“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17 KJV)
Jesus gave the world two new commandments of equal importance: Firstly, to love God with all your heart, mind and soul. Secondly, to love your neighbour (people you encounter) as you love yourself. Jesus gave the world a new higher-level concept by mentioning love, showing us in a different way why we follow the Ten Commandments. At the same time, love is a special, distinctive gift He made known to the world in a new way: God is love:
“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:35–40 KJV)
These are the Ten Commandments grouped under the new commandments Jesus gave us about love, to show how well they complement each other:
1.) Jesus said to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind
· “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
· Thou shalt not make 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 waters beneath the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto 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 shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
· 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.
· Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt 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, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.”
(Deuteronomy 5:7–15 KJV)
2.) Jesus said to love your neighbour as you love yourself
· “Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
· Thou shalt not kill.
· Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
· Neither shalt thou steal.
· Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.
· Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
(Deuteronomy 5:16–21 KJV)
Jesus said we must continue to teach the commandments
Jesus said to continue to teach and honour the Ten Commandments, and as Bible verses I include further on show, if we walk in the Spirit we will honour these commandments by default and put away the “lust of the flesh” (phrase contained within 1 John 2:16 KJV):
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17–19 KJV)
Jesus gave insight into even further ways to honour the commandments
Jesus wanted us to honour the Ten Commandments. Why would Jesus add additional detail to the commandments, unless He wanted us to keep them? For example, Jesus said that not only must we make sure we commit no murder, we must not even be angry with one another without a just cause:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [worthless], shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” (Matthew 5:21–24 KJV)
In another example, when someone asked what good things he needed to do to gain eternal life, Jesus gave six of the Ten Commandments in response, and when the person said he was honouring these, Jesus reminded him that love is above riches:
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:16-22 KJV)
The Bible passages I include here show that if we believe in God, and are led by His Holy Spirit, and have love one for another, we will not go against God: not worship anything besides God, we will not murder another, and not commit any manner of other offense against each other. Where does this leave the Sabbath? My opinion is that we should still honour the Sabbath, as the Ten Commandments say that God wants His people to keep the Sabbath holy as an everlasting covenant with Him, and Christians become part of God’s fold when we follow Him. I have read debates as to whether the Sabbath is on a Saturday or a Sunday. Saturday was originally honoured as the day of the Sabbath, and is still considered the Sabbath by Jewish people. Sunday is currently declared the Sabbath by most Christian denominations, though not all. I believe you will practice what you feel led to do, and what the Spirit leads you to do, as you have free will. The Bible says, “One man esteems one day as more important. Another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5 WEB) I love worshipping God in church, and feeling His presence along with others in a joyful congregation.
“Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not give false testimony,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Love doesn’t harm a neighbour. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:8–10 WEB)