Sunday, February 25

The Ten Commandments of Jesus Christ


Everyone knows, or at least has heard about the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament. But how many Christians know and can quote the Ten Commandments of Christ?

As part of the Great Commission Jesus clearly instructs "teaching them to observe ALL that I commanded you..." What exactly did Christ command? What are His commandments?

If we are Christians, we ought to be clear on not only teaching, but OBEYING these commandments. They are what Christ himself thought most important.

In our own discipling of new believers we teach early on the "Ten Commandments of Jesus". It is first taught as a single lesson, and then a deductive Bible study is done on each individual commandment.

How many of Christ's commandments can you name? Even though there are more than ten commandments of Christ to his followers, we feel all of them are covered in the following ten...

1) LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH...YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. The Great Commandment: Matthew 22:37-40, Mark 12:28-31.

2) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. The Great Commission: Matthew 28:19-20.

3) ...love one another. The New Commandment: John 13:34-35, 15:12.

4) ...seek first His kingdom and His righteousness... The Priority commandment for every believer: Matthew 6:33.

5) ...do this in remembrance of Me...
The Lord's Supper: Luke 20:14-20, 1 Corinthians 12:23-26.

6) ...wash one another's feet...you also should do as I did to you... The Great Example Commandment: John 13:14-15.

7) Abide in Me... The Commandment that is the secret to a fruitful life: John 15:4-8.

8) ...beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest... The only specific request Christ commanded his disciples to pray besides the Lord's Prayer: Luke 10:2, Matthew 9:38.

9) ...do not pass judgment...do not condemn...pardon...give... General Commandments of Jesus for victorious living: Luke 6:37-38.

10) ...love your enemies...do good to those who hate you...bless those who curse you...pray for those who mistreat you... Commandments for loving our enemies: Luke 6:27-36, Matthew 5:43-48.

Christians should not measure their spiritual maturity based upon their knowledge of the Gospel, but upon their obedience of what they know of the Gospel. We should never confuse our knowing the commands of Christ with obeying them in our personal lives. The Christian walk is not about what we know, but about how much we OBEY what it is we know.

15 comments:

EL OJO PROTESTANTE said...

Es cierto Guy
Muchas veces confundimos los conceptos. Solemos escuchar, leer, e incluso llegamos a pensar que la Gracia es incompatible con la obediencia.
Resulta muy edificante recordar este decálogo. El final del post lo resume todo: "The Christian walk is not about what we know, but about how much we OBEY what it is we know.
Un abrazo

Darrell said...

I love this cornerstone in CPM work. Without a doubt this one distinction separates CPMs from the rest of “Christianity”. This is a good list. George Patterson also has a good list.

Telling a new disciple that they should love one another is not enough; they don't know how to do it. My experience has taught me that HOW I teach them to obey is just as important as what they obey. I can teach a list of do's and don’ts, and like the Marines, or Mormons, or dog trainer get the behavior I am are looking for. Obviously this is not what Jesus was getting at. I love Blackabys’ saying, “If you have an obedience problem, you have a love problem”. I am convinced that the first work is to immerse the new disciple in the love of Jesus so that the obedience is a natural desire. Without love motivated obedience all I have is a person in which I modified their behavior, but their heart is unchanged. The outward do’s and don’ts take care of themselves when the heart has been changed. This inward transformation is what Jesus all about.

The other challenge with Jesus command is that all of His commands have many points of application, i.e., family and work situations. It is impossible to teach them how to obey Jesus in every situation that they will have. As a result I “today” I focus my training on teaching the new disciple how to read the Bible, hear from God and then obey what He is telling them. If I can do that then I think I have enabled this disciple to obey everything Jesus commanded. However they are being “commanded” by Jesus and the Holy Spirit as they read the Scripture. I trust that Jesus knows what the disciple needs to change at each point along the way and will not only open their eyes to understand it, but empower them to do it.

The biggest obstacle for me lately is getting those who do not feed on the Word daily to do so. People get into ruts…they come into the Kingdom in a big rut, and getting them to change is not easy sometimes. Some of the men I work with work hard all day and when they come home they are exhausted. Getting them to open the Word on their own has been a challenge. I call them every day and encourage them, but most of the time even that does not work. I know that in the long run they will grow and will have a hunger for the Word. I keep doing what I can do and ask God to do what He does. I am open to any other suggestions for getting disciples to read everyday.

bryan riley said...

I like this post a lot, but I might reframe the closing statement... "but about how much we love the One we know."

GuyMuse said...

Daniel,

Gracias por sus palabras. En verdad es facil para nosotros creer que estamos siendo buenos Cristianos simplemente por el hecho que sabemos algo de las cosas de Dios, pero a Dios le interesa mas nuestra obediencia a esos conocimientos, en vez de una vasta acumulacion de informacion acerca de El y Su Reino.

Darrell,

You bring up some good points. All we are trying to say with this post is simply that often new believers are just expected to integrate into church life and take up the lingo and traditions. This is what happens in many cases. What we are trying to do with our people here is teach them to obey specific commands of Christ and to DO these things, not just go to a class and learn about all the things we should be doing as Christians. For example, here in Ecuador, new believers are often given a list of "do's and don'ts" that are totally extra-biblical. What we are trying to teach is Christ's list of ten commandments as a measure of progress in their Christian walk with the Lord, not measure themselves by other Christians or traditions/practices of other believers around them.

Bryan,

That last phrase edition is great and much better worded!

Ken said...

This is a drive by comment. We are MIRs at ILC for this FPO so my time to make comments has been limited, but I am reading. Keep up the good work.

Alycelee said...

Guy, I'm so glad you sent me here!
I'm going to print this out and pass it on-this is worth repeating and remembering.

Ahh love your enemies-Mumford says you can't even begin to understand Agape until you can love your enemies.

However in blog land-it seems we have more problems with brothers :) (and sisters)
AlyceLee

Debbie said...

Guy: I too came here through Alyce's blog. How did I miss this??? I read you daily and I don't remember reading this but it's terrific. Not only have I printed a copy for myself, but I see one or two I personally need to let God do in my life.

Alyce: I can see where Mumford is correct. Love is easy for even non-believers when love goes to those we like. It's loving our enemies that shows we are truly a new creation empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. *a light bulb moment*

S.A.M. said...

I agree as well. I'm sorry I missed it earlier. Great advice and wisdom. It amazes me how much of Jesus' commandments lead to go into the world and share the good news and be missionaries for Him.
Thanks,

SAM

GuyMuse said...

Alyce, Debbie, SAM,

Thanks for dropping by and for the encouraging words about the post. This is actually one of the first lessons new believers get. When Jesus says, "...teaching them to observe all I commanded you..." it would seem we need to pay primary attention to what those commands are. Especially if we are going to "make disciples" in accord to his teaching.

So often new believers are taught such things as "go to church", "read your Bible", "pray", "don't smoke, drink, or dance"--and yet Jesus list is quite different about the things He thinks are important for those who decide to follow Him.

Anonymous said...

if your looking for an easy ways for your kids to learn the ten commandments the you should pick up the Kid's 10 Commandments DVD set. its great! lovely animation, great learning aids, and its just all around fun.

Aussie John said...

Guy,

So good! Have often commented similarly in the context of God's word's at Jesus baptism.

MentorNet said...

All attempts to walk in obedience to Jesus surely please His Father.

Psychologically, ten proves a little much to memorize, but, then,
traditionalist Christians have taught the ten lethal commandments
to children for centuries. So why not ten life-giving ones.

Still, from Jesus' 300+ commandments, any short list will reveal some
cultural or theological bias of its compiler. Foot washing? It did not
come in the form of an imperative and seems to bump of the list
Jesus' imperative to sell your house, computer and car and give the
proceeds to panhandlers down town.

GP's short list has the advantage of coming from actual, NT
practices reported in the book of Acts.

GuyMuse said...

MentorNet,

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. We included as one of the commands Jesus's words in John 13,If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Our understanding of what Christ was stressing was his EXAMPLE of humbly serving one another, not the actual foot washing as such.

a ppalling life said...

Thanks M Blog-er.

Darrell's comments, " I keep doing what I can do and ask God to do what He does. I am open to any other suggestions for getting disciples to read everyday." have a simple answer... don't major on reading.

Major on listening, & helping them to listen, by telling them in memorable ways & with intonation & creativity (reading is only a subset of listening) e.g. James 1:20-27 & Samuel at Shilo etc..

I wouldn't be surprised (though of course i can't be sure, & it doesn't matter if this instance is wrong, the general point still stands)if the "reader" Mark had in mind (Mark 13:14) was not a single solitary individual (as is common in our case in the West,in the 20th & 21st Century), but maybe a literate person reading this out to a bunch of people hanging on the words (oral) of the reader. That would make Mark's comment to "the reader" an aside to the one voicing this story/teaching to make sure they read it or gesture with it, or interpret it in such a way as to help the listeners appetite be whetted & to help them ask, & think, & delve, & want to talk about it more, to "push them" (more properly "woo them" to, but sometimes Jesus seemed to almost "goad them" Mark 8: 17-21) to understand it.

I keep my own hearing of God's message to me through the scriptures happening, mostly via listening to someone read it to me in my lounge room, or over a coffee, or even "canned" from an mp3 audio bible etc. This seems to work most with my mates, some of whom aren't great "readers", but who can listen still.

Paul.

a ppalling life said...

Thanks M Blog-er.

Darrell's comments, " I keep doing what I can do and ask God to do what He does. I am open to any other suggestions for getting disciples to read everyday." have a simple answer... don't major on reading.

Major on listening, & helping them to listen, by telling them in memorable ways & with intonation & creativity (reading is only a subset of listening) e.g. James 1:20-27 & Samuel at Shilo etc..

I wouldn't be surprised (though of course i can't be sure, & it doesn't matter if this instance is wrong, the general point still stands)if the "reader" Mark had in mind (Mark 13:14) was not a single solitary individual (as is common in our case in the West,in the 20th & 21st Century), but maybe a literate person reading this out to a bunch of people hanging on the words (oral) of the reader. That would make Mark's comment to "the reader" an aside to the one voicing this story/teaching to make sure they read it or gesture with it, or interpret it in such a way as to help the listeners appetite be whetted & to help them ask, & think, & delve, & want to talk about it more, to "push them" (more properly "woo them" to, but sometimes Jesus seemed to almost "goad them" Mark 8: 17-21) to understand it.

I keep my own hearing of God's message to me through the scriptures happening, mostly via listening to someone read it to me in my lounge room, or over a coffee, or even "canned" from an mp3 audio bible etc. This seems to work most with my mates, some of whom aren't great "readers", but who can listen still.

Paul.