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THE BIBLE IS VERY CLEAR ON THIS! : The Purpose & Meaning of the Ten Commandments

I - The first 4 laws are to do with the relationship between God & humans:
Then one of them, who was a lawyer, asked Jesus a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.  – Matthew 22:35-38.

1. The 1st Commandment is about Loyalty

Thou shalt have no other gods before me
– Exodus 20:3.
The Creator of the universe declares He is our true God and deliverer and He asks us to demonstrate our love for Him by not having false gods.

2. The 2nd Commandment is about Worship

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. – Exodus 20:4-6.

The one and only true God loves us so much that He is jealous of our love and He does not want us to share our love for Him with idols. It’s the heart of our relationship with our Creator.

Idol Worship God's Name is not Dammit Great Seal of God

3. The 3rd Commandment is about Reverence

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
– Exodus 20:7.
God asks us to respect His Holy name and not to use it in vain. It addresses the way we communicate our feelings about God to others and to Him. It encompasses our attitudes, speech and behavior. It also means not to use God’s name in meaningless expressions or in swearing.

4. The 4th Commandment is about Sanctification and Relationship

REMEMBER” the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day [is] the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates: For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. – Exodus 20:8-11.

The Creator God starts the 4th Commandment with the word “REMEMBER”. Because God knew many would forget it. He says we keep the Sabbath set apart for Holy purposes and abstain from routine work, entertainment, etc... So we can draw strength from Him on a periodic basis, similar to recharging of a battery.

  • Please see what the Bible says about this in Isaiah 58:13-14.

II - The next 6 laws are to do with the relationship between humans:

            Jesus continued to answer the question of which commandment is greatest in the law? And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.  – Matthew 22:39-40.

5. The 5th Commandment is about Respect for Parental Authority
HONOUR” thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. – Exodus 20:12.
God instructs us to show love for our parents by honoring them. Families are the building blocks of societies that build strong nations. When families are fractured and flawed, the sad results are tragic and reflected in newspaper headlines every day.

6. The 6th Commandment is about Respect for lifeThou shalt not kill. – Exodus 20:13.
God asks us to demonstrate love and not hate towards others by not murdering. We must learn to control our tempers. Taking another person's life is not our right.

7. The 7th Commandment is about Purity in Sexual Relationships – Thou shalt not commit adultery. – Exodus 20:14.

God asks us to express and demonstrate our love for our spouse only, by not committing adultery. Adultery is the violation of the marriage covenant between Man, Woman and God by willful participation in sexual activity with someone other than the lawful wedded husband or wife.

Adultery Grasping for More Honesty

8. The 8th Commandment is about HonestyThou shalt not steal. – Exodus 20:15.
God instructs us to show our love and respect for others by not stealing what belongs to them. To safeguard everyone's right to legitimately acquire and own property. He wants that right honored and protected.

9.  The 9th Commandment is about TruthfulnessThou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. – Exodus 20:16.
God says because we are to love others we should not deceive or lie to them. God wants that we always speak truthfully and reflect it in everything we do.

10. The 10th Commandment is about ContentmentThou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbor’s. – Exodus 20:17.

God instructs us not to covet because He knows it can entrap us into even greater sin. To covet means to crave or desire, especially in excessive or improper ways what already belongs to someone else.

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