There are all kinds of arguments which people use to try to
excuse themselves from obeying God’s Ten Commandments. One such false argument goes like this:
“The Ten Commandments are not found in the New Testament, and therefore Christians are not required to obey them.”
First of all, such an argument wrongly attempts
to dismiss all guidance given by the Old Testament [see subheading "Why Not More Forcefully Reiterated in the N.T. ?”]. Furthermore---as will be demonstrated in this article---all ten of the Ten Commandments can,
indeed, be found in the
(The listing of the Ten Commandments in
the Old Testament can be found in Exodus chapter 20 and in Deuteronomy chapter
5. As for the numbering
of the Ten Commandments, this article will employ the numbering system found
in most [non-Catholic] Bible versions.)
Let’s now consider the various locations
within the New Testament, where each of the Ten Commandments can be found.
(And, incidentally, the following is not an exhaustive record of all the locations in the New Testament where the individual Commandments can be found.)
Notice Matthew chapter
19. A young man asked Christ what “shall I do that I may have eternal life?” Christ replied, “if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (verses 16-17). Christ
then proceeded (in verses 18-19) to show that He was referring to the Ten Commandments,
by stating five of them:
“You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery,
You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and your
mother.” So, we
see here that Christ Himself, not only refers to five of the Ten Commandments,
but also declares the vital necessity of keeping those Commandments!
The five Commandments
stated above are all concerned with our relationship to our fellowman. Yet,
there is one more of the Ten Commandments
which deals with showing love to fellowman: “You shall not covet”---
which is the tenth Commandment. Once
again, Christ Himself fully endorses
that Commandment: “And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness…’” (Luke 12:15).
The New Testament scriptures above are all spoken by Christ. Yet, some erroneously believe that the Ten Commandments were “nailed to the cross” when Christ was crucified. However,
we will now see that years after the
crucifixion, these same Commandments were also preached by Paul--- who wasn’t
even converted until after Christ’s crucifixion!
statement in Romans 13: “For
the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You
shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You
shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor
as yourself’” (verse 9). Paul is not saying that “love” replaces the Ten Commandments.
Rather, he is saying that IF you are showing true, godly love, then you will not be engaging in adultery, murdering, stealing,
bearing false witness, or coveting!
So, we’ve now seen that the last 6 of the Ten Commandments are stated in the New Testament. For additional places in the New Testament
where these Commandments can be found, notice the following: #5 in Eph. 6:1-2; #6 in Matt.5:21-22;
Rev. 21:8; #7 in I Cor.6:9-10; #8
in Eph.4:28; I Cor.6:9-10; #9 in Eph.4:25; Rev.21:8; #10 in Heb.13:5; I Tim.6:6-10.
The First Four Commandments
If it is a sin to violate any of the last
six of the Ten Commandments (which show the basics of how to love fellowman),
then it is certainly a sin to violate any of the first four (which show the basics of how to love God)! Christ stated that the Commandment to love God is even “greater”
than the Commandment to love fellowman (Matt.22: 35-40).
The first Commandment stated: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex.20:3).
Now, notice Christ’s words in Luke 4: “And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Get behind
Me, Satan! For it is written, “You
shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve”’”
The second Commandment
is as follows: “You shall not make
for yourself any 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…” (Ex.20: 4-5).
Now, notice this New Testament passage: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of
men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation
of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood
by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that
they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him
as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible
God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them
up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God
for the lie, and worshiped
and served the creature rather than the Creator…” (Rom.1: 18-25).
in the New Testament related to these first two Commandments:
“And do not become idolaters as were some of them…” (I Cor. 10:7). “…Neither
fornicators, nor idolaters,
nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will
inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor.6: 9-10). “But
the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and
brimstone, which is the second death” (Rev.21:8).
Now let’s look at the third Commandment:
“You shall not take the name
of the LORD your God in vain…” (Ex.20:7). This
Commandment is often referred to as the sin of “blasphemy.”
Notice these New Testament scriptures: “But
now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy,
filthy language out of your mouth” (Col.3:8). “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,
murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies”
In conclusion, we have seen that nine of the Ten Commandments can, indeed, be found in the New Testament. What about the fourth Commandment---to keep the Sabbath Day holy? For
the answer to that, see “Is the SABBATH Command in the New Testament?”