NOTE: This is going to be a long read, but totally worth it. So, grab a coffee or a snack, sit back, stretch your legs and enjoy the read.
The Ten Commandments is a set of Biblical principles, which have been followed traditionally since the Old Testament times. They still continue to be a holy oracle for every Christian today.
Have they been modified to fit the modern day generation? Or, are they still the same rigid laws? Let’s compare them with the New Testament version to see if any amends are made.
For the benefit of those who have no clue of what the ten commandments are, here’s the list (For the rest, here’s a refresher) from the Old Testament – (Exodus and Deuteronomy)
List of Ten Commandments:
- I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make any graven images. You shall not bow down to them nor serve them.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long and it may be well with you.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor’s.
Isn’t that Easy-peasy? Oops… I agree, Not really! And when you dig into each one of the above list, it only gets tougher.
Let’s dig and dive in a little deeper, cuz it’s not just about proving a point.
1) I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before Me.
The first commandment sounds easy, doesn’t it? No! It probably would’ve been, if it stopped right there, but it goes on… “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
If you give away all of your heart, you’re giving away 100% of your love, care and affection.
If you’re giving away all of your soul, there’s nothing under or above the sky and the sea that really matters to you anymore.
If you’re giving away all of your strength, there’s no more ability left in you to do anything else.
Is that possible?
If it is,
Is that what the Lord really wants? Do you think He created you so that He can enjoy a live puppet show?
If the first commandment itself takes away “All of you”, do you think we should keep digging more? Let’s give it a try and see how it unfolds.
Here’s what the New Testament says,
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
When you give away “All of yourself” to love the Lord, then He’ll make sure you’ll have all that you’ll ever need. Isn’t that an amazing deal!?
I’m sure it sounds difficult to give away all of yourself, but the return reward is worth more than anything. So, why not give it a try?
John 14:15 says, If you love me, you will keep my commandments. So, if you follow #1, you’re bound to follow all the ten. If you give up on any of the ten, you’re going wrong in the first step itself. Beware!
2) You shall not make any graven images. You shall not bow down to them nor serve them.
If you’re a believer and taking this in the literal sense, maybe it’s easy. But, if you think logically, we’ve all fallen prey to the graven image – the one that’s always handy, no matter where we go (washroom included). Mobiles and other electronic gadgets have become the centre of our existence. Our life revolves around them.
Here’s what the New Testament says,
You cannot serve God and mammon. You cannot have two masters. (Matthew 6: 24)
It may be your spouse or children or property or mobile or pride or just a selfish desire. Do a self-check. If there’s something which is on top of your priority list, you might want to rearrange your list.
One day, Every knee shall bow before Him. (Romans 14:11). If you’re planning to wait till that day, you’re doomed for life.
3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Ever heard of Mother Promise… God promise? I could never fathom out the reason behind dragging God into our silly issues.
Well, let’s see what the New Testament says,
Matthew 5:34-37 – Do not swear at all!
Straight and simple! Isn’t it?
A yes or a No works great. Why complicate it with unnecessary stuff and heap evil on our heads?
4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
There’s no alteration. It’s been the same since the beginning. When God created the entire universe, He rested on the seventh day – the Sabbath.
Your Sabbath day might fall on any other weekday, depending on your work, but remember to relax, meditate on His word, enjoy His creation and praise Him.
5) Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long and it may be well with you.
Want to live longer and be happy? Here’s the key – All you have to do is “Respect your parents”.
Straightforward and undemanding!
6) You shall not murder.
Most of us stick to this – We don’t kill.
But, here’s what the New Testament says –
Murder begins in the heart.
If you’re angry with your brother or sister, you’re a murderer.
Angry words kill relationships. How would we fulfill the commandment “Love your neighbour”, if there’s no relationship at all?
Sometimes, it’s easy to break relationships, but Jesus says, “Love your enemies”.
It’s inconvenient. But here’s a master tip to easily follow this rule – LOVE (verb). No, I’m not kidding. Turn your anger into love intentionally and see how the story unfolds.
Moreover, taking revenge is never made a part of our responsibility.
Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. Romans 12:19
7) You shall not commit adultery.
Most of us stay away from “having an illegal affair”, for the sole purpose of staying pure.
Now can we question ourselves internally as to how pure we actually are?
Matthew 5:28 says, If you look at a woman lustfully, you have already committed adultery with her in your heart.
Purity isn’t just physical. What goes on in our heads matter too.
I don’t want to get into the details but here’s a short note of warning – Beware of Pornography!
Being in a pre-marital relationship is sweet, but it doesn’t give us the license to enjoy the deepest intimacy. Save sex for marriage.
8) You shall not steal.
No matter how small or how worthless an item is, if you’re sneaking to get a hold of it, it’s considered Theft. And it is WRONG. Simple and clear!
I love how Zacchaeus is self-convicted – he doesn’t just repent but comes up with a solution to clear his guilt and shame.
We may not be in a position to repay, but forgiveness has been offered for free. All we have to do is ask and we shall be forgiven and be termed guilt-free.
9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
We’ve all lied at some point in life – whether it’s throwing the blame on our siblings/classmates or getting away from being caught. Why? Isn’t it fear that made us do that? When does fear come? Doesn’t it creep into our hearts when we do something wrong?
A lie or a wrong keeps adding up until you get rid of it. How can you get rid of it? Again, forgiveness is the key.
Just because forgiveness is offered for free, it doesn’t mean we can keep sinning and asking for forgiveness. That’s not how the authority works. True repentance comes from within.
10) You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor’s.
In simple terms – Don’t be greedy. Be content with what you have.
If you need something, make your requests known to God with thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6
The Father knows what you need, even before you ask. Matthew 6:8
And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches. Philippians 4:19
With all these beautiful promises, do we still have a reason to feel jealous or allow greediness to corrupt our minds? I don’t think so.
After comparing the Old and New Testament, I can say that the old set of commandments haven’t been changed but made stricter – yet, with more grace.
Unfortunately, most of us think that Jesus came to abolish or write off the law, but Matthew 5:17 reveals the truth – Jesus came to fulfill the law. He set an example for all of us to follow His footsteps.
Since He laid the groundwork for us, let’s get set go and do our job.
Are you ready to take up your cross and follow His footsteps?