Discipleship: Did Jesus do away with the Ten Commandments?

CBN reports that popular megachurch pastor Andy Stanley has preached that Jesus did away with the 10 Commandments and replaced them with one commandment: “Love God with all of your heart, soul and mind… and love your fellow man as yourself.”  (Matthew 22:37-39).  And yet, Jesus also quoted often from the Old Testament (the Pentateuch, the Law) and stated that he came to fulfill the law, not destroy it!  (Matthew 5:17)   So, are those two pronouncements of Christ at odds with one another?  Consider this…  If we truly lived our life in sincere obedience to Jesus’ command that we “love God with all of our heart, soul and mind… and love our fellow man as ourselves”, would we ever be in danger of consciously violating any of the 10 Commandments?  Would a loving Christian disciple put other things or people ahead of God (idolatry), would we steal, would we bear false witness, would we cheat on our spouses, etc…?    I think of the Old Testament as the Law, which it is, and the New Testament, as the book of Love.  The Old Testament describes in detail “How” we should live our lives, and the New Testament, the “Why”.  Theologians would say that the Old Covenant was a relationship (between God and man) of Works and the New Covenant is one of Grace.  Because God first loved us, so much so that He gave His only son, Jesus, as a sacrifice in order that we would not receive our just punishment (death) for having not lived in accordance with the Law (10 Commandments, etc.).  (John 3:16). We call that grace, unmerited favor or love from God, because He knows we are incapable of righteousness, incapable of keeping the Law.  As the Apostle Paul put it, what we have earned, what we deserve, through our sinful behavior is punishment and death, but God has granted us forgiveness if we accept Christ as Lord of our lives.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23). The 10 Commandments are still in effect, but Jesus paid the price of God’s judgement in our behalf.  The 10 Commandments serve to convict us of our sin and our need for a savior.  Just prior to his death and resurrection Jesus told his disciples (you and me), “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”  (John 13:34). We are called to obey All of God’s commandments, but if we were to choose just one, I believe that would be a good one!


2 thoughts on “Discipleship: Did Jesus do away with the Ten Commandments?

  1. If we are to obey “the Old Testament” as The Law does that include things such as sacrificial laws, etc., that go beyond the Ten Commandments?

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    1. An excellent question, Gayla! Many of the laws or rules in the first five books of the Bible had to do with the specific circumstances of life that the Israelites had to deal with – agriculture, health and hygiene, etc. As a pastor friend of mine likes to say, “Context is king”, meaning that you must look at the historical situation at the time. As far as animal sacrifices were concerned, God’s original covenant with his chosen people (the Jews) required a blood sacrifice (of an unblemished lamb) in order that the angel of death would pass them by. Jesus (the Lamb of God) is the blood sacrifice for God’s new covenant, which now includes the Gentiles (us and all who would accept Christ as Lord of their lives). – George

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