Summary: How are Christians today to handle the last 6 Commandments from Exodus 20?
We continue our study of the 10 Commandments from God to the Israelites as they were destined for the Promised Land. So far, we have noted the first 4 Commandments and how they apply to us today. We have noted also that the Commandments really are self-explanatory, so, we note right away the corresponding Christian commands from the New Testament and apply them to our lives.
Let us read the remaining commandments, Exodus 20:12-17….
And so the 5th Commandment:
v12: Honor your father and your mother! This commandment is repeated for Christians in Matthew 19:19 and Ephesians 6:1-3. Turn with me for a moment to Matthew 19:16-22…. Note that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ affirms the Commandments!
Let us also note that this commandment (honoring parents) gives a promise of a good long life! It is important that we teach this commandment and do it! The key word of course is honor; the Hebrew word does not help us much but the Greek word is timao = honor, value at a price, revere
Honoring parents (revering and valuing them at a price) applies to all of us who still have parents! How are we treating our parents? Do we really value our parents? Of course, the best way to honor our parents is not only spend time with them but share to them the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ! The greatest love to man is Jesus Christ and so the greatest gift of love we can give to our parents is Jesus Christ!
v13: You shall not murder. Both the Hebrew and Greek original words for murder mean to slay a person to death with intent! Again let us hear what our Lord Jesus Christ stated about this, turn briefly to Matthew 5:17-24….. We can note here already that for a Christian, all of God’s commandments are applicable but starts with the heart!
v14: You shall not commit adultery. Again, looking at the original Hebrew and Greek words, adultery is sexual relations with a married person. Remember what Jesus says about adultery? Matthew 5:27-28… “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”;
this of course applies to women looking at a man lustfully; and sadly today, it has even come to lust with the same gender even to young children! Again, for Christians today, God’s commandments are about what goes on in a person’s heart!
v15: You shall not steal. This means taking for yourself that is not yours and is related to not coveting in v17. But first, the 9th commandment…
v16: You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. What do you think this means??
We are not to give lies about our neighbors! Another way to think about this is to ask the question: Are the things I say about people true?
And who is our neighbor? Our neighbors are people who God places in our sphere of influence, starting with our immediate family then our church family. And so, do I lie negatively about my family members, both immediate family members and church family members?
And the 10th Commandment is…
v17: You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor (wife or husband, manservant or maidservant, ox or donkey). This is probably the closest to what Jesus teaches; Jesus teaches us to love our neighbors; i.e. Agape love means Christians are to be thinking of the betterment of their neighbors not wanting from them! How often do we pause and think of the betterment of our family members including our church family members? We are to pray for each other often!
Let us close by listening to how Jesus responded to the question of the greatest commandment; turn with me to Matthew 22:34-40….
And so, of all the laws and commandments from God, the first and greatest is Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind! Loving God with everything covers the first 4 Commandments given to the Israelites. We must get this right first! there are so many people in the world who are do-gooders with good intentions to love people but if if one does not love God first, all that loving to people is meaningless to God!
So, and only after the first, the second greatest commandment according to Jesus is to love neighbor as one’s self (this covers the last 6 Commandments from Exodus 20). God specifies for us what we are to do but through Jesus Christ, God looks at the heart of people! We Christians are to follow Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ took action for us, not only to obey God but to show His love from His heart to people! Jesus wept for people!