5.3.1.3 The Ten Commandments in the New Testament

In the New Testament the Ten Commandments are reinforced and given deeper meaning by the Son of God. In the statements He makes, Jesus Christ shows Himself to be Lord over the Commandments, and indeed over the entire law (Matthew 12: 8). His words to the rich young man make it clear that eternal life can only be attained if, beyond the mere observance of the commandments, one is also prepared to follow Christ (Matthew 19: 16-22; Mark 10: 17-21).

Jesus Christ opened up an entirely new perspective on the Mosaic Law (see 4.8)–and therefore also on the Ten Commandments. Apostle Paul brought the purpose of the Mosaic Law–according to the understanding of the Old Testament–to expression as follows: "For by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3: 20).

Violation of even a single one of these commandments makes a person guilty of breaking the law as a whole (James 2: 10). Accordingly, all human beings break the law–and thus all human beings are sinners.

The law makes it possible to recognise sin. Only the sacrifice of Christ, the foundation of the new covenant, is capable of washing away sins that have been committed.

The Ten Commandments also apply in the new covenant. They are binding upon all human beings. The reason for the changed understanding of the Ten Commandments also lies in the fact that–in accordance with the prophecies recorded in Jeremiah 31: 33-34–God's law is no longer written on stone tablets, but rather into the hearts and minds of all mankind. The law as a whole is fulfilled by fulfilling the commandment of love for God and one's neighbour (Romans 13: 8-10).

See also