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Are the Ten Commandments repeated in the New Testament?


Ten Commandments in the New Testament
Question: "Are the Ten Commandments repeated in the New Testament?"

Answer:
Nine of the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:1–17 are repeated in the New Testament numerous times in different ways. For example, in giving a summary of our moral responsibilities to one another, Jesus repeats four of the Ten Commandments to the young ruler in Mark 10:17–19. The only commandment not repeated in the New Testament is the fourth one, the one about Sabbath-keeping.

Paul references the Decalogue a number of times in his epistles. Sometimes, he is explicit in reciting some of the commandments, as he does in Romans 13:9. Other times, he references them implicitly, like in 1 Timothy 1:8–10: “But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers [5th and 6th commandments], for murderers [6th commandment] and immoral men and homosexuals [7th commandment] and kidnappers [8th commandment] and liars and perjurers [9th commandment], and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching” (NASB).

Here are the Ten Commandments and where they are found in the New Testament:

1) Do not worship any other gods (1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Timothy 2:5)

2) Do not make idols (1 John 5:21)

3) Do not misuse the name of the LORD (1 Timothy 6:1)

4) Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. (There are many references to the Sabbath day in the New Testament, including the assumption that Jews under the law in the time of Christ would be observing the Sabbath. But there is no direct or indirect command for believers in the church age to observe the Sabbath as a day of rest or of worship. In fact, Colossians 2:16 releases the believer from the Sabbath rule. Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, has become for us our Sabbath rest, according to Hebrews 4:1–11.)

5) Honor your father and your mother (Ephesians 6:1–2)

6) Do not murder (Romans 13:9; 1 Peter 4:15)

7) Do not commit adultery (1 Corinthians 6:9–10)

8) Do not steal (Ephesians 4:28)

9) Do not give false testimony (Revelation 21:8)

10) Do not covet (Colossians 3:5)

The Ten Commandments help unbelievers in any age recognize their imperfections. Because it summarizes the moral content of God’s law, the Decalogue can be used as a mirror to show people their sin. The commandments reflect the unchanging character of God, so they—like God—are eternal, timeless, universally applicable, and immutable.

Some Christians believe the Ten Commandments are not binding upon believers today. For example, in his book Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World, Andy Stanley says, “The Ten Commandments have no authority over you. None. To be clear: Thou shalt not obey the Ten Commandments” (p. 136). Such thinking is likely not caused by an antinomian mindset, but instead stems from the principle that Christians are not under the law but under grace (Romans 6:14). While it is true that Christ fulfilled the law on our behalf (see Matthew 5:17), the New Testament is clear that believers should not violate God’s moral law because of their standing in grace (Romans 6:15).

New Testament believers are freed from the bondage of sin, which allows them to freely live out the Ten Commandments, summarized by Christ this way: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:36–40, NASB).

Recommended Resource: The Ten Commandments: Ethics for the Twenty-first Century by Mark F. Rooker

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