“For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.
In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” Hebrews 8:7, 13
Would you be surprised if I told you that as a Christian I do not follow the Ten Commandments? I would even go further to say that if you want to be a follower of Jesus, you too should not base your discipleship on enforcing the Ten Commandments. How can I make such radical statements that most would consider heresy? Why would a disciple of Christ be so bold as to say that a believer does not have to adhere to the Ten Commandments?
The Ten Commandments was part of the old covenant or what is also called the old law. The old covenant had a specific purpose, for a specific people, for a specific time. These commandments were given under the law of Moses to the children of Israel and were in effect until the promise of the seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ, came to fulfill the law’s purpose by redeeming all mankind. Another words, these commandments were given as part of a tempory law for the Jews until Christ came to establish a new one for all nations. “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor (Gal. 3:24-25).”
If we do not have to abide by the Ten Commandments, does that mean we can steal, murder, commit adultery, etc? Certainly not! We see that these teachings were also taught under the new covenant by Jesus and His apostles. The only commandment that was not proclaimed under the new covenant is to keep holy the Sabbath day so we do not have to commit to that. But, if you will carefully read Jesus’ teachings, you will ascertain that He actually holds us to a higher standard than the Ten Commandments by revealing that sin is not just about doing something wrong but also goes deeper by what begins in the heart (Matt. 5:21-30).
When you thoroughly read throughout your new testament, especially the books of Galatians and Hebrews, you will see that misunderstanding between the difference of the old law and the new law was very common. Many believers, especially those of Jewish descent, would try to bind the law of Moses upon Christians, and time and time again they were rebuked for it. In fact, Paul strongly condemned the Galatians by writing, “you have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by the law; you have fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4).”
The first covenant was not faultless because within its ordinances did not contain a complete remission of sins. It wasn’t until Jesus came and gave His life as the perfect sacrifice that a second or new covenant became effective consequently providing grace and mercy to the extent that sins were remembered no more. This new covenant, with Jesus reigning in heaven as our High Priest, has made the first obsolete. Whether it be the Ten Commandments, circumcision, priestly precepts, or any other ordinances contained in the old law, do not inaccurately go back for justification to what God has made obsolete for the sake of our salvation. If you do, you will be a debtor to keep the whole law, of which no one can do, and Christ will profit you nothing thus making you hopeless for eternal life with Christ Jesus (Gal. 5:2-3).
Holy and righteous is Your name, God, and all Your works! You created a plan for the redemption of man since the beginning of time. You gave a covenant to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through his seed. As part of that covenant, You also established the nation of Israel who were given a law. That law was never sufficient to redeem man’s sins, but You gave it to give hope in a future Savior. Thank you, Father, for the Savior that died for all nations, tore the veil of separation between us, and established a new covenant whereby man can have total redemption back to You as You will remember our sins no more when we commit our lives to Your service. In Christ, who reigns at Your right hand, Amen.
Truth in love,