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  The 10 Commandments

 

In rejecting the truth, men reject the Author.  In trampling upon the law of God, they deny the authority of the Law-giver.  It is as easy to make an idol of false doctrines and theories as [it is] to fashion an idol of wood or stone.  By misrepresenting the attributes of God, Satan leads men to conceive of Him in a false character.

The Great Controversy, page 583

 

These 10 commands can be divided into two categories:  Love God  &   Love Man .  Matthew 22:37-40

  • The first 4 commands relate to our love for God.

  • The last 6 commands relate to our love for humans.


God first spoke these out loud, then wrote them in stone.  Exodus 20:3-17
 

Love God

1

20:3  Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 

2

20:4-6  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 

3

20:7  Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 

4

20:8-11  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates: For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

   
   

Love Man

5

20:12  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

6

20:13  Thou shalt not kill. 

7

20:14  Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

8

20:15  Thou shalt not steal. 

9

20:16  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 

10

20:17  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour's. 






 


God is in the business of saving life (your life) and this list of commands should be looked at as referring to things that will hurt and eventually kill you if you choose to disregard God's laws.  So they are not just arbitrary commands pulled out of the air, but are for your own good.

Each command actually magnifies and makes clearer the love of God for us.




 

Commandment #1 - No other gods

This commandment tells us that God must be first in our lives.  At first glance it seems that God must need to be first to boost His self image or something, but what's in it for God when He is number one in our lives, when we give Him all the glory?  Is He really needing the praise, or is it because He is wanting to see the correct, happiness-building attitude in us?
 

When we give God real glory and praise, when we place Him first, it will stem from a heart full of gratitude and love.  God wants us to be truly happy and when we are praising Him it is doing us the most good and we actually become happier and that makes God happier.  So God wanting to be first in our lives is actually God wanting the best for us.
 

Commandment #2 - No images to represent God

This one tells us that we should not make an image that tries to represent Him and then worship it as if we are worshiping Him.  Images like these only confuse us and keep us from seeing how great our God really is.  The devil knows that if we are not worshiping God then we are worshiping him even if we don't think we are.
 

Commandment #3 - No disrespect

This one tells us that by using God's name carelessly we do ourselves great harm.  When we choose to verbalize our low regard for Him it degrades us as well.
 

Commandment #4 - Remember the Sabbath

This commandment reminds us that God gave us a specific day on which He wants us to spend time away from all of our cares and to remember that He created us.  When we disregard this special day it is ourselves that we hurt the most.
 

Commandment #5 - Honor your parents

This one tells us that by bringing honor on our parents we are bringing a great blessing on ourselves as well.  Being the person God wants us to be will bring great honor on our parents.
 

Commandment #6 - No murder

This one tells us that killing another human not only hurts them but ends up hurting us as well.  We should care about them as much as we care about ourselves.
 

Commandment #7 - No sex outside of marrage

This one tells us that being untrustworthy sexually brings great harm to ourselves.  We can see this in the disease it brings on us and the way it degrades us mentally, and we can easily see how it also harms those around us.
 

Commandment #8 - No stealing

This one tells us that taking something that does not belong to us will make us miserable and it hurts the other person as well.
 

Commandment #9 - No lying

This one tells us that telling untrue things about another person not only hurts them, but hurts us as well.  (When was the last time you felt good about yourself when you knew you were telling a lie about someone else?)
 

Commandment #10 - Be content

The last of the 10 Commandments tells us that if we even only WANT to take something that belongs to someone else it actually hurts us.
 

"Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God . . . And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God . . . ."    Deuteronomy 11:26-28
 

"The divine requirements call upon us to shun those indulgences that would bring suffering and disappointment, that would close to us the door of happiness and heaven."  Steps to Christ, page 46
 

"The man who attempts to keep the commandments of God from a sense of obligation merely--because he is required to do so--will never enter into the joy of obedience. He does not obey. When the requirements of God are accounted a burden because they cut across human inclination, we may know that the life is not a Christian life. True obedience is the outworking of a principle within. It springs from the love of righteousness, the love of the law of God. The essence of all righteousness is loyalty to our Redeemer. This will lead us to do right because it is right--because right doing is pleasing to God."   Christ's Object Lessons, page 97

 

As stated above, these 10 rules are actually a breakdown of the 2 great rules found in the Bible, Love God & Love Man.  It seems that we should be able to keep them, but no matter how hard a person tries there is no way to really follow the principle behind them.  So how can a person ever hope to be "righteous"? 
 

"By His perfect obedience He [Jesus] has made it possible for every human being to obey God's commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness."    Christ's Object Lessons, page 311

 

"Righteousness is right doing, and it is by their deeds that all will be judged. Our characters are revealed by what we do. The works show whether the faith is genuine.
 

"It is not enough for us to believe that Jesus is not an impostor, and that the religion of the Bible is no cunningly devised fable.  James 2:19   We may believe that the name of Jesus is the only name under heaven whereby man may be saved, and yet we may not through faith make Him our personal Savior.  It is not enough to say we believe the theory of truth. It is not enough to make a profession of faith in Christ and have our names registered on the church roll. "He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us." "Hereby we do know that we know Him if we keep His commandments." 1 John 3:24; 2:3. This is the genuine evidence of conversion. Whatever our profession, it amounts to nothing unless Christ is revealed in works of righteousness."  Christ's Object Lessons, page 312

 

"Christ was the leader of the children of Israel in their wilderness wanderings. Enshrouded in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, He led and guided them. He preserved them from the perils of the wilderness, He brought them into the land of promise, and in the sight of all the nations that acknowledged not God He established Israel as His own chosen possession, the Lord's vineyard.
 

"To this people were committed the oracles of God. They were hedged about by the precepts of His law, the everlasting principles of truth, justice, and purity. Obedience to these principles was to be their protection, for it would save them from destroying themselves by sinful practices. And as the tower in the vineyard, God placed in the midst of the land His holy temple.
 

"Christ was their instructor. As He had been with them in the wilderness, so He was still to be their teacher and guide. In the tabernacle and the temple His glory dwelt in the holy shekinah above the mercy seat. In their behalf He constantly manifested the riches of His love and patience.
 

"God desired to make of His people Israel a praise and a glory. Every spiritual advantage was given them. God withheld from them nothing favorable to the formation of character that would make them representatives of Himself.
 

"Their obedience to the law of God would make them marvels of prosperity before the nations of the world. He who could give them wisdom and skill in all cunning work would continue to be their teacher, and would ennoble and elevate them through obedience to His laws. If obedient, they would be preserved from the diseases that afflicted other nations, and would be blessed with vigor of intellect. The glory of God, His majesty and power, were to be revealed in all their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. God furnished them with every facility for becoming the greatest nation on the earth.
 

"In the most definite manner Christ through Moses had set before them God's purpose, and had made plain the terms of their prosperity. "Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God," He said; "the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. . . . Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations. . . . Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which He sware unto thy fathers; and He will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: He will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which He sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all people. . . . And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee." Deut. 7:6, 9, 11-15.
 

"If they would keep His commandments, God promised to give them the finest of the wheat, and bring them honey out of the rock. With long life would He satisfy them, and show them His salvation.
 

"Through disobedience to God, Adam and Eve had lost Eden, and because of sin the whole earth was cursed. But if God's people followed His instruction, their land would be restored to fertility and beauty. God Himself gave them directions in regard to the culture of the soil, and they were to co-operate with Him in its restoration. Thus the whole land, under God's control, would become an object lesson of spiritual truth. As in obedience to His natural laws the earth should produce its treasures, so in obedience to His moral law the hearts of the people were to reflect the attributes of His character. Even the heathen would recognize the superiority of those who served and worshiped the living God.
 

" 'Behold,' said Moses, 'I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?' Deut. 4:5-8.
 

"The children of Israel were to occupy all the territory which God appointed them. Those nations that rejected the worship and service of the true God were to be dispossessed. But it was God's purpose that by the revelation of His character through Israel men should be drawn unto Him. To all the world the gospel invitation was to be given. Through the teaching of the sacrificial service Christ was to be uplifted before the nations, and all who would look unto Him should live. All who, like Rahab the Canaanite, and Ruth the Moabitess, turned from idolatry to the worship of the true God, were to unite themselves with His chosen people. As the numbers of Israel increased they were to enlarge their borders, until their kingdom should embrace the world.
 

"God desired to bring all peoples under His merciful rule. He desired that the earth should be filled with joy and peace. He created man for happiness, and He longs to fill human hearts with the peace of heaven. He desires that the families below shall be a symbol of the great family above."

Christ's Object Lessons, pages 287-290 

 

"If you love me, keep my commandments."
John 14:15




 

Principles Underlying the Ten Commandments:

  1. Faith and loyalty:  Heb. 11:6; Matt. 4:8-10.
  2. Worship:  Jer. 10:10-12; Ps. 115:3-8; Rev. 14:6, 7.
  3. Reverence:  Ps. 111:9; 89:7; Heb. 12:28; 2 Tim. 2:19.
  4. Holiness (sanctification) and consecration:  1 Peter 1:15, 16; Heb. 12:14; Ex. 31:13; Eze. 20:12; 1 Cor. 1:30; Prov. 3:6.
  5. Obedience (respect for authority):  Eph. 6:1-3; Col. 3:20; 2 Kings 2:23, 24.
  6. Love:  Lev. 19:17; 1 John 3:15; Matt. 5:21-26, 43-48.
  7. Purity:  Matt. 5:8; Eph. 5:3, 4; Col. 3:5, 6; 1 Tim. 5:22; 1 Peter 2:11.
  8. Honesty:  Rom. 12:17; Eph. 4:28; 2 Thess. 3:10-12.
  9. Truthfulness:  Eph. 4:25; Col. 3:9; Prov. 6:16-19; 12:19; Rev. 21:27; 22:15.
  10. Contentment and unselfishness: Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5; 1 Tim. 6:6-11; Heb. 13:5.
 

 

For further study read:

Watch the "Spiritual Growth" video.



For even further study visit  The Ten Commandments website.


 

Updated: May 28, 2017