THE TEN COMMANDMENTS



Exodus 20:2-17 see also Deuteronomy 5:6-21





The First Commandment expressly prohibits us from engaging in the worship of foreign gods. It says: “You shall have no other Gods before me” (*Exodus 20:3 *Deuteronomy 5:7). There is only One True and Living God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is what the Lord Jesus said: “You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him” (Matthew 4:10). In other words, we must have no other god(s) beside the only God and Creator of the heavens and the earth. Mind you, whatever comes before God in our life (money, job, business, relationships, etc.) is our God. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (see Exodus 3:6, 15, 16) is the Great God who will not take second place. He must take the first place in our life, if we truly love Him—and that brings us to the next Commandment.


The Second Commandment prohibits us from making images of God. It says: “You shall not make for yourself an idol” (*Exodus 20:4-6 *Deuteronomy 5:8-10). In other words, we must not make for ourselves a carved image, statue or any visible representation of God and bow down and worship them—for God is Spirit (see John 4:24), and no image or visible material representation of Him is possible. As our Savior and Lord Jesus said: “No one can serve two masters” (Luke 16:13). We cannot claim to serve God and at the same time an idol.


The Third Commandment is most concerned with the use of God's name—it prohibits blaspheming the name of God. It says: “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God” (*Exodus 20:7 *Deuteronomy 5:11). The Lord Jesus said: “Don't make any vows! If you say, ‘By heaven!’ it is a sacred vow because heaven is God's throne” (Matthew 5:34).


The Fourth Commandment provides further teaching on how we are to worship God. It says: “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (*Exodus 20:8-11 *Deuteronomy 5:12-15). The Lord Jesus said: “The Sabbath was made to benefit people, and not people to benefit the Sabbath. And I, the Son of Man, am master even of the Sabbath!” (Mark 2:27-28).


The Fifth Commandment forms a bridge between the first four—concerned primarily with God and the last five—concerned primarily with human relationships. It is about respect for parental authority. It says: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land . . .” (*Exodus 20:12 *Deuteronomy 5:16). The Lord Jesus said: “If you love your father or mother more than you love Me, you are not worthy of being mine” (Matthew 10:37).


The Sixth Commandment is simply about respect for human life. It prohibits killing or murder—that is, the taking of another person's life for personal and selfish gain. It says: “Do not murder” (*Exodus 20:13 *Deuteronomy 5:17). What Jesus said: “If you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!” (Matthew 5:22).


The Seventh Commandment is about purity in marriage relationships. It says: “You shall not commit adultery” (*Exodus 20:14 *Deuteronomy 5:18).The Lord Jesus said that “Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).


The Eight Commandment says: “Do not steal” (*Exodus 20:15 *Deuteronomy 5:19). The Lord Jesus said: “If . . . your shirt is taken from you, give your coat too” (Matthew 5:40).


The Ninth Commandment says: “Do not testify falsely against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16 Deuteronomy 5:20). The Lord Jesus said: “You must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak” (Matthew 12:36).


The Tenth Commandment says: “Do not covet” (*Exodus 20:17 *Deuteronomy 5:21). The Lord Jesus warned us to beware and not be greedy for what we don't have. According to Him, we must “Take heed, and beware of all covetousness for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). Covetousness is a craving or passionate desire to have something that belongs to another. It is a serious sin that leads to a variety of other sins. As Scripture says, "The love of money is the root of all evils" (*1 Timothy 6:9-10 cf. *Proverbs 15:27). It was the sin of Ananias and Sapphira (*Acts 5:1-3 see also *Matthew 26:14-15 *2 Peter 2:15 *Jude 1:11 *1 Samuel 15:9, 19). It is among the attitudes that the Apostle Paul says that Christians must rid themselves of. According to Paul, Christians must “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (*Colossians 3:5 see also *Ephesians 5:3 *1 Corinthians 6:10).


Blessings!!!


Ike Ozuome

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