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Living By God’s Commandments

God Has Not Changed His Mind

Exodus 20:1-17 (God speaking)

1And God spake all these words, saying, 2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. 4Thou 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: 5Thou 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; 6And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My ommandments. 7Thou 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.  8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: 10But 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:  11For 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. 12Honor thy father and thy mother:  that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13Thou shalt not kill. 14Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15Thou shalt not steal. 16Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.  17Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.


Christians are not under the ceremonial laws and rituals of the Old Testament because Christ’s death fulfilled the symbolism of the sacrificial system; however, this led some to think that nothing in the Old Testament is of any concern or relevance to us.

Being under grace does not mean we are free to choose our own standards of right and wrong.

God has not changed His mind about honoring parents, about murder, adultery or stealing.  Sin is sin whether it is committed in the days of Moses or in this current century.

Jesus lived in obedience to the Ten Commandments and taught us to do likewise.  Jesus took these ten commandments and put them all in two commandments—which covers every phase of Christian living.

God created us with the capacity to worship and commune with Him.  Only when this worship and communion are a reality can relationships with others be fully established. With this in mind, we see that the First Commandment is the basis of all the others.  We are not to have any other gods before God, and if we love and truly honor God, all these characteristics of sin cannot coexist in our lives.  In studying the history of Israel we see that falling into idolatry was always a major problem.

The Second Commandment was added to the first, because it was crucial.  God created people with the need to worship.  If they do not worship God, they will reach out for other things to which they can give their devotion. We cannot evade our relationship to the Second Commandment just because we might not worship a piece of wood or metal.  There are many other things in our country and other countries that are being worshiped. Anything that we let come between us and God can be our idol, but Christ must claim the only place in our worship and the supreme place in our love.

The Third Commandment prohibition against taking God’s Name in vain condemns more than just cursing.  Cursing is the most flagrant misuse of God’s Name and has become widespread.

Even Christians use expressions that involve God’s Name.  God is speaking in Exodus 20:7, above, and in Deuteronomy 5:11, 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. This verse tells the reader that God will not hold him guiltless!  We must not use God’s Name lightly or thoughtlessly.  God wants more than words.  He wants nothing less than true heartfelt devotion which permeates every area of life, including speech. His Name is holy and represents His person, nature and character. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

The Fourth Commandment, Deuteronomy 5:12 states Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.  This concerns our use of time.  He created everything and we owe Him respect and honor as Creator.  This Fourth Commandment, like the others, has in it the wisdom and benevolence of Almighty God.  Exodus 20:9-10 states Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work.  But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD thy God.  Christians, servants, neither animals are to labour.  Here’s why: See Exodus 20:8-11, printed above.

Next, we are reminded to honor thy father and thy mother. To honor someone involves the highest respect possible, with caring and loving affection.  Parents should not be worshiped like God, yet they are to be honored and respected and loved. This commandment also has a promise:  that you may live long. To read it, see above, Exodus 20 verse 12.

Thou shall not kill is spoken by God.  God declared for all time the sanctity of human life. This is a point which sorely needs emphasis in our day, when murder of unborn children in the womb, is rampant. Jesus extended the meaning of this commandment to feelings of hatred and anger, verbal abuse of another person.  His intention in extending the command beyond actions to thoughts is consistent with His other teachings. He wanted the law to be more than an external reality that would guide even the thoughts of His people. His admonition was to make friends quickly with your adversary.

Thou shall not commit adultery.  We read this command in God’s Word in Exodus 20:14 and again in Matthew 5:27, Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery and we read it again in Matthew 19:18.  Adultery violates the principle God established when He created the first man and woman. He declared that husband and wife are one flesh.  The integrity of marriage depends on the faithfulness by spouses to one another. Jesus expanded this prohibition to include even the thoughts of adultery.  He said in Matthew 5:27-28,  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Thou shall not steal is recorded in God’s Word in Leviticus 19:11 and in Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20 and Romans 13:9. This commandment declares an individual’s right to own property and the sanctity of that property.  It may seem strange that in Paul’s day he had to remind Christians of this commandment.  Paul emphasized the honorable character of work.  By helping oneself, it enables the worker to help others who are in need. 

Mark 10:19 and again in Romans 13:9 we read the commandment: Don’t bear false witness.

Although the Ninth Commandment is couched in legal terminology, its call is for the sanctity of truth in all areas of life, whether in court or done in private.  Sometimes the more subtle can prove more destructive. Lying about someone may not result in the loss of tangible possessions, but can very well ruin a reputation.

The Tenth commandment: Do not covet.  These are inward desires and thoughts but the danger of covetousness lies in what it can lead to.  Is not covetousness the root of much murder, adultery, stealing and lying?  Paul addressed this issue in his Philippians Epistle.  Philippians 4:11, …for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content.   Contentment is one of the greatest expressions of faith.

Today’s Golden Text:  Luke 10:27

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength and with all thy mind, and thy neighbour as thyself.

Jesus is suggesting that love for God and for others is centered in the human will, not just the emotions.  From Jesus’ perspective, love is a decision that requires commitment.  The ultimate evaluation would have to remain in the realm of deeds, not words, as the parable of the Good Samaritan shows.  Talk is cheap, but actions speak volumes.

Lack of love and compassion for others actually cancels the possibility of true love for God and makes all attempted expressions of love for God a charade.

“When God measures men, He puts the tape around the heart, not the head.”

Be reminded of these Scriptures from the Bible:

James 2:10

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Luke 16:18

Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Ephesians 4:28

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Hebrews 13:5

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.


Author: Nannie Mae Jordan
(Transcribed by Joyce Carter   Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)


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