Common Objections for
Not Obeying the Ten Commandments
NCW 68, May-July 2000
1. "Yah'shua (Jesus) fulfilled the law, thereby doing away with it, so we don't need to worry about it any more."
Answer: Yah'shua knew there would be those who think this way, which is why Yah'shua said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil" (Mat.5:17). When you fulfill a prediction, such as Yah'shua did by dying on the cross (Mat.26:56, Luke 24:44), the prediction is no longer needed. Yah'shua fulfilled the sacrifice predictions which pointed forward to His death. When He died they were no longer needed. These predictions were a part of the ceremonial law of the old-covenant sanctuary (Heb.9:9-14). But when you fulfill a moral law, such as "Thou shalt not kill," that has nothing to do with abolishing the law (Luke 16:17). When you fulfil the marriage vow, does it do away with marriage? When you give your spouse total fulfillment, does it do away with your spouse? Instead of doing away with the law, Yah'shua magnified it (Isa.42:21) as the perfect guide for right living. Christians are to fulfil the law as well (Rom.8:2-4, Col.1:25). If Yah'shua abolished the Law, why are we called on to repent and obey the law ourselves?
2. "Doesn't the Bible say the Law was faulty (Heb.8:7), and the first covenant vanished away (Heb.8:13)?"
Answer: No (Romans 7:12). Has anyone found a fault or flaw in the handwriting of Yahweh? The Bible says the people were faulty, and Yahweh found "fault with them" (Hebrews 8:8). The Bible says that the law "was weak through the flesh" (Romans 8:3). The law is perfect (Psalm 19:7), but the people are faulty, or weak. So Yahweh would have His Son live within His people "that the righteousness of the law migh be fulfilled in us" (Romans 8:4,10) through the indwelling Christ. Can something "vanish away" (Heb.8:13) and be "established" (Rom.3:31) at the same time?
3. "All you need to keep is Yah'shua's (Jesus') law, not God's law."
Answer: The Bible says there is only "One lawgiver" (James 4:12), not two. The Lord is our lawgiver (Isa.33:22). Yah'shua said His Law and God's Law were the same Law (John 7:16; 10:30; 14:10; 15:10). It is the Christians' duty to obey both the "commandments of Yahweh" and "the testimony of Yah'shua haMashiach" (Rev.12:17; 14:12; 22:14).
4. "Wasn't the Ten Commandments altered?"
Answer: Yahweh said "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." (Psalm 89:34). Was the Ten Commandments spoken from God's lips? Yes! (Exo.19:19; 20:1, Deut.4:10,12; 5:22-26; 18:16, Neh.9:13). And this same covenant, "
shall be established for ever" and be "a faithful witness in heaven." (Psalm 89:37). Psalm 111:7-8 confirms God's Commandments will "stand fast for ever and ever", and Revelation 11:19 verifies that this same covenant is in heaven. Yah'shua said, "...Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Yahweh." (Matthew 4:4). The Ten Commandments were out of the mouth of Yahweh, and Christians are to live by them.
5. "Romans 13:10 says "Love is the fulfilling of the law." Matthew 22:37-40 commands us to love Yahweh and to love our neighbors, and ends with the words, "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Do these commands replace the Ten Commandments?"
Answer: No, the Ten Commandments hang from these two commands like our 10 fingers hang from our two hands. They are inseparable. Love to Yahweh makes keeping the first four commandments (which concern Yahweh) a pleasure, and love toward our neighbor makes keeping the last six (which concern our neighbor) a joy. Love fulfills the law by taking away the drudgery and by making lawkeeping a delight (Psalm 40:8). When we truly love a person, honoring his or her requests becomes a joy. Yah'shua said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). It is impossible to love the Lord and not keep His commandments, because the Bible says, "By this we know that we love the children of Yahweh, when we love Yahweh, and keep his commandments. This is the love of Yahweh, that we keep His commandments: and his commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:2-3). "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (1 John 2:3-4). Yah'shua himself said, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me" (John 14:21,). "If a man love me, he will keep my words" and "He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings" (John 14:23:24). Deuteronomy 13:3-4 is how Yahweh tests you to see if you love Yahweh with all your heart and all your soul.
6. "The Ten Commandments were given to Israel only, so they are not binding on Christians."
Answer: Actually, they were given to the stranger as well. The Bible is clear that there were not two laws, but the same law applied to both Israel and strangers (Exodus 12:49, Lev.24:22, Isaiah 56:6, Numbers 15:15-16, Psalm 18:44). As a matter of fact, the New Covenant was given to "Israel" only as well (Jer.31:33, Heb.8:10; 10:16), does that mean the New Testament doesn't apply to Christians? No. Why? Because "Israel" is not a specific nation or race, it is all those who believe in Yahweh. All Christians are "Israel" and "Jews" today (Rom.1:16; 2:28-29; 9:4-8; 10:12, 1 Cor.10:2-4, Gal.3:16,26-29, Col.3:11).
7. "We're under grace, not under the law (Rom.6:14), therefore we can sin and break the law all we want to. We're free from the law."
Answer: Paul answers this question in the next verse, Romans 6:15, and in verses 1&2. Also in Romans 3:31 . Paul certainly did not understand God's grace to do away with the law or to free us from keeping the law. Yahweh puts us under grace when we accept Yah'shua as our Saviour. Does that mean the law has been done away with now? Does that mean we can sin all we want to now? Does that mean we can now kill and steal and commit adultery? Please cross reference Romans 6:14 with Galatians 3:13. We are redeemed from the curse of the law, not from obedience to the law. The curse of the law is death (Romans 6:23), and there's a curse upon those who transgress the law (Gal.3:10). Christ tasted "death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9). Thus He redeemed us from the curse of the law (death), and in its place provided eternal life! You see, Yah'shua did not make us free from the Law, but made us free from the law of sin and death (Rom.8:2). "Is the Law sin? Yahweh forbid!" (Rom.7:7). The law itself is not the curse, because of John 7:49!
8. "The people of the Old Testament were saved by the law, Christians are saved by grace".
Answer: Not true. No one has ever been saved by the law. All who have been saved, in all ages, have been saved by grace alone (Isaiah 45:22). This "grace was given us in the Messiah Yah'shua before the world began" (2 Timothy 1:9). The law only points out sin. Christ alone can save. Noah "found grace" (Genesis 6:8); Lot found grace (Genesis 19:18-19); Moses found grace (Exodus 33:17); the Israelites in the wilderness found grace (Jeremiah 31:2); and according to Hebrews 11, Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Joseph, and many other Old Testament worthies were saved "by faith". They were saved by looking forward to the cross; we are saved by looking back to the cross. The law is necessary because, like a mirror, it reveals the "dirt" in our lives. However, the law has no saving power. It can only point out sin. Yah'shua, and He alone, can save a person from sin.
9. "The letter of the law kills, but the spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6), therefore the law is not applicable to us who have the Spirit."
Answer: The reason the law kills is that "all have sinned" (Rom.3:23; 5:12). All have broken the law. And the wages of sin is death (Rom.6:23). The reason the Spirit gives life is that it enables us to keep the law and not sin (Rom.8:4, Gal.5:16). Jesus' obedience gave us the power to be righteous and keep the Law (Rom.5:19). As Paul said, "I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died [that is, the law condemned him as a sinner]." "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is ... not subject to the law of Yahweh" (Romans 7:9; 8:7, 8).
10. "Doesn't 2 Corinthians 3:7 teach that the law written and engraved in stone was to be done away?"
Answer: No. The passage says that the "glory" of Moses' ministration of the law was to be done away, but not the law. Read the whole passage of 2 Corinthians 3:3-9 again, carefully. The subject is not the doing away with the law or its establishment, but rather, the change of location of the law from "tables of stone" to the "tables of the heart." Under Moses' ministration the law was on stones. Under the Holy Spirit's ministration, through Christ, the law is written upon the heart (Hebrews 8:10). Christ's ministration of the law is effective because He transfers the law to the heart of the Christian (Eze.11:19; 36:26). Then keeping the law becomes a delight and a joyful way of living because the Christian has true love for both Yahweh and man.
11. "Romans 10:4 says that "Christ is the end of the law." So it has ended, hasn't it?"
Answer: "End" in this verse means purpose or object, as it does in James 5:11. The meaning is clear. To lead men to Christ - where they find righteousness - is the goal, purpose, or end of the law.
In the 7th of Romans, Paul gives us the result in his own case. It drove him to confess that the law was holy and good, and he ought to obey it; and there it left him in distress, and crying, "The good that I would, I do not, but the evil that I would not, that I do." The law was not able to convert him, and he cries out, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Just here, the love of Yahweh in sending his Son, Yah'shua haMashiach, is presented to his mind, and that did the work. In the next chapter he explains it; "What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, Yahweh sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." The whole Bible testifies that it is only the influence of the gospel which can bring sinners to obey the law. The law will never do it.
12. "Why worry about the law? Isn't conscience a safe guide?"
Answer: No! The Bible speaks of an evil conscience (Heb.10:22), a defiled conscience (1 Cor.8:7, Titus 1:15), and a seared conscience (1 Tim.4:2) - none of which is safe. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12). Yahweh says, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool" (Proverbs 28:26). See also Gen.6:5; 8:21, Num.15:39, Deut.11:16, 1 Kings 8:61, Psa.58:2; 66:18, Pro.3:1,5; 16:5, Ecc.8:11, Jer.17:5,,9, Mat.15:19.
13. "Didn't the Bible predict that the Ten Commandments would end?"
Answer: No. It only predicted that the priesthood, feasts, yearly sabbaths, offerings, and the ritual sacrificing would end, not the Ten Commandments themselves (Dan.9:27, Hosea 2:11, Heb.7:12; 9:9-14; 10:8-9).
14. "Doesn't Colossians 2:14 teach that God's law ended at the cross?"
Answer: Many people assume that these "ordinances" that were "against us" and "contrary to us" were God's Ten Commandments. But how is God's Moral Law "against us" and "contrary to us"? And why would Yah'shua spend his life preaching the Ten Commandments if they were "against us" and "contrary to us? Besides, Paul spoke of God's Law as holy, just, and good many years after the cross (Romans 7:7,12).
This passage refers to the law contained in "ordinances," or Moses' law, which was a ceremonial law governing the sacrificial system and the priesthood. All of this ceremony foreshadowed the cross and ended at Christ's death, as Yahweh had intended. Moses' law was added because of transgression, till the "seed should come," and that "seed... is Christ." (Galatians 3:16,19). God's law could not be involved here, for the Ten Commandments were given before transgression and sin.
In reference to the "handwriting of ordinances...nailed...to the cross" (Colossians 2:14), the Greek word translated "handwriting" is cheirographon, and this is the only place the term is used in the Bible. It meant a handwritten record of debt, or what we would today call an IOU. In contemporary apocalyptic literature, this word was used to designate a "record book of sin," meaning a written account of our sins.
Paul was not saying that God's law was nailed to the cross. What was nailed there, he said, was all record of our sins. Because God's law required the death penalty for sin (Romans 6:23), this record is what "was against us, which was contrary to us", not the law itself. He has forgiven us all our sins (Eph.1:7), and redeemed us from the curse of the law (Gal.3:13). Christ has utterly wiped out the damning evidence of broken laws and commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it over His own head on the cross. It is the evidence against us, not the law itself, that was nailed to the cross, enabling us to be forgiven.
This becomes clear when we read the rest of this chapter. It is apparent that other issues were involved that had nothing to do with God's laws given in the Old Testament. Among these were "principalities and powers" (verse 15), "false humility and worship of angels" (verse 18), forbidding to touch, taste and handle (verse 21) and "neglect of the body" (verse 23).
Further, Paul referred to the false teachings in Colosse as rooted in "enticing words" (verse 4), "philosophy and vain deceit" and "the tradition of men" (verse 8). He also referred to submitting to "ordinances" of this world (verse 20) and "the commandments and doctrines of men" (verse 22). Could Paul, who in Romans 7:12 said the law is "holy and just and good," possibly be referring to the same law here, or is he addressing an entirely different issue?
15. "Doesn't Ephesians 2:15 say the law of commandments were abolished?"
Answer: This verse says only the law of commandments "contained in ordinances" were abolished, not the Ten Commandments themselves. The Ten Commandments were never referred to as "ordinances", but as the "ten commandments" (Exo.34:28, Deut.4:13; 10:4). These particular commandments are in ordinances, they're not defined as ordinances.
The key part here is the word "ordinances" (Greek: dogma). The Greek word dogma occurs only five times in the New Testament: The other four occurrences are: Luke 2:1 and Acts 17:7, where it means the decrees of Caesar; Acts 16:4, where it means the decrees of the Council of Jerusalem concerning decisions about dietary and social relationships between Jews and Gentiles; and Colossians 2:14, where Paul speaks of the written bond with its decrees which has been canceled by the death of Christ. This last reference is in the context of regulations concerning eating, drinking, and festivals (Colossians 2:14-17). Similar regulations appear again in Colossians 2:20-22, where those who obey them are described as "subject to ordinances" (verse 20), or subject to dogmatizo. Paul's rationale for this is that these regulations are but "commandments and doctrines of men" (verse 22). See answer #14 above for more details.
The only uses of "dogma" outside of Ephesians that are relevant are in Acts 16:4 and Colossians 2:14, both of which describe human decrees which relate to Jews and Gentiles. This also appears to be the best meaning for Ephesians 2:15. Thus the "law of commandments in ordinances" would be the precepts of the law as they were interpreted by man, and not God's Law.
16. "Yah'shua does not say we must obey the Ten Commandments in order to receive eternal life."
Answer: Yes, he most certainly does! (Mat.9:16-19; 19:17-19, Mark.10:17,19, Luke 10:25-28; 18:18,20). Only those who obey Yah'shua will have eternal salvation (Heb.5:9, 1 John 2:17).
17. "The Ten Commandments are not reaffirmed in the New Testament."
Answer: Actually, they are. All ten of them.
Old Testament > New Testament
1) Exodus 20:3 > Matthew 4:10, Acts 17:29, 1 Corinthian 8:6
2) Exodus 20:4-6 > 1 John 5:21, 1 Corinthians 10:7
3) Exodus 20:7 > 1 Timothy 6:1, James 5:12
4) Exodus 20:8-1 > 1 Hebrews 4:3-11, Matthew 12:12, Mark 2:27
5) Exodus 20:12 > Matthew 19:19, Ephesians 6:2
6) Exodus 20:13 > Romans 13:9, 1 John 3:15
7) Exodus 20:14 > Matthew 19:18, Galatians 5:19
8) Exodus 20:15 > Romans 13:9, Ephesians 4:28
9) Exodus 20:16 > Romans 13:9, Colossians 3:9
10) Exodus 20:17 > Romans 7:7, Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5
18. "No one can keep the law of Yahweh anyway, so don't worry about it. We sin every day."
Answer: "Sin is lawlessness", and Yah'shua was "manifested to take away our sins", our lawlessness (1 John 3:5-6). Yah'shua came down to give us the power to keep the law. Satan, in order to make God's request seem unreasonable, invented the falsehood that obedience is impossible (Phil.4:13). "He that committeth sin is of the devil" (1 John 3:8). ). All sin consists in voluntarily consenting to the desires.
An Important Note: It is true that we "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of Yahweh" (Romans 3:23), but the very fact that we have sinned proves that the law of Yahweh is still in existence, "for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4), and "sin is not imputed when there is no law" (Romans 5:13), "for where no law is, there is no transgression" (Romans 4:15). The very fact that we are all sinners - all still guilty of breaking the law - proves that the law is still in effect. But Yahweh does not want us to continue sinning - He came down not only to die for our past sins, but also to give us power to quit sinning, to stop serving sin (Rom.6:6), because "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (John 8:34).
Do you know who the Holy Spirit is given to? It is given only to those who obey God's Law (Acts 5:32). Whoever transgresses the law, and doesn't abide in Christ's doctrine, does not have Yahweh in him (2 John 1:9). Righteousness is obedience to God's Law (Deut.6:25, 1 Cor.15:34). The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of Yahweh (1 Cor.6:9-10). This is how we know who is of Yahweh and who is of the devil; "Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of Yahweh" (1 John 3:10). Whoever disobeys Yahweh, is not of Yahweh! So simple.
Do true Christians really sin every day? The bible says the Lord delivers us from temptation (2 Pet.2:9), so Christians cannot commit sin (1 John 3:6-9) because the wicked one cannot touch him (1 John 5:18). Yahweh gives us the power to overcome the world (1 John 5:4). John wrote these things so that we would not sin (1 John 2:1). If we hide God's word in our heart, we should not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). Christians are to have a divine nature and be purged from our old sins (2 Peter 1:4-9).
19. "Did Yahweh really say He expected us to keep His Commandments?"
Answer: Yes (Deut.4:2,40; 6:17; 7:11; 8:6; 10:13; 11:27; 28:1,9, Lev.26:15). Even after Yah'shua comes into the world (Deut.18:18-19). He's not foolish or cruel, but wise & loving. He wouldn't give us commands and principles to live by if they were impossible to follow.
Yah'shua haMashiach did not obey the law so that sinners would not have to obey. Yah'shua was obedient unto death, and this is set down as our example. We are to follow in Jesus' steps and commit no sin (John 13:15, Phil.2:5, 1 Peter 2:21-22; 4:1, 1 John 2:6), and keep the commandments like Yah'shua did (John 15:9-10, Rom.7:25). Will we walk in sin if we walk as Yah'shua walked,? Will we sin if we purify ourselves like Yah'shua was pure (1 John 3:3)? Will we sin if we are morally perfect like our Father in Heaven is perfect (Mat.5:48)? Yah'shua instructed us to teach people to observe all his commandments (Mat.28:20). "Doers of the law shall be justified (Rom.2:13, James 1:22-25). Just like Abraham was justified by works, our faith is made perfect by our works (James 2:20-22). When Yah'shua healed, he would instruct them to be obedient to the Law, and "sin no more" (John 5:14; 8:11), in other words, "Don't break God's Law anymore".
20. "Why do so many people deny the binding claims of God's law?"
Answer: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against Yahweh: for it is not subject to the law of Yahweh, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). Paul warned Timothy that the day would come when, because of their pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thes.2:12), men would no longer choose to hear the Truth, but would seek after teachers who would speak to them the things that suited the tenor of their carnal nature (2 Tim.4:3-4). For this reason, commandment keeping has never been popular. To those who desire a way of forgetting Yahweh which will pass for remembering him, a gospel of love that requires no obedience is readily accepted (1 Pet.2:7-8).
Only eight people survived the flood, because only those eight did "all that the LORD commanded" (Gen.7:1,5). Only Lot and his two daughters survived Sodom and Gamorra (Gen.19:16) because only they were righteous (2 Pet.2:7-8). Out of the 600,000 Hebrews who left Egypt during the Exodus, 599,998 died before they could cross the river into their promised land 40 years later. Caleb and Joshua were the only survivors of the wilderness trek from Egypt to Cannan (Num.26:65). Why? Because only Caleb and Joshua "followed the Lord fully" ( Num.32:11-12).
This is the reason why there were few left in Egypt, because they didn't obey Yahweh (Deut.28:62). Because the earth transgressed the laws, the curse devoured the earth, and there were few men left. Yah'shua said the same about us also. "For many be called, but few chosen" (Mat.20:16; 22:14), and there will be few that are saved (Luke 13:23-24), and there will be few that find eternal life (Mat.7:14). Many people will do many wonderful works in Jesus' name, but only a few will do the Will of the Father, and only those few will be saved (Mat.7:21-23). As a matter of fact, Yah'shua had many disciples walking with him while he was here on earth, but at one point, many disciples walked with Yah'shua no more, and only a few were left who followed him (John 6:66).
Physical growth is a function of time. Intellectual growth is a function of learning. Spiritual growth is neither a function of time or learning, but it is a function of obedience (Hebrews 5:8-9). Transgression of the law is always a result of a lack of faith. People do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them! Every man's destiny is to be determined by deeds done in the body (2 Corinthians 5:10, Revelation 2:23; 20:12-13; 22:12). If we reject God's Law, Yahweh will reject us (Hos. 4:6). Remember, we don't break God's Law
it breaks us if we disobey it!
This page was created on 9 June 2000
Last updated on 9 June 2000
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