Frequently Asked Questions — The Ten Commandments

The following are the most frequently asked questions on the Ten Commandments on the Ten Most FAQ's on this web site have currently been on the Ten Commandments or the fourth Commandment, but as we receive frequent questions from the other available web sites, those questions and categories will be added also. See also should Christians keep the Sabbath for all the excuses to avoid the Sabbath and the Ten Commandments.FAQ's The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments FAQ's

Currently available FAQ topics

1. Is it works or legalism to obey the law?
2. What are the consequences for deliberate sin?
3. Does Galatians chapters 2-4 say the Ten Commandments are gone?
4. Does Colossians 2:14 say the Ten Commandments were nailed to the cross?
5. Were the Ten Commandments abolished?
6. Does the word “fulfil” in Matthew 5:17 mean to bring an end to the law?
7. Are we saved by faith alone and not works?
8. Does being saved by grace mean not having to obey the law?
9. Are there only nine Commandments?
10. Does the New Covenant abolish the Ten Commandments?
11. Do the two greatest Commandments abolish the Ten Commandments?
12. Is Christ the end of the law?

1. Is it works or legalism to obey the law?

Some say that obeying the Ten Commandments makes works the basis for entering the kingdom. Not so. This makes love the qualifying factor. Jesus said that the greatest Commandment of all is to love God supremely. Quoting from the second Commandment, Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my Commandments.” John 14:15. Those who practice any known sin are really confessing that they do not love God with all their heart, soul and mind. So it is the lack of love that shuts them out and not the act of disobedience that exposes that lack. Only when love is motivating the obedience does it become acceptable to God. Any other work is man's vain attempt to earn salvation and to deny the efficacy of Christ's atoning sacrifice. Legalism is obeying the law to try and earn entrance into the kingdom and if this is the only motive, then it is in vain. We do not obey the law to be saved. We obey the law out of love for our Lord and Saviour because we are saved.

Do you as a Christian take the Lord's name in vain? Of course not! The question is, why don't you take the Lord's name in vain? For the same reason I don't. Because you love God and would never do that to someone you love. Loving someone can never be called works or legalism. Is it putting yourself under works to love your wife and children? Jesus briefly summed up the Ten Commandment law, as it was first done in the Old Testament, by saying that it is to love God with all your heart, soul and might and to love your neighbour as yourself. It is love, not works or legalism which causes us to obey God’s will.

The fourth Commandment, the Sabbath is no different. Let me give you a simple example about the Sabbath. Imagine if God personally spoke to you and said, “John, I have blessed this Saturday and made the day Holy as I am Holy and I would like you to spend this day with me. If you do this I will sanctify you so you will also be Holy as you keep this appointment with me Holy.” Would you reply to God, “No way! That is legalism.” I hope not! That is effectively what Christians are doing when they say keeping God's Sabbath is works or legalism. In reference to the day being Holy, it is a bit like the situation with Moses where God said “…Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.Exodus 3:5. When we keep the one and only day that God made Holy, God says it is a SIGN that we are His children and that He is our God. And it is He whom we love and worship and it is He who sanctifies us and makes us Holy so that we can spend Holy time with Him on His Holy day. It is NOT a sign when we profane the Sabbath by substituting a secular day that has not been made Holy by God. In Leviticus 10:1, Nadab and Abihu were asked to bring Holy fire from the altar but instead brought secular fire. Did God care that they brought secular fire instead? Leviticus 10:2And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.” Obviously God did care and He feels the same way when we offer Him a secular day. The Sabbath is a SIGN of our love and worship to God and so it is a love Commandment as are the other nine. Does one really believe that God would mix one Commandment that is NOT Love and Eternal in with nine other laws that obviously ARE Love and Eternal? God of course is not the author of confusion and each and every one of the Ten Commandments ARE Love and Eternal, which Deuteronomy 6:5 also verifies because we are told that LOVING God with all your heart, soul and might is to keep ALL the Ten Commandments which are listed just 17 verses earlier.

We obey the law because we love Jesus and because we do not want to continue in the sin that nailed our loving Saviour to the cross. The whole plan of redemption throughout the Bible is due to the fact that Adam and Eve sinned. Jesus came to pay the price for our sin (which was death) and to redeem us from the consequences of sin, not so we could go on living in sin which is breaking the Ten Commandment law. Paul also makes it clear that we are not to continue in sin even though we are not under law but under grace.

What did Jesus say about obeying the law and loving Him?

  1. John 14:15If ye love me, keep my Commandments.” Jesus is quoting from the Second Commandment (Exodus 20:4-6) in this verse.
  2. John 15:10If ye keep my Commandments, ye shall abide in my love even as I have kept my Father's Commandments, and abide in his love.
  3. 1 John 5:3For this is the love of God, that we keep his Commandments: and his Commandments are not grievous.

And what do Jesus and John say to those who do not love the Lord enough to keep His Commandments?

What does the Bible say in regards to entering the kingdom and keeping the Commandments?

  1. Revelation 22:14Blessed are they that do his Commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
  2. Matthew 19:16-19And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest you me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the Commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, You shall do no murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honour your father and your mother: and, You shall love your neighbour as thyself.
  3. The remnant Church which God raises up after the dark ages also keeps the Commandments and Satan hates it because of that. Revelation 12:17And the dragon [Satan] was wroth with the woman [Church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the Commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Parentheses are added.
  4. Those who do NOT get the Mark of the Beast also keep the Ten Commandments. Revelation 14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the Commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

2. What are the consequences for deliberate sin?

Below is one of the clearest passages found in the Bible that answers this question along with a few other clear verses.

  1. Hebrews 10:26-29For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, THERE REMAINETH NO MORE SACRIFICE FOR SINS, … 28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
  2. Matthew 7:21-23Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!
  3. 1 John 2:4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his Commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Since Jesus and the Word is truth, what does this verse mean exactly?
  4. Galatians 5:21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” There are many such scriptures as this one that can be quoted but I think we get the point.

The above scriptures inform us that there is no sacrifice that can cover wilful sin, and that wilful sin is to count the blood of the New Covenant as an unholy thing even though we are under God's grace. We are also told that Jesus and the Word are not within us if we do not keep the Commandments, and that Jesus will deny knowing anyone who practices lawlessness, that is, deliberate and wilful sin. He also says it does not matter what other good works they may have been doing. We could have being casting out demons in His name and healing people in His name but the response of Jesus will still be the same if we do not love Him enough to obey His Commandments. Some have misunderstood this as meaning they cannot be forgiven if they have deliberately sinned in the past. This is not so. If you have but then come to true genuine repentance afterwards, you will be forgiven. This is what God's grace is all about, His unmerited, undeserved mercy.

3. Does Galatians chapters 2-4 say the Ten Commandments are gone?

Many Christians interpret parts of Galatians as meaning an end to the Ten Commandments and Galatians 4:9-10 as an end to fourth Commandment, the Sabbath. See also Galatians 4:9-10. The Galatians had wandered from the truth that Paul had first taught them in favour of listening to some judaizing teachers from Jerusalem who insisted that they should still be observing all the rites of the Jewish religion such as the ceremonial law and circumcision etc. These teachers taught that Paul was inferior to the other Apostles who they knew from Jerusalem, and insisted that the Law of Moses was still binding and necessary for justification. For detailed information please read what is the law in Galatians. Read also the comparison of the Ten Commandments and the ceremonial law for a better understanding of what Paul was dealing with here. Compare Galatians 4:10 and Colossians 2:16.