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The Ten Commandments

1No other gods before Me.

“You shall have no other gods before Me."
-Exodus 20:3

In view of His sovereignty and goodness (vs. 2), we are commanded to have no other gods before the Lord.

2You shall not make for yourself a carved image.

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image..."
-Exodus 20:4

The first and second commandments go hand in hand, both emphasizing the need to give our worship exclusively to the one true God. The Israelites violated this commandment and crafted their own graven image, a golden calf, even before Moses came down from the Mountain.

3You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

"You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain..."
-Exodus 20:7

To take God’s name in vain is to use it in an empty or meaningless way. Because “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved,” we must be careful to instead treat the name of God with honor and reverence (Acts 4:12).

4Remember the Sabbath day.

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
-Exodus 20:8

In wisdom and grace, God commanded His people to observe a weekly day of rest. The Sabbath was to be observed in imitation of God’s own work in Creation (Exod. 20:11), as well as His redemptive work (Deut. 5:15).

5Honor your father and your mother.

"Honor your father and your mother..."
-Exodus 20:12

The fifth commandment is reiterated by the apostle Paul who describes it as “the first commandment with promise” (Eph. 6:2). Honoring God means honoring the authority He has placed in our lives.

6You shall not murder.

"You shall not murder."
-Exodus 20:13

The taking of human life is expressly forbidden. Jesus elaborates on this commandment in the Sermon on the Mount, revealing that the sin of murder begins in the heart (Matt. 5:21-22).

7You shall not commit adultery.

"You shall not commit adultery."
-Exodus 20:14

The sanctity of marriage is given noteworthy attention throughout Scripture. Christ reminds us in Matthew 5:27-30 that the marriage relationship must be guarded diligently.

8You shall not steal.

"You shall not steal."
-Exodus 20:15

Theft is forbidden by God. Instead, we are to be content with what we have and trust God to supply all our need in Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 6:6; Phil. 4:19).

9You shall not bear false witness.

"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
-Exodus 20:16

Honesty must always characterize our speech and conduct. To bear false witness against our neighbor is an affront to a holy God Who is Himself "the truth and the life" (John 14:6).

10You shall not covet.

"You shall not covet...anything that is your neighbor’s."
-Exodus 20:17

God has promised to meet all our needs, both spiritual and physical, and we should therefore be content with whatever He has provided (Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:33; Heb. 13:5).


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