Ten Commandments are like the constitution because that Israel, and also what adheres to are the regulatory statutes.


9. They are main to the ethics of the brand-new Testament.

Think of note 10:17, for example. This is wherein the affluent young ruler pertains to Jesus and also asks, “What should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus states to him, “You recognize the commandments.” then he lists the second table the the law, the commandments the relate to our neighbors: “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, carry out not steal, perform not be afflicted with false witness, do not defraud, Honor your father and also mother” (v. 19).

Jesus isn’t laying the end a path for earning eternal life. We recognize from the rest of the story the Jesus is setup the young male up because that a fall, due to the fact that the one command he obviously hasn’t obeyed is the one command Jesus skips—do no covet (vv. 20–22). However it is noteworthy that once Jesus has actually to offer a convenient review of our neighborly duties, the goes right to the Ten Commandments.

10. They are still pertinent for christians today.

Can we save the commandments completely or perfectly? No. Execute they serve to present us our sin and lead us to the cross? Absolutely. But the commandments additionally show us the way to live, the method to love our neighbor, and also the method to love God through all our heart and also soul.

We still require the Ten native handed down at Sinai. Have actually they been readjusted in some respects by the resulting Christ? because that sure—transformed however not trashed. We deserve to no much longer keep the Ten Commandments rightly unless we save them in Christ, v Christ, and with a view to the all-surpassing greatness of Christ. As new creations in Christ, the legislation is not just our duty but additionally our delight. If we want to love Christ as he deserves and also as the desires, we will store his commandments (John 14:15).


Kevin DeYoung(PhD, university of Leicester) is the an elderly pastor at Christ agreement Church in Matthews, phibìc Carolina, andassociate professor of organized theology in ~ Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte.He has written books for children, adults, and academics,includingJust perform Something;Crazy Busy; andThe biggest Story. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have nine children.


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