God's Purpose for the Ten Commandments

Exodus. 20:1-20  And God spoke all these words: "I am the LORD your God . . .

Commandments regarding our relationship to God

I. "You shall have no other gods before me.

II. "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.

III. "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

IV. "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Commandments regarding our relationship to our fellow men

V. "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

VI. "You shall not murder.

VII. "You shall not commit adultery.

VIII. "You shall not steal.

IX. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

X. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

The Greatest Commandment

Jesus was once asked,

"Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"   "
The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength
The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 
There is no commandment greater than these."
(Mark 12:28-31)

"Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
(Matthew 22:34-40)

     These two commands of love, to love the Lord and love our neighbor summarize the commands given in the unchangeable Ten Commandments written on tablets of stone by the very finger of God. 

     The first thing we must understand is the ten commandments was never intended to be an end in itself. The primary purpose of the law is to restore RELATIONSHIP between God and man and establish the foundation for RELATIONSHIP with one another. The commandments are like signposts guiding us on the road to this end. Without such understanding, the ten commandments are merely a set of rules that lead to death, discouragement, and pride. The whole law hangs on these two commandments:

  1. Love the Lord (RELATIONSHIP) and
  2. Love your neighbor (RELATIONSHIP).

God loves people! He gave His law in order to restore fellowship with His most precious of creation - YOU!

Bottom line is love