What are the 10 Commandments? What do they mean?
Here's the answer:
The 10 commandments are 10 laws in the Bible that God gave to the nation of Israel after they left Egypt.
The 10 commandments summarize the Old Testament Law. The first 4 commandments talk about our relationship with God. The last 6 commandments concern our relationships with other people.
What are the 10 commandments? We can read them in Exodus 20:
1) "Do not put any other gods in place of me." This means it is wrong to worship any god other than the one true God. All other gods are false gods.
2) "Do not make for yourself statues of gods that look like anything in the sky. They may not look like anything on the earth or in the waters either. Do not bow down to them or worship them. I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God. I cause the sins of the parents to affect their children. I will cause the sins of those who hate me to affect even their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But for all time to come I show love to all those who love me and keep my commandments." This means we should not make idols (statues) or other types of created objects that are supposed to represent a false god.
3) "Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will find guilty anyone who misuses his name." This means it is wrong to say "Jesus Christ" or "Jesus" or "God" or any other name of God when we are angry or surprised. We should always honor God and show Him respect when we use His name.
4) "Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy. Do all your work in six days. But the seventh day is a sabbath to honor the LORD your God. Do not do any work on that day. The same command applies to your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and your animals. It also applies to any outsiders who live in your towns. In six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea and everything in them. But he rested on the seventh day. So the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." This means we should set aside a day of rest to remember God and honor Him. For the Jews, this day was Saturday, the last day of the week.
5) "Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long time in the land the LORD your God is giving you." This means we should always treat our parents with honor and respect.
6) "Do not murder." This means it is wrong to kill another person on purpose.
7) "Do not commit adultery." This means it is wrong to have sex with someone who is not your spouse.
8) "Do not steal." This means it is wrong to take anything that does not belong to you, without the permission of the person who owns it.
9) "Do not give false witness against your neighbor." This means it is wrong to tell lies about someone else.
10) "Do not want to have anything your neighbor owns. Do not want to have your neighbor’s house, wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey." This means it is wrong to want what someone else has. This is called coveting.
Many people think they can earn their way into heaven by following the 10 Commandments. This is not right! God gave us the 10 Commandments to help us understand that we cannot perfectly obey His Law. Romans 3:23 says, "Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God’s glory."
Instead, we need to have our sins forgiven by Jesus, who died on the cross to pay the penalty we deserve for our sins (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). This is the only way to heaven! If you want to learn more about believing in Jesus, you can read this article.
"It is true that there isn't anyone on earth who does only what is right and never sins" (Ecclesiastes 7:20).
"When you sin, the pay you get is death. But God gives you the gift of eternal life. That's because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done" (Romans 6:23).