Exodus 20:1 – THE BIG TEN #1 –  WHAT ARE THEY?    

Exodus 20:1 – And God spake all these words, saying,

“The cultural climate is one in which there is plenty of room for personal preferences and little if any for eternal principles.” Alistair Begg, Pathway to Freedom, (Chicago, Moody Publishers, 2003) p. 18 

“…it is imperative that we are absolutely clear that the believer is free from the law as a means of justification.  He is not justified by keeping the law, but having been justified, he keeps the law.” Begg, p.39 

“Law-keeping is that life for which we were fitted by nature, unfitted by sin, and refitted by grace, the life God loves to see and reward; and for that life liberty is the proper name. J. I. Packer, The Ten Commandments (adapted from I Want to be a Christian), (Wheaton, Illinois, Tyndale House Publishers, 1977), p. 29 

“Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.” – Albert Einstein 

“Though previous Eastern cultures had struggled upward temporarily to some knowledge that justice pleased the gods, it is on the thunderstone of the tablets that Western civilization has built its house. If the house is tottering today, we can scarcely steady it by pulling the foundation out from under.” Joy Davidman, Smoke on the Mountain, An Interpretation of the Ten Commandments, (Philadelphia, West Minster Press, 1954), p. 16 

  • React to the quotes above.
  • Why are the Ten Commandments relevant today?
  • What should be the attitude of Christian men towards the Ten Commandments?
  • Why should men, who are husbands, fathers, and/or Christians care about understanding and applying their lives to the Ten Commandments?

We are beginning a study on the Ten Commandments because they are of great value to the Christian man. This lesson answers the question “What are they?”  We will try to grasp what these commandments should be to each of us. 


  • As part of God’s Word the Ten Commandments move a person towards God.  They are God’s communication to man, showing man that he has fallen short of God’s standards.
  • Psalms 19:7-9 – The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
  • Isaiah 55:10-11 – For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.


  • Galatians 3:23-26 – But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
  • The context is salvation.  A schoolmaster was a child trainer, raising a child to maturity.  The child was only under the schoolmaster until the child grew up.
  • The law leads us to Christ by showing us just what sinners we are and that we by no means can keep all God’s righteous commands.


  • The summary of the law shows us that the Ten Commandments are designed for us to live a life of love.  As I keep the Ten Commandments I will actually love God and my neighbor.
  • Matthew 22:37-40 – 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. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
  • 1 John 5:2-4 – By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
  • A life of faith will enable us to love God and our neighbors, and to overcome the world.


  • Matthew 5:17-18 – Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
  • Did Jesus keep the Ten Commandments?

  • 1 John 2:6 – He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
  • Mark 13:31 – Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.


  • What does a mirror do?
  • How are the Ten Commandments a mirror to you?


  • Romans 7:12 – Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
  • Another marvel is that as a Christian I can actually fulfill the righteousness of the law.
  • Romans 8:1-4 – There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God 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.
  • As a child of God, the more I understand the Ten Commandments, the more I will desire to allow the Spirit of God to perfect It’s righteousness within me.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
  • I will not be perfect until I see Jesus face to face, but I will become more like Him as I keep His commandments.