“And God spoke all these words.” Exodus 20:1a
The 10 Commandments are God’s law. Christ came to fulfill this law because sinners (us) can never fulfill God’s law. He came to fulfill it both inwardly and outwardly. What does that mean?
Well, for example, do not murder does mean don’t go out and kill someone, but it also means don’t harbor anger in your heart. The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 goes into many of the heart issues of the law. Fulfilling the law fully also means thinking about both what we do and what we DON’T do. A sin of “commission” is doing something wrong. A sin of “omission” is not doing the right thing.
So if the law is so hard to keep completely, and Christ fulfilled the law for us, why does it still matter? John 14:15 says “If you love me you will obey what I command.” Think about it- if you love someone, don’t you try to do things they like and want you to? How much more the God who created you and loves you? Not only that, but he knows what is best for us, his creation.
The other thing to keep in mind is that these are the 10 Commandments, NOT the 10 Suggestions. Following the 10 commandments means following the whole thing, not just a piece here and a piece there. They are all connected.
In fact, it’s pretty cool- the first 4 have to do with God’s relationship with man, the next 6 have to do with man’s relationship with his fellow man. Kind of like the “greatest commandment” love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your souls and with all your mind…and the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39); in fact, vs 40 says “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
How can we show love to our neighbor if we don’t love God first? Lest you become discouraged, remember that Christ came to fulfill the law on our behalf. We still have to follow these commands, but when we mess up, we remember the cross.
By grace God gave us his law; this actually shows us our sin. (Grace to show us our sin? Yes- grace that he doesn’t just leave us there). Then the law shows us that we can never be perfect, it condemns us. But that points us right back to Christ and his fulfillment of the law on our behalf. Then as we become more and more like Christ, his law guides us.
Have you thought about the 10 commandments lately?