Chapter 8: Jesus' New Commandments.

a. The 10 commandments after Jesus resurrection; b. Jesus Christ' New Commandments.

a. The 10 commandments after Jesus resurrection

Since Jesus crucifixion and resurrection, many of the ceremonial laws have become obsolete because of their fulfillment on the cross. But what about God's 10 commandments? Were they fulfilled on the cross as well? What does the New Testament teach us about this? Were all 10 commandments obsolete after the resurrection of Jesus? Were some obsolete? Let's find out what the Bible tells us.

It is amazing the amount of Bible texts that we can find from Acts to Revelation referring of the importance of keeping God's commandments. However, we cannot find one Bible text from Acts to Revelation telling the Christians to make sure to keep the Sabbath day of the Lord holy! Quite the contrary. Col 2:16-17 "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ."

As we have seen in chapter 7b, the Sabbath is referred to as a shadow that found it's reality in Christ. Christ is our Sabbath! He is the One who will give us rest, not just for one day a week, but continually. He promised this in Matt 11:28-29: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Let us look at several Bible texts encouraging us to keep each of God's 10 commandments:

1. Commandment 1: Ex 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before me."

1 Cor 8:5-6 "For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."

1 Cor 12:2 "You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols."

Gal 4:8-9 "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods."

2. Commandment 2: Ex 20:4-6 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 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 fathers 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."

1 John 5:21 "Dear children, keep yourselves from idols."

3. Commandment 3: Ex 20:7 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."

James 2:7 "Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?"

1 Tim 1:20 "Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme."

4. Commandment 4: Ex 20:8-11 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 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 manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 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."

No Bible text from Acts to Revelation backing this up!

5. Commandment 5: Ex 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."

Eph 6:2-3 "Honor your father and mother"-which is the first commandment with a promise-"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

6. Commandment 6: Ex 20:13 "You shall not murder."

1 Peter 4:15-16 "If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler."

1 John 3:15 "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him."

7. Commandment 7: Ex 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery."

Eph 5:3-4 "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people."

1 Cor 6:9-10 "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders."

8. Commandment 8: Ex 20:15 "You shall not steal."

1 Peter 4:15-16 "If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler."

Eph 4:28 "He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need."

9. Commandment 9: Ex 20:16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."

Eph 4:25 "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body."

10. Commandment 10: Ex 20:17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

Eph 5:3-4 "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people."

Eph 5:5 "For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."

Col 3:5 "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry."

All 10 commandments are taught in the New Testament, except the Sabbath commandment! What does this tell us? It tells us that we have rest now in Jesus, not once a week, but every day of the week!

Jesus seems to bring the 10 commandments to a next level. He makes us aware that we all have transgressed and still are transgressing God's commandments.

Read Matt 5:21-30: "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. "

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."

Jesus brings God's commandments alive! He brings these commandments one step further. Jesus went deeper than the letter of the law to divulge its spirit. "Do not murder" includes do not be angry. "Do not commit adultery" includes fantasizing about the opposite sex. "Remember the Sabbath Day" means to bring all your worries to Jesus on a daily basis (Not weekly!) and He will give you rest.

No one else has brought so much life out of God's commandments! We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God! Rom 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Only by going to Jesus and accepting Him into our life can we find rest for our souls (Mat 11:29)!

b. Jesus Christ' New Commandments

Once an expert of the law asked Jesus: Matt 22:36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

Jesus answered vv. 37-40 "Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

In other words, love should be our guiding motive in life. Anything we do must be guided from above, otherwise all of our efforts are futile. Love for God and love for mankind. How could we do any less than our Master Jesus Christ?

If we read carefully throughout the New Testament, we discover that Jesus explicity gave us some commandments. Some of them He even called "new". Let us explore these commandments. If Jesus ordered them to us, they must be important!

i. Commandment to believe in Jesus

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

1 John 3:21-24 "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us."

ii. Commandment to love one another

John 13:34-35 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

This is a very powerful commandment for loving one another! What is the purpose of this commandment? "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." Is your church practicing this new command from Jesus? Are you attracting the unsaved to your church by your love for one another?

1 John 3:11-12 "This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another."

1 John 4:8-12 "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

If love is not in existence in your life or in your church, I am sorry, you nor your church know God!

1 John 4:19-21 "We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."

Anyone who says he/she loves God and faithfully keeps the first 4 commandments concerning loving God will all their heart, is a liar! You cannot love God and hate anyone, especially someone in the faith!

This is confirmed in 1 John 2:3-11 "We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him."

The following Bible texts were pronounced by Jesus Himself prior to His crucifixion. You need to read them in succession to understand the full meaning of them. This is close to Jesus' heart and He wants you for any of His disciples to obey these instructions:

a. John 14:15-18 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

b. John 14:21 "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

c. John 15:9-11 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love."

d. John 15:14-15 "You are my friends if you do what I command."

What does Jesus command from us? Here is His answer:

e. John 15:12-13 "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."

f. John 15:17 "This is my command: Love each other."

It is true that this notion of loving others as you love yourself can also be found in the Old Testament. However, the New Testament reinforces this notion constantly.

Lev 19:18 "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD."

1 Thess 4:9-10 "Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more."

How did God teach the believers in Thessalonica to love one another? The next Bible text will shed some light in this.

1 John 3:21-24 "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us."

It is interesting to note that the Sabbath is not listed as the proof that Jesus lives within us. Instead, we are told: John 14:26-27: "by the Spirit he gave us". No wonder that Jesus promised in John 14:26-27: "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" and that John 16:13 tells us: "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." You want to know God's truth my friend? Ask God's Holy Spirit into your life and believe in Him. He will guide you in all truth! God's Word will become alive under His guidance. You won't have to depend on others to find out what the Bible is trying to teach you. The best counselor of the Universe will be your guide! Jesus promised Him. Jesus never lied! This is an awesome promise!

iii. Commandment to preach the gospel

Matt 28:18-20 "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

It is interesting that Jesus stresses the fact that we are to teach others "to obey everything I have commanded you". The Bible texts that we have listed in this and the previous sections are what Jesus commanded!

Acts 10:42 "He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead."

Are you following God's commandments? I hope so. Once Jesus lives in you through His Holy Spirit, you cannot do otherwise than to love your brothers and sisters in the faith and to preach His gospel. His loves is so evident in your life that you want to share this awesome God with all those who don't know Him. Have you experienced Him - I mean really experienced Him - in your life?

Click here to go to: Chapter 9: Possible Objections.