Christians can live by the Ten Commandments when they see how much they reveal Christ. This article shows that the Ten Words reveal the extent of Christ's atonement, obedience, and the righteousness that is imputed to the believer.

Source: The Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, 2013. 1 pages.

How We Live by the Ten Commandments

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:15


Are the Ten Commandments still relevant for the life of the Christian? Obviously there is considerable discussion about this very point in Christian circles. We do not have time in this short article to deal with these theological differences; but our Catechism clearly teaches us that the Ten Commandments are the rule of our sanctification in the Christian life. They are the rule for our life of sanctification because the better we understand the law the more we will love and serve our Savior. The Ten Commandments teach us something of Christ (Luke 24:27).

FIRST, as a Christian, the Ten Commandments reveal the extent of Christ’s atonement for us. The Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3). If we neglect God’s law, we might think that we do not have many sins at all, falsely believing then that Christ’s death was not really that necessary. However, when we realize the full implications of the Law, we then understand more clearly what Christ endured for us on the cross. Christ died for all our sins, suffering the full penalty that our guilt deserved. Therefore, the more clearly we understand the implications of the Ten Commandments, the more grateful we will truly be to God for our deliverance through Christ’s death.

SECOND, the more we understand God’s law, the more clearly we view the full extent of Christ’s perfect obedience. The Bible assures us that although the Lord Jesus was “made under the law” (Gal. 4:4), He “fulfilled all righteous­ness” (Matt. 3:15), and “did no sin” (1 Pet. 2:22). This was no small accomplishment! The Ten Commandments also show to us the perfection of our Lord Jesus Christ. As you consider the Ten Commandments in their perfection, consider Christ as the perfect Law-keeper. He is the One who lived in perfect obedience to God’s holy law – in thought, word, and deed. His life was in perfect harmony with all the commandments of God. Every action of our Lord Jesus was perfect in accordance with that law; no thought our Lord Jesus had ever contradicted the law of God; every word He spoke was the perfect word of God. Such was the perfection of Christ.

THIRD, the law teaches us the perfect righteousness that is imputed to us. Further, if we are joined to Him by saving faith, then God regards us as if we kept the whole law. Thus the law of God shows us the perfect righteousness we have in Christ. Upon our faith in the Lord Jesus, our transgressions of the law are laid upon Him – and He atones for those sins by His suffering and death. But also by faith in Him, His perfect obedience of the law is imputed to us – so perfectly so that God looks upon us as cloaked in the perfection of Christ! Our Catechism states so beauti­fully in answering,

How art thou righteous before God? by stating:

God, without any merit of mine, but only out of mere grace, grants and imputes to me, the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ; even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me.Q&A 60

When you hear the Ten Commandments, think of the Lord Jesus Christ. Think of your transgressions of the law and how Christ atoned for them. That will give you a grateful heart towards Him! Think of the perfection of Christ as He lived perfectly in accordance with the Ten Commandments. This will make you love Him more! And think of the perfect righteousness of Christ that has been imputed to you by faith. This will make you realize that your all in all is in Christ!

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