Exodus 20: 1-17 (NIV)
1 And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “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. 5 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.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labour and do all your work, 10 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. 11 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.
12 “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.”
There are risks for us disciples of Jesus Christ in how we regard the two Testaments: Old and New (or Old Covenant and New Covenant). Life teaches us that often the “old” is to be discarded and replaced by the “new.” The fact that an item is described as “old” suggests that it has outlived its usefulness.
When we are referring to the Hebrew Scriptures, nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus said as much, recorded in the Gospel of Matthew (5: 17-19):
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practises and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
The Gospel of Luke reports that Jesus said (16: 16-17):
“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached … It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.”
Christian women and men live under grace but not so that sin should abound. Our lives should honour our Saviour, obeying his commands, including those of the former Covenant.