Welcome to the Decalogue
Hello and welcome to our Decalogue page. This page looks at the part of the bible called the “Ten Commandments”. These are primarily found in the book of Exodus chapter 20. The commandments are broken into two tablets and the tablets are referring to basic principles that we need to consider in our Christian life.
This is the homepage for this section and as the pages are developed the hyperlinks will become active.
TABLET ONE – THE FIRST FOUR COMMANDMENTS – RELATIONSHIP TO GOD
The first four commandments come in the following order and pertain to how we are to relate to God:
1) No other God’s before me (Exodus 20:1-3)
2) No carved images for worship (Exodus 20:4-6)
3) No taking the name of the LORD in vain (Exodus 20:7)
4) Remember the Sabbath day (Exodus 20:8-11)
These commandments deal with the heart of worship and the relationship and obedience of man towards his creator God. God is a jealous God and requires our worship with all of our heart. In my life I have found that when I have been lacking in my relationship with God it has been based on lacking on my part.
God desires communion with us and he desires what is best for us, like any loving father he desires our love but we have to willingly serve and live our life according to his will. God is not some benevolent dictator. He desires communion with us but we have to choose with our own free will.
These commandments have meaning not just in the original context of how it was stated to the children of Israel, but is relevant to us today as followers of Christ Jesus. Historically this part of scripture was part of the law in quite a few Christian countries and formed the moral base for legal systems.
TABLET TWO – THE LAST SIX COMMANDMENTS – RELATIONSHIP TO OUR FELLOW MAN
The last six commandments are the following commands:
5) Honor your father and mother (Exodus 20:12)
6) You shall not murder (Exodus 20:13)
7) You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14)
8) You shall not steal (Exodus 20:15)
9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16)
10) You shall not covet (Exodus 20:17)
We are also commanded to live a certain way as followers of Jesus. Some of these commandments are basic common sense and many of us would never consider doing some of them but God who knows our sinful hearts knew that we would need rules of morality towards each other.
Not a to do list
These are God’s standards, thankfully we have grace when we fail but it is important to know what God’s standards are. I would advise to guard your heart and not make it a check list or make it a to do list or a minimum standards list.
Done in deed as well as in heart
We have to be careful also that we do not try to “skate by” and see ourselves as good because we have never done the deed of adultery or carried out the murder. Have we ever hated our brother so much we wanted to end his life?
Have you ever lusted after someone so badly that you have committed adultery in your heart? Jesus states that this is the same as having committed the sin. Let’s look at the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5:
Matthew 5:21 (ESV) You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
Not feeling so righteous now huh?
Give me Jesus
Jesus spoke about the Ten Commandments when he was being questioned by the Pharisees, check out the following passage from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 22:
Matthew 22:34 (ESV) But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
We see that Jesus states that on these commandments depend all of the Law (all 613 rules and regulations that the devout Jew kept in order to be worthy of God) and all the Prophets. The Prophets had the toughest job in the Old Testament, they delivered messages from the LORD, often their job was to correct the people and turn them to repentance. Many died due to this hazardous occupation. But the true prophet was always delivering the message that God had given him, often times the unrepentant people would not regard the words of God and take it out on the Prophets.
Is it important? Well Jesus himself seemed to think so and as one of his followers that is good enough for me. I pray that these pages be a blessing as we look at the Ten Commandments and what they mean to us as Christians.
God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.