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How The Ten Commandments Still Apply Today

Updated on September 18, 2019

How are the Ten Commandments Still Applicable Today?

Since the fall of mankind in the garden of Eden, man now understands the law of sin. The knowledge of good and evil was imparted, and law was established more so over the simple rule of not eating the fruit. It could be assumed God may have wanted to simplify the laws to the commandments, in which Jesus even further simplified when he arrived. The foreshadow of what Jesus says later in Mark 12:30-31 is also seen in verse 6 below in Exodus 20. So how is the commandments that where given to Moses thousands of years ago apply in modern day life? One may be surprised at the result.

Before we begin, Here is the list of the commandments in full context, not abbreviated as they are normally seen.

Exodus 20:3-17
King James Version (KJV)

3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Modern Life Explanation of the Ten Commandments

Disobeying the law of Love is simply disobeying all 10 of the commandments at one time, thus enters the sin nature of man. Consider this, currently the world at large loves everything more than its own creator. To bring this into perspective, consider how God use to deal with disobedience, he sent plagues, wiped out nations with fire, and even caused famine in the lands. Today, while we see a lot of this stuff still, nobody (sensibly anyways) is running around with a voicemail from God saying he is causing all the disasters (natural or man-made.) I am not going to argue if something is truly caused by God or not, the point of this article is to expose one thing, how the commandments still apply.

There are those that would quickly say we are living in the new covenant, while this is true the law was never abolished however made complete in Jesus. So here we go, example time.

Let's pick on commandment number one and two, everything else seems to just snow ball down hill from them anyways. No other gods, no idols, simple enough right? What if today idols take a different form? Maybe not a strange statue of a god or person that was made up, but maybe everyday common stuff we exalt higher than our Father in Heaven.

  • Sports/Entertainment/Video Gaming/TV/Food
  • Cars/Vehicles/Houses
  • Religions (Even "Christian" based) /ideology
  • Symbols (Religious/non-religious statues)
  • Organizations/Work/Church/School/Social/Secret Sociaties
  • Anything that exalts itself greater than God, period.

While the list above is not conclusive, it shows the basic idea of how one could be so entangled in a web of loving something way more than God, thus creating an idol, or even all out worshiping another entity due to the love for the person, place, or thing. This is only talking about the first two commandments, and hopefully as the reader you begin to see how they still apply.

What Happens When the Commandments are Not Followed, Broke?

I mentioned before that God hasn't been as open to harshly judging nations lately, (as in the last couple of millennia) however after considering the ten commandments and Jesus later stating this:

Mark 12:30-31
New International Version (NIV)

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a]31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”

No commandment is greater than loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; additionally love your neighbor as yourself. It is impossible to break the commandments if these two additional commands that were given by Jesus are followed. Unfortunately, we will make mistakes, however thank God for grace. Never the less, if it were possible to do as Jesus said, it would lead to perfection of the law, because sin would not abound in the presence of perfect love.

Now, what happens if all of these are broken, simple, just chaos. Sin creates death and chaos. Peace is difficult to achieve in this world due to ongoing chaos. Mankind is self destructive all in of itself. God's order of law creates the consequences of the actions taken. All of it comes back to not following one of the commandments, and all of it means there is a lack of love for God and your neighbor. Simple, isn't it?

How Do I Apply the Commandments to My Life?

Jesus was once confronted by a man that applied all the commandments to his life. He followed all of them, however that was not enough. Following the law isn't enough in of itself to be able to just do them. There has to be love of God and love of your neighbor involved. Jesus told the man if he desired to be perfect, he would pretty much have to surrender all he was and follow him (not just physically, but he meant also the teachings.) The man walked away, why because his love for his earthly possessions was greater than his love for God. (Read Matthew 19:16-28)

I conclude with this, the ten commandments given to Moses was complete and tangible, however could not be perfectly followed until a person's love for God is greater than the love for this world. Today, you have a choice, choose life or death, love or not.

Most Difficult Commandment?

Which Commandment Do You Find Most Difficult?

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© 2017 Ryan Hutzel


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