Friday, February 10, 2012

Do We Have to Follow the Ten Commandments?

Question: Are Christians required to follow the Ten Commandments?

In my experience (for the limited amount that is worth), most Christians believe that we do have to follow the Ten Commandments.

I differ from most of my brothers and sisters in Christ on this issue. I do not believe we are required to follow them.

My primary reason for this position is that the New Testament makes it clear that Jesus came to fulfill the law. He did it because because we cannot. He freed us from the law to follow the Spirit. Paul's letter to the Galatians is all about this issue.

Additionally, we have been freed from Sabbath restrictions. Christ is now our Sabbath. I rarely see Christians actually follow the Sabbath (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown) - even those who heartily say that we are still required to follow the Ten Commandments.

What do we follow then? We follow the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 says, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

The interesting thing about all this is that if we follow Christ's teachings we will also end up following nine of the Ten Commandments. The Sabbath is the only exception. Even with that, we follow Jesus, who is the ultimate embodiment of the Sabbath.

In the end, we Christ-followers are not bound by the commandments in stone. We are simply to live for Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.


Brian said...

No, we are to follow Christ!

Aussie John said...


Right on!

Nick Bekker said...

Insisting on keeping the Ten Commandments is to insist on a works-based religion which totally misses the point. The law was given to show us our guilt and to bring home the fact that we will always fail. Its only living by the indwelling life of Christ that counts and not law-observance.

Eric said...

Good answers all.

I find it fascinating that so many Christians, knowing that they are saved by grace, continue to embrace aspects of the law.

roovis said...

AMEN! Rom 7:1-4 Says its either Law OR Christ. You cant be joined to both! To do so is likened to adultery.

Eric said...


Great point. Thanks for the Romans passage.

What a glorious Lord we have, who would die to free us from the chains of the law. How sad it is that so many of our fellow Christians desire to keep the shackles on.

roovis said...

Two primary reasons I believe people still hang onto these things are pride and fear.

Pride, because it emphasizes man and the work and ability of man.

Fear, because people trust the work of man more than the work of the Spirit.

I'd trust 10 men with the Spirit over 10 men with the Law any day.

Fruit produces after its own kind.

Al Shaw said...

I've always found Micheal Eaton excellent on Paul's theology of life in the Spirit as the fulfillment of the Law.

e.g. "Those who walk in the Spirit deliberately fulfill the law accidentally."