Regarding Christians and the Ten Commandments

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Homer
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Regarding Christians and the Ten Commandments

Post by Homer » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:25 am

I have felt for some time that Christians who engage in lawsuits over the Ten Commandments being posted in public places come perilously close to disrespecting Christ. Why aren't they arguing for the Sermon on the Mount? Anyway, as an apology for my position, I put together the following. I seek any comments and/or criticisms from any who may have them, or any suggestions for improvement(s).

Regarding Christians and the 10 Commandments

2 Corinthians 3 (New King James Version)
1. Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you?
2. You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;
3. clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

*Here we have an allusion to the Ten Commandments and that which was written by the Spirit, through Paul, on their hearts. See Jeremiah 31:33

4. And we have such trust through Christ toward God.
5. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,
6. who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

*Another reference to the Ten Commandments and the Spirit, as in v.3. The Law kills; it can not give life.

7. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away (#2673, see below),

*Here Paul explicitly refers to the Ten Commandments as the "ministery of death", and hints that it is passing away.

8. how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?
9. For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.

*Though the Ten Commandments were glorious, the ministry of the Spirit is much more so.

10. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.
11. For if what is passing away (#2673)was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

*As Paul was writing to the Corinthians, the Ten Commandments were passing away.

12. Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—
13. unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away(#2673).
14. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away (#2673) in Christ.

*The vail of the Law is taken away in Christ.

15. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.
16. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away (#4014).
17. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
18. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

# 2673, Katargeo
to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative
to cause a person or thing to have no further efficiency
to deprive of force, influence, power
to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish
to cease, to pass away, be done away
to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from any one
to terminate all intercourse with one
King James Word Usage - Total: 27 destroy 5, do away 3, abolish 3, cumber 1, loose 1, cease 1, fall 1, deliver 1, miscellaneous 11

B. The 10 commandments were the first/old covenant! [The Ten Commandments were at least a synechdoche for the whole old covenant, if not the covenant itself. (Old Covenant = Old Testament)]

To demonstrate this all we need to do is quote the Bible without comment:

The tables are part of the abolished first covenant:
Heb 8:13, When He said, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.

Hebrews 9:1,4 "Now even the first covenant had ... the tables of the covenant"

Exodus 34:27-28: "Then the Lord said to Moses, "Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments."

Deuteronomy 4:13: "So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.

Deuteronomy 9:9: "When I went up to the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant which the Lord had made with you, then I remained on the mountain forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water.

Deuteronomy 5:2-3: "The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today."

1 Kings 8:9,21: "9. There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt." ... 21. "And there I have set a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord, which He made with our fathers when He brought them from the land of Egypt."

2 Chronicles 6:11: "And there I have set the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord, which He made with the sons of Israel."

In 2 Corinthians 3:2-11, the abolished Old Covenant was the 10 commandments!

Hebrews 8:7-13 speaks of the Old Covenant being replaced and v.13 says the same thing as 2 Cor. 3:11:

Hebrews 8:7-13(NAS)
7. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.
8. For finding fault with them, He says,
"BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD,
WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT
WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH;
9. NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS
ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND
TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT;
FOR THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT,
AND I DID NOT CARE FOR THEM, SAYS THE LORD.
10. FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS,
AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS.
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD,
AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
11. AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN,
AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, 'KNOW THE LORD,'
FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME,
FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM.
12. FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES,
AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE."
13. When He said, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.

There is one Old Covenant (Law) that was never divided up by the Jews and Apostles, as the moderns do, into moral, ceremonial, judicial, etc. categories, wherin they argue that this or that part has been done away. The writers of the bible knew of no such divisions.

The Ten Commandments and ceremonial laws are mixed together with no distinction in Leviticus 19:1-37

The Ten Commandments are referred to as "statutes", "ordinances", "commandments", "judgements", and "testimonies" without distinction in Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25. 5:2 refers to the Ten Commandments as the covenant.

Paul said of the "old" law and "new" law:

1 Corinthians 9:20-21:
"20. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law;
21. to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

From which we conclude:
1. Paul is not under the Law of the Jews (Old Covenant, which included the Ten Commandments)
2. Paul is not without law.
3. Paul is under a different law.
4. Paul is under the Law of Christ

Romans 7:1-7:
1. Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?
2. For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released (#2673) from the law concerning the husband.
3. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.
4. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
5. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
6. But now we have been released from the Law, (#2673) having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
7. What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET."

Conclusion:
1. We have been released from the Law.
2. We are adulterers if we are under both the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ simultaneously (v. 3).
2. The Law Paul had in mind included the Ten Commandments, "You shall not covet" (v. 7).

The Old Covenant, including the Ten Commandments was nailed to the cross:

Colossians 2:13-14:
13. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,
14. having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
There is not one statement in the New Testament that changes the Sabbath to Sunday. We are not obliged to keep the Sabbath; and it was as much a part of the Ten Commandments as any of the other nine.

God bless and thanks for your feedback, Homer

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steve
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Re: Regarding Christians and the Ten Commandments

Post by steve » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:00 am

Good summary, Homer!

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darinhouston
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Re: Regarding Christians and the Ten Commandments

Post by darinhouston » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:02 pm

I may distribute this in our Sermon on the Mount study and try and get some feedback and "exchange" on it.

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kaufmannphillips
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Re: Regarding Christians and the Ten Commandments

Post by kaufmannphillips » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:59 pm

Hi, Homer,
Homer wrote:
I seek any comments and/or criticisms from any who may have them, or any suggestions for improvement(s).
You probably won’t be surprised that I’m inclined toward criticism – but you extended an invitation! :)

For the sake of relevance to your discussion, I will posture my comments in a Christian oeuvre.
Homer wrote:
I have felt for some time that Christians who engage in lawsuits over the Ten Commandments being posted in public places come perilously close to disrespecting Christ. Why aren't they arguing for the Sermon on the Mount?
The Sermon on the Mount is quite a bit longer, and thus less suited to effective public display. It also is – rightly or wrongly – less common as an elementary block in our society’s ethical formation. Many children are taught the Ten Commandments [sic], but few are taught the whole of the Sermon on the Mount.

As for “disrespecting Christ” – if Christ is the Word of G-d, and the Ten Commandments are the word of G-d, how can honoring the one be dishonoring the other? Are some of G-d’s words dishonorable?
Homer wrote:
2 Corinthians 3 (New King James Version)
1. Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you?
2. You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;
3. clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

*Here we have an allusion to the Ten Commandments and that which was written by the Spirit, through Paul, on their hearts. See Jeremiah 31:33
These verses do not rebuke the tablets of stone. Must the Ten Commandments [sic] be the be-all and end-all to be worthy of public display? And if they are not the be-all and end-all, does their public display dishonor Christ?
Homer wrote:
4. And we have such trust through Christ toward God.
5. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,
6. who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

*Another reference to the Ten Commandments and the Spirit, as in v.3. The Law kills; it can not give life.
Yes, the Law kills. This is an element of its honorable and G-d-given function. And is public display of something that has a G-d-given function dishonoring Christ?

But then again, is the Law devoid of the spirit, and alien to its work? Or is the Law an instrument of the spirit in its life-giving activities? “The law of the wise {is} a fountain of life, To turn {one} away from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 13:14, NKJV)
Homer wrote:
7. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away (#2673, see below),

*Here Paul explicitly refers to the Ten Commandments as the "ministery of death", and hints that it is passing away.
Here Paul refers to the Ten Commandments [sic] as having been “glorious.” And our society memorializes many past glories by means of public display. A public display commemorating Herbert Hoover, whose glory has rather faded, does not translate into dishonor for a living statesman. So how would commemoration of a past glory, divinely imparted, translate into dishonoring Christ?
Homer wrote:
8. how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?
9. For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.

*Though the Ten Commandments were glorious, the ministry of the Spirit is much more so.

10. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.
11. For if what is passing away (#2673)was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

*As Paul was writing to the Corinthians, the Ten Commandments were passing away.
My previous remarks apply to these arguments.
homer wrote:
12. Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—
13. unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away(#2673).
14. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away (#2673) in Christ.

*The vail of the Law is taken away in Christ.

15. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.
16. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away (#4014).
17. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
18. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Some would contend that the veil is not itself the Law, but that the veil is lying over the Law. This fits the parallel, inasmuch as Moses’ veil lies over the glory to obscure its fading character.
Homer wrote:
The 10 commandments were the first/old covenant! [The Ten Commandments were at least a synechdoche for the whole old covenant, if not the covenant itself. (Old Covenant = Old Testament)]

To demonstrate this all we need to do is quote the Bible without comment:

The tables are part of the abolished first covenant:
Heb 8:13, When He said, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.

{and}

In 2 Corinthians 3:2-11, the abolished Old Covenant was the 10 commandments!
My previous remarks regarding commemoration of past glory apply. But if Christians are to insist on the disappearance and/or abolition of the Old Covenant, then why do Christians bind it into their bibles? And if it is not dishonorable to incorporate the disappeared and/or abolished covenant into Christian scriptures – and to make use of it in Christian discipleship or even Christian worship – then how is it dishonorable to Christ to commemorate it publicly?
Homer wrote:
Hebrews 8:7-13 speaks of the Old Covenant being replaced and v.13 says the same thing as 2 Cor. 3:11: ...
My previous remarks regarding commemoration of past glory apply.
Homer wrote:
From which we conclude:
1. Paul is not under the Law of the Jews (Old Covenant, which included the Ten Commandments)
2. Paul is not without law.
3. Paul is under a different law.
4. Paul is under the Law of Christ
My previous remarks regarding commemoration of past glory apply.
Homer wrote:
Conclusion:
1. We have been released from the Law.
2. We are adulterers if we are under both the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ simultaneously (v. 3).
2. The Law Paul had in mind included the Ten Commandments, "You shall not covet" (v. 7).
Is it adultery for a remarried widow to speak publicly and honor her first husband? Does her paying honor to her first husband translate into dishonor to her second husband?
Homer wrote:
The Old Covenant, including the Ten Commandments was nailed to the cross:

Colossians 2:13-14:
13. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,
14. having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

It may be questioned whether “the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us” equates to the commandments articulated in the covenant, or merely to the curses articulated for those who transgress the commandments.

But my previous remarks regarding commemoration of past glory still apply.
========================
"The more something is repeated, the more it becomes an unexamined truth...." (Nicholas Thompson)
========================

steve7150
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Re: Regarding Christians and the Ten Commandments

Post by steve7150 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:31 am

My previous remarks regarding commemoration of past glory apply. But if Christians are to insist on the disappearance and/or abolition of the Old Covenant, then why do Christians bind it into their bibles? And if it is not dishonorable to incorporate the disappeared and/or abolished covenant into Christian scriptures – and to make use of it in Christian discipleship or even Christian worship – then how is it dishonorable to Christ to commemorate it publicly?





I think many Christians don't realize the 10 Commandments are part of the Law of Moses and not the New Covenant. I don't see this as disrespectful but more as a reaction against secularism.
They may look at it as standing up for God rather then anything involving Christ.

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Homer
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Re: Regarding Christians and the Ten Commandments

Post by Homer » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:56 pm

Kaufmannphillips wrote:
Homer wrote:
I have felt for some time that Christians who engage in lawsuits over the Ten Commandments being posted in public places come perilously close to disrespecting Christ. Why aren't they arguing for the Sermon on the Mount?

(reply)

The Sermon on the Mount is quite a bit longer, and thus less suited to effective public display. It also is – rightly or wrongly – less common as an elementary block in our society’s ethical formation. Many children are taught the Ten Commandments [sic], but few are taught the whole of the Sermon on the Mount.
Thanks for your comments! It is good to have our ideas tested, especially this one.

My point is not that the SOM should be posted on monuments, but that some Christians raise a big fuss about the Ten Commandments and do not seem much interested in the Sermon on the Mount. Actually, many do not seem to know what to do with it. They may look at it as a rigid set of rules impossible to keep, or Jesus teaching law prior to the Apostles teaching the Gospel and thus as inapplicable, or think Jesus' intention was to crush us so we would accept Him as savior, or any number of other ways to avoid it. The earliest Christians did not seem to have this problem. (see Didache)

My own view is the Jesus meant for His followers to live according to the SOM, not as a rigid set of rules, but as a practical way, as appropriate, to live as a follower of Him. For example, going the extra mile would not mean for me to drive someone to Seattle whose destination was Portland. To me it means I should be willing and ready to go beyond the minimum of what is asked of me by someone who needs my help.


Again, thanks for your comments (Steve7150 also)

Blessings, Homer

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Homer
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Re: Regarding Christians and the Ten Commandments

Post by Homer » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:55 pm

Ran across this comment today, posted by an unbeliever who was raised as a Christian:
Anyway, it is my understanding that the Sermon On The Mount is supposed to be of greater import with Christians above the Ten Commandments. So why the fetishism with the Ten Commandments by the right-wingers? Is this tied in to their mindset of "law and order"? Is this just another manifestation of them ignoring the teachings of Jesus in order to advance their own doctrine of hate?

It is interesting that so many fascist groups want to put up the Ten Commandments in courthouses and public school classrooms, and even our National Parks (there is currently a TC issue involving the Grand Canyon, believe it or not). As a long-time watchdog of Christian Right abuses of power and a hardcore advocate of state-church separation, I have never once noticed that any of these groups call for the Sermon On The Mount to be posted in public places.

Of course, as an advocate of state-church separation, that kind of effort would be equally wrong. Still, it is telling indeed just which doctrine, and from what source, these self-proclaimed Christians are striving to promote everywhere.

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psimmond
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Re: Regarding Christians and the Ten Commandments

Post by psimmond » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:59 am

Hi Homer (and others),
I've studied Old vs. New, but I still don't really have a good grasp on this. Could you look at my 4 points below:

1. NT believers are not under the Old Covenant law, but are instead under the Law of Christ.
2. The Law of Christ--loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind. and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself.
3. Many Old Covenant laws are still applicable in the New Covenant, but trying to figure out which ones is sometimes difficult. (You have to find out which laws are restated in the New Testament.) And you also have to realize that some which are restated are also redefined, i.e hatred is murder, etc.
4. So we shouldn't treat the 10 Commandments as being applicable to believers today until we've verified them individually using point 3 above.

From the OP, I'm pretty sure you will disagree with the above view, but I want to know why. Thanks :)
Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.
~Garry Friesen

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Homer
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Re: Regarding Christians and the Ten Commandments

Post by Homer » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:31 am

Hi Psimmond,

You wrote:
The Law of Christ--loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind. and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself.
But how is this to be carried out? Jesus said "if you love me you will obey me". Some say Jesus was teaching law and the SOM is inapplicable to us. To me this is terribly wrong. "Go and make disciples....baptizing....teaching to obey everything I commanded you" clears it up for me. So we find the details of the greatest commandment in Jesus' teachings and that of His Apostles.
Many Old Covenant laws are still applicable in the New Covenant, but trying to figure out which ones is sometimes difficult. (You have to find out which laws are restated in the New Testament.) And you also have to realize that some which are restated are also redefined, i.e hatred is murder, etc.
There is certainly much to be learned by study of the OT. It can help to understand Christ's sacrifice, etc., but would be of little help, for example, in understanding what adultery means. Most Christians do not realize that under the LOM a married man could have sex with any single girl and it would not be considered adultery - only if she was the wife of another man. The reverse was not true, however, for a married woman. It seems to me the NT is clear about most things.
So we shouldn't treat the 10 Commandments as being applicable to believers today until we've verified them individually using point 3 above.
But if they are verifed by the NT why do we even need them posted on the wall? They are mostly negative (8 of 10) and insufficient anyway, as Christ showed in the SOM. If I immigrated to another country and found that it was a crime to commit murder I would not think I was still under the laws of the USA because that law was the same in both countries. Nor would I feel any need to consult the laws of the USA to determine how I should live in my new country.

This is my hurried response - gotta get breakfast; I'm hungry!

steve7150
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Re: Regarding Christians and the Ten Commandments

Post by steve7150 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:47 pm

1. NT believers are not under the Old Covenant law, but are instead under the Law of Christ.
2. The Law of Christ--loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind. and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself.
3. Many Old Covenant laws are still applicable in the New Covenant, but trying to figure out which ones is sometimes difficult. (You have to find out which laws are restated in the New Testament.) And you also have to realize that some which are restated are also redefined, i.e hatred is murder, etc.
4. So we shouldn't treat the 10 Commandments as being applicable to believers today until we've verified them individually using point 3 above.







The Law of Christ (God,Spirit,Liberty,Royal Law,Faith) plus one other name is actually over 50 commands/principals said by Christ & his Apostles.
There are ritual laws & moral laws in the Law of Moses & the ritual laws are abolished but the moral laws are part of God's character. How do you tell them apart? According to Steve G , if you reverse a ritual law it affects nothing but if you reverse a moral law you can see it would violate God's character.

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