The Ten Commandments in the New Testament

Posted in Law and Grace

We have one God, a consistent God (Malachi 3:6) who states that he will not alter the thing that comes out of his lips (Psalm 89:34). One easy way to see his consistency is to see how all ten of the commandments he gave at Mt. Sinai still appear in the New Testament. One of the first words from the lips of Jesus was that not one jot or one tittle of the law would pass away until heaven and earth passed away (Matthew 5:18). In fact, Jesus amplified many of the commandments during his Sermon on the Mount.

The first commandment is that you shall have no other Gods before him. This command is repeated almost word for word in Matthew 22:37.

The second commandment is that you should not worship idols. 1 John 5:21 reminds us to keep ourselves from idols.

The third commandment is to not take his name in vain. This is the only commandment that doesn’t appear to be clearly defined in the New Testament, but the concept behind it is. The idea is that we are not to use his name in a false oath, and we are reminded not to swear on anything in heaven in Matthew 5:33-37.

The fourth commandment is to remember the Sabbath, and keep it holy. Most Christians seem to believe that this commandment was not reiterated in the New Testament, and that they can follow man’s tradition in keeping another day, but that is a misconception not supported by Scripture. In fact, it is perhaps the one that was most amplified by Jesus, as it is the only commandment that he told us that we should pray that we would not have to break (Matthew 24:20). Just days before his crucifixion, Jesus was answering the questions his disciples were asking about signs and events that would take place at the end of this earth’s history. It was in this context, a time Jesus knew would be long after his death, that he says we should pray that we don’t have to flee on the Sabbath. He never warns us to pray about any other commandment, so apparently this particular commandment had special meaning to him. Perhaps that is why it is phrased with the affirmative “remember” rather than a “thou shalt not forget” type wording which would have been more in the style of the other commandments. A second affirmation of the seventh day Sabbath comes from the Apostle Paul when he assures us that it remains in Hebrews 4:4-6.

The fifth commandment is to honor your parents. Matthew 19:18-19 repeats this command, and several others, as noted below.

The sixth commandment is to not murder. Jesus amplified this by saying that even being angry at your brother without cause would lead you to be in danger of judgment from this command (Matthew 5:21-22).

The seventh commandment is against adultery. This was amplified that even looking with lust was comparable to adultery (Matthew 5:27-28). Another passage which includes this command is Matthew 19:18-19, which is also where you will find the eighth and ninth commandments repeated. The eighth commandment is against theft. The ninth commandment is to not bear false witness against your neighbor.

The tenth commandment is against coveting anything that is your neighbors. Romans 7:7 confirms this commandment is still in effect.

What a blessed assurance we have, knowing that our God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14