Should I Keep and Obey the Ten Commandments?

"Should I keep and obey the ten commandments?", is a question often asked by people who want to become Christians or think that they are a new convert. I am not asking do we have to keep the ten commandments to be saved. Most people understand clearly that salvation comes through faith in God and by the grace of God. Please don't take this page as saying you have to keep the ten commandments perfectly in order to be saved.

Let me make a distinction early on. There are ten commandments which make up the covenant of God. These are ten commandments are distinct and separate from other commandments, laws, judgments, statutes and ordinances of God.

For example, it must be understood that ordinances were nailed to the cross, not the law of God. This shows the importance of the distinction between the law of God and ordinances.

Collosians 2:14  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
1 Corinthians 11:2  Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

These ordinances Paul writes to the Corinthians are different from the ordinances of divine service in the worldly sanctuary.

What is Sin?

What is sin? What is the definition of sin? The best place to turn to understand the Bible is the Bible and asking the Holy Spirit to guide us into all understanding. For more details see Sin

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

If it is sin to commit adultery before we know God, then is it a sin to commit adultery after we profess to serve God? Can we choose what is sin and what is not? Or do we believe that God establishes what is moral?

The New Testament

Now this is heavy. This was a huge eye-opener when I realized that Jesus Christ had a will. You know before people die, they write a will about what they want done with their stuff. Some call it a "last will and testament". And Jesus Christ has a will, called the New Testament. It's so obvious, and yet I didn't see it before. The whole last half of the Bible is called the New Testament. We call the first half of the Bible the Old Testament, and in it is contained the Old Testament that God made with the children of Israel, the ten commandments of God written on two tablets of stone. So the Old Testament or Old Will is clearly written, the ten commandments.

What is the New Testament of Jesus Christ? What is Jesus Christ's will? Very concisely, it is the Law of God written on our minds and hearts. What is the law of God? It is the ten commandments. For details see New Testament. So very obviously and plainly, the will of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the ten commandments written on our heart. This is the biggest reason I believe that God wants us to observe the ten commandments.Like, he wants them written on our hearts. How obvious is that?

Does Jesus Christ Care if We Keep His Commandments?

Does Jesus Christ care if we keep His commandments? What did Jesus Christ say about his commandments?

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Did Jesus Christ do away with the Law of God/ the 10 commandments?

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Do we need to live by the 10 commandments?

Do we need to observe and make life decisions by the ten commandments? I found a very powerful verse that explains this to me in a huge way.

Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

That was obvious to me. It's not just the ten commandments that God wants us to live by, it's every word of God. That more than answered that question for me.

Ten Commandments Removed from Government Buildings

You may have heard in the news the cry that went out from Christians when the 10 commandments were removed from government buildings. It brings up some very interesting questions:

  • Why did people protest the removal of the ten commandments if they don't believe in them?
  • If churches don't teach that we should observe and believe the ten commandments, then why would the care if they were removed from government buildings?
  • If churches don't have the ten commandments written on their walls, then why do they care if they are written on government buildings?
  • Why do many churches have people that mock or scorn people who keep the ten commandments but protest removal of ten commandments from government buildings?

This reeks of more confusion and hypocrisy to me. Why do people want

Other questions people ask related to the ten commandments:

  • What are the ten commandments?
  • Who gave the ten commandments?
  • Are the ten commandments relevant today?
  • Are the ten commandments outdated?

When I got out of the 2x2 religion that I was raised in, I began asking these questions. I was not affiliated with any church. And I wanted to know the truth, not what was convenient for other people or what fit into some denomination. I wanted to know if God wanted me to keep the ten commandments. I wasn't married, didn't have kids and didn't "belong" to a church (I belong to God), so I didn't have to worry about convincing anyone else or being concerned what others thought of me.

Hypocrisy of Evangelists

Shortly after leaving the 2x2 cult, I was encouraged by my aunt Kathy Lewis to purchase a book titled School Of Biblical Evangelism: 101 Lessons: How To Share Your Faith Simply, Effectively, Biblically... The Way Jesus Did by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. In this book, Ray and Kirk shared a few of the ten commandments and show that breaking the commandments of God is sin. They did this with the purpose of convicting people of sin. I was convicted of sin and realized that after all those years of going to meetings I didn't even know God nor understand what sin was.

However, in reading this book, I noticed that Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron left out honoring God's holy day, the 7th day of the week. I wondered why. Why would breaking 9 of the 10 commandments be a sin according to them, but not breaking the sabbath? Isn't that contradictory?

But the confusing part is that after people believe in God and believe they are saved by faith and the grace of God (and I agree), then they say we don't need to keep the ten commandments. What in the world? If sin is breaking the commandments before we had faith in God, should we not have more respect for God's commandments now if we have faith in Him? Why are churches teaching that after you profess to have faith that it's OK to sin then? That simply didn't make sense to me. It is saying "You guys who don't have faith in God are sinners because you break the ten commandments, but we're save so it doesn't matter if we sin." That reeks of hypocrisy.

It got me thinking about this: Are they teaching to just keep 9 of 10 commandments of God like they propose? (leaving out sabbath) Or can we choose the "best" 9, 8, 7 etc that we like? Perhaps we can choose the best 3 commandments that are convenient? Isn't that ridiculous to think? That's like saying, "Yes, I believe in God. And I believe half of what God says is good." What? Who are we to judge God?

The question of "Should I Keep the Ten Commandments" is best answered after some basic facts are agreed on. And these facts are clear and unambiguous throughout the scripture. And they begin in the book of Genesis. In fact, if a person doesn't believe in the book of Genesis as being true, then there is no point in going further.

God said in Old Testament that there is one law for Israelite and for stranger. There are not like two sets of commandments, like: one set of rules for people who don't believe in God yet and another set that you live by after you claim to have faith in God.

Rom_7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
Rom_7:13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Do you remember Jesus Christ in His preaching showing how sinful we really are? God even cares about what we think about, and what's in our heart. He certainly is a jealous God.

Is the Law Relevant Today?

Rom_7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

Here Paul writes to the Romans that the law is still very much alive. Sin is present. Even some false preachers who teach not to heed the 10 commandments of God still use the commandments of God to convict people of sin. You may say "That's hypocritical: How can they preach that people should not sin, but then they disobey (sin against God by breaking) the 10 commandments?" Which I think is a very valid question. How can preachers teach that others are sinner for breaking any of the 10 commandments and then go about doing what they preach against?

Does it Matter if We Sin?

Yes, of course it matters. It even matters to new-age Christians who teach things contrary to the Bible in order to increase their congregation. Some teach homosexual marriage is ok and yet still teach that you should not sin. Read what the Bible says:

1Co_15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

If we disobey the commandments of God, whether we lived under the old covenant or today under the new covenant, sin still exists. It has not gone away.

Heb_12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

The struggle against sin continues still after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jas_4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

What does the Bible teach about things even beyond the 10 commandments? Have you ever known to do good but not done it? Is this not sin?

Even pagans take murderers to court because even they know that murder (breaking the commandment "Thou shalt not kill") is wrong.

Is the Law of God Relevant in the New Testament?

Some claim that the the Law of God was part of the Old Testament (it was) and therefore must not be part of the New Testament (Not True). This is clearly a teaching contrary to sound doctrine. For example. I can buy a car under a covenant/contract with one person, and sell the same car a few years later under a different covenant. The car is the same one, but it was involved in two contracts. First, the law was written by God's finger in stone, and now God wants to write his law in our heart. Same law, different place of writing. It's not complex.

Is There Such Thing as Old Testament Law?

Some Bible professors reword the phrase "law of God" (Biblical term) and call it instead the "Old Testament Law" (a term not used in Bible). This is dangerously misleading. It insinuates that the Law of God was not part of the Old Testament alone and not the New Testament. What happens when we add to the word of God? Doesn't it change the meaning? What if I were to refer to the Old Testament God and the New Testament God? Is this innocent or without guile? Here is the New Testament shown to include the law of God as explained by the apostle Paul to the Hebrews as he quotes Jeremiah.

God's New Testament with God's Law

Heb 10:15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

The Law of Sin and Death

The law of sin and death was clear. When Adam and Eve sinned, they reaped the consequences and died. The law of sin and death still exist and those who don't have faith in God will die. Read about the Law of the Spirit of Life.

Law of the Spirit of Life

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

For those of us who have put our faith in God (and not false prophets), then by the blood of Jesus Christ we are saved from our own sin. You can see that Jesus Christ overcame sin in the flesh and blotted out the ordinances against us. It never says that the ten commandments or law of God was blotted out or nailed to the cross.

Here are arguments I've seen by new-age preachers and their followers to discount the perfect law of God. And listed below these arguments are my conclusions after comparing what they teach to what the Bible teaches.

1. Sin Conviction as Motivation to Dislike Law of God

Some clever people teach people to dislike the ten commandments by showing them that they are convicted of sin if they believe in them. The obvious conclusion they are teaching is that people who don't want to be convicted of sin should not believe in the ten commandments.

An ignorant and frank conversation often goes like this:

Should we keep the ten commandments?

Preacher - Well if your going to keep the ten commandments, then you would need to keep the sabbath.

But I go to church on Sunday, isn't that the sabbath?

Preacher - But the sabbath is the seventh day on Saturday. So if you're going to keep the ten commandments you would have to rest on Saturday

Oh, I haven't been doing that and I don't want to do that either, so I will just forget it all then.

Because the church goer isn't educated on the New Testament or the Sabbath (holy day of God in Gen 2:3), and they perceive observing the sabbath as inconvenient for them, then they drop the conversation, not willing to believe they are sinning by profaning the sabbath. So the whole 10 commandments are dumped because they don't like one or more of them.

2. Finding Fault with 10 Commandments

New age preachers often find fault with the 10 commandments of God. They say they are "old" and were "fulfilled" and were therefore "done away with" or even go so far as to say "terminated". But this contradicts what Jesus Christ said:

Mat_5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

And what the apostle Paul wrote:

Rom_7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

and they knew this in OT days

Psa_19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

3. Teaching 10 Commandments Were Terminated With Old Testament

But are the 10 commandments "done away with" or "terminated"? Was their fault found with them by God? Reading the scripture we find that the Old Testament was found fault with, but not the ten commandments. In fact, to the contrary of these preachers, we find that the New Testament includes the law of God written on our hearts and in our minds. You can probably easily see where a clever person can twist this scripture to take advantage of people who don't understand it:

Mat_5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Heb 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: ...

You can see by carefully reading this passage (or reading all of Romans and Hebrews) that no fault was found with God's law, just fault found with the old covenant.

4. Another Hypocritical Excuse - Old Testament Doesn't Apply to Me

This is another hypocrtical excuse rooted in ignorance. Many preachers claim that the 10 commandments were part of the Old Testament (they were) and since the old testament was a covenant with the Israelites, that it doesn't apply to them. So they claim they are under the New Testament. This is an ignorant excuse that leads people to ask to the next question "Who was the New Covenant" made with? We can see that if they don't believe the Old Covenant applies to them, then to be consistent they would have to say the New Testament doesn't apply to them:

Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

You can see that the New Covenant was made with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah just like the Old Covenant. This excuse of theirs is easily proven to be wrong and they should quit using it. And to take advantage of people who don't know their Bible, is simply wrong also.

5. Insinuating Ten Commandments Were Old and Replaced by New

This is an interesting argument. First they repeat over and over again that the Old Testament was done away with and the New Testament was brought in. They keep on repeating the old and new testaments, but totally neglect the issue at hand of the Law of God. There is no Old Law and New Law. They don't exist. It is God's law, the 10 commandments. So when a person asks about keeping the ten commandments, they bring up old testament and new testament and never answer the question. It's like asking someone "Should I keep the ten commandments" and then someone answering "Would you eat moldy, stale bread?" and hoping the person would answer "No" and then conclude that the 10 commandments of God should not be obeyed.

Or, it is like someone asking "Should I obey the 10 commandments" and someone asking, "Was there fault found with the Old Testament?" And the person answers "Yes". And the preacher asks "Was there a new testament to replace it?" and the person answers "Yes". And the preacher asks "Why would you want to stick with the old testament that fault was found with?". And the preacher has side-stepped the issue of the ten commandments, instead insinuating that the 10 commandments of God were only part of the Old Testament and not the New.

6. Claiming No More Remembrance of Sin

Some people think about the 10 commandments and don't like their sin exposed, so in reading the New Testament, they claim there must no longer be sin because the New Testament says that "I will remember their sin no more". Read the verse in isolation and see what you get if you didn't want to be convicted of sin.

Heb 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

But when I read the next verses, Paul explains:

Heb 10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Paul isn't saying that God doesn't care about sin anymore. He's saying that the Jesus Christ as high priest has offered the perfect sacrifice once in heaven and so there is no need to continually offer sacrifices each year.

7. You Cannot Understand Because You Aren't Educated Enough - Belittlement

This argument completely sidesteps the question and goes into belittling a person's education. What is ironic is that these same people will argue that cult leader's should know better than teaching different gospels beause the gospel is so clear in the Bible. And makes me ask "What is so unclear about the 10 commandments of God?"

8. Lumping with a Cult

Another technique is to say to the person "That's what 7th day adventists teach." As if to say "Hey, because you said something that 7th day Adventists said, you must be wrong. But consider the scenario if they were telling someone "Salvation comes through faith in God...." and then you butt in and say "Hey, that's what the Church of God teaches..." It's simply a means of discrediting someone else by trying to lump them in with an organization that other people don't like. It never answers the questions.

9. False Claims or Insinuation of Salvation by Works

A person may say "Hey, you're trying to earn your salvation by keeping the sabbath." Which is really false according to their own reasoning. What if you went up to the person and said "Hey, you haven't killed anyone today, are you trying to earn salvation by works?" Not only do I find this argument ridiculous, but provocative.

10. Just Keep 9 of the 10

Some people claim that only 9 of the 10 commandments need to be followed because keeping the sabbath day Holy was not mentioned according to them in the New Testament. This is based on a presumptive rule they have made up that "If something isn't mentioned in X number of verses in the Bible, then you don't have to follow it." With this they are also teaching that God has changed what is sin and what is not sin in regards to the sabbath without any reasons given. So let's apply this to other things. If I say it's OK to steal couches because stealing couches isn't mention in 1 Peter Chapter 2, then does that make it OK? I find this argument ridiculous. Adding commandments to annul the commandments of God is not a practice taught by God. Rather the opposite is taught:

Mat_15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Mar_7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

11. God Gave the Ten Commandments But Jesus Christ taught to Love

This may sound right to many people, but Jesus Christ is God. So how could God teach opposing things? Both parts sound correct, except for the "but" which indicates a contradiction and therefore makes the whole argument incorrect. And also, let's take a look at what love is, as defined by the Bible.

Joh_14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh_14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Joh_15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

So then, we get to the question, did the commandments of Jesus Christ contradict or go beyond the 10 commandments?

Mat 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

12. Threats of Persecution or Dis-fellowship for Keeping 10 Commandments

If you decide to keep the ten commandments of God and honor God, then you will face persecution. If you are a preacher and start to believe in the ten commandments of God as being pure and holy, they you will probably lose your job at your local church because a lot of people don't want to be convicted of sin or show they are wrong. So are you going to follow God and honor Him, or cave to the pressure and persecution of proud church-goers?

1Jn_5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn_5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
2Jn_1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

I find that if a person does not keep the commandments of God then they are not children of God. If a person is not a child of God, why would anyone want to fellowship with them?

Law of Liberty

Jas_1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Lack of Teaching

One of the many things that concern me besides the many arguments of preachers against keeping the 10 commandments is the attitude that these people take towards other things God said and the lack of teaching on the New Testament. The New Testament is so important, that large portions of Romans and Hebrews are devoted to explaining it in clear terms. But the fact that so few people have even know what the New Testament is or what God's law is reveals that many "Bible Teachers" would rather not bring up the subject.

If you believe you are included in the New Testament, then what laws of God have been written on your heart and in your mind?

My Conclusion

After reading Romans and Hebrews and seeing some of the conversations online that people have had with preachers, I have concluded that the ten commandments of God written on my heart and in my mind is scriptural. And also that God wants me to follow His Law in the Spirit from the heart and not perform them as mechanical acts of the flesh. Salvation is not a result of how perfectly we keep God's Word, but comes from faith in God and the blood of Jesus Christ.

Ten Commandments - Home

Keep 10 Commandments

Disbelief in 10

Faith in God

First Commandment

Second Commandment

3rd Commandment - Vanity

4th Commandment - Sabbath

5th Commandment - Honor

Sixth Commandment

Seventh Commandment

Under the Law

Eighth Commandment

Ninth Commandment

Tenth Commandment




Sabbath and 2x2s

Sabbath Day

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To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. - Jesus Christ speaking to Saul, see Act 26:18, see Salvation through Jesus Christ.
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