How Many of the 10 Commandments Have You Broken?
Commandment #1: Do not have other gods besides Me. So you think you’re good with not breaking the Ten Commandments found in Exodus, but I’m telling you that you didn’t pass the first commandment. Do you disagree? Let me know in the comments below, but not until you watch this video!
The Ten Commandments
Everyone thinks they are good, but no one is good enough for God. In fact, James 2:10 says that breaking one law makes someone guilty of breaking them all! God is perfect, and does not break, bend, or walk the line of any of his Law. In the instances where the religious leaders of his day did blame Jesus for breaking the law, He was breaking the law those same leaders created, not the Law God had laid out.
The 1st Commandment
The first commandment in Exodus 2:3 is that you should not have any other gods besides the God in Heaven. Some call him Yahweh, some Jehovah. The scrolls we have denotes just four characters to His name. Depending on the translation of your Bible, in the notes you may see either YHWH (Yahweh) or JHVH (Jehovah). The truth is, both spellings and pronunciations are guesses as many scholars believe that the original name of God was lost through the centuries as copies began leaving the vowels out of His name.
At any rate, God’s command here is not merely that he be first and foremost in your life. He wants to be the only one on the throne of your life. Now we think bowing down to wooden or metal idols is silly in this day and age, but modern idols are much more deceptive. We don’t even think of them as idols now.
The word worship in the original language could more accurately be translated as weight. In other words, whatever you give weight to in your life is what you are worshiping. So what keeps you from spending time with God? Is it television time? Video games? Sports? Social time? Happy hour? Even your family or church can become an idol when you are doing these things instead of spending time with God.
The 2nd Commandment
Speaking of idols, the second commandment found in Exodus 2:4-6 is that you shouldn’t make any idols for yourself. As I mentioned before, idols are no longer carved wooden or molded metal images. When we carve out time to spend in front of a television instead of spending time with God, or when we make sure to watch every kickoff instead of making it to church, we make these things idols.
I am even convicted that sporting events should not take precedence over Sunday worship (or whatever day your church meets). This hits me hard because almost all jiu jitsu tournaments for adults are on Sunday. We have men at our church who sacrifice corporate worship to hunt every season. I don’t want to put my restrictions on them, but I would ask them to search their heart to ensure they aren’t letting it become an idol.
Basically anything keeping you from worshipping or spending time with God is an idol. This can even be things thought to be traditionally good. Things like family, children, job, or anything else you sacrifice your time with God for.
The 3rd Commandment
The third commandment found in Exodus 2:7 is usually quoted from the KJV as “Do not take the Lord’s name in vain.” What does this mean? Well, not understainding what is meant by vain is one of the many reasons I use a more modern translation.
The Holman Christian Standard Bible says “Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.” So then, all we need to do now is to figure out what misusing God’s name is.
I believe cursing using God’s name is a misuse. Condemning someone in the name of God is one area I believe is a misuse. Therefore the “GD” term is one that truly offends me. But, I have heard others say that this is not a violation of this commandment. I’ll leave this for more scholarly folks to debate, but I will choose not to use that term.
Describing behaviors or people who God condemns according to His Word is different from condemning people. If I tell someone they are going to Hell, I am condemning them. If, however, I tell them that continuing in certain behaviors will send them to Hell, then I do not believe this is a violation. In fact, I believe we are commanded to do this.
Also, proclaiming anything that is not in the Bible as if it were is another area I believe this command is against. It is a misuse of God’s name. If someone at my job comes and tells me the director told me to do something, it carries a lot more weight than if a co-worker just tells me to do it. (This happens quite often.)
The same goes for God, when someone says that He says do this or do that, people tend to listen and do it. I believe prosperity preachers and false faith healers will have to explain these sins on the day of judgement.
The 4th Commandment
The fourth commandment found in Exodus 2:8-11 is to remember the Sabbath day and to keep it holy. The Sabbath is a Hebrew word for a day of rest. Now, modern-day Israel will not even let you push an elevator button on the Sabbath. The elevator is programmed to stop at every floor instead.
This extreme keeping of what was meant to give God’s people rest is what caused Jesus to respond harshly to the religious leaders of His day. He told them that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath in Mark 2:27.
But, that being said, I believe we’ve strayed too far from this command. When I was growing up, my dad was president of every youth sports league I played in. We never had a Sunday game, ever. Many coaches wouldn’t even practice on Wednesday nights.
Now many families with kids are absent on Sundays through the summer in our church because little league tournaments have dominated their weekends. I mentioned earlier that jiu jitsu tournaments operate on Sunday, and throughout hunting season, many of our members can be found in a tree stand.
Some people may consider these things resting, but do you feel rested after a weekend of doing these things? Almost everyone I talk to after having a weekend booked with these events tells me how worn out they are. Maybe it is time we reclaim the Sabbath for our sanity.
The 5th Commandment
The fifth commandment can be found in Exodus 2:12, and it is the first commandment with a promise from God. Honor your father and mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t disrespected their parents at one time or another. However, I don’t think this verse is speaking to something so vague. In those days it was up to the children to provide for their parents once they could no longer provide for themselves.
I believe this verse is saying not to abandon your parents when they need you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t see eye to eye, if they upset you, if they get in your business too often. None of these things matter, when they need you, it is time to repay them for taking care of you when you were growing up!
Also, you honor your parents when you hold to the values they taught you growing up. Of course, he was commanding this to the Hebrew people who were to hold to God’s commands, so if your parents do not honor God, your actions should honor Him first.
The 6th Commandment
The sixth commandment, do not murder, can be found in Exodus 2:13. Now most people think they are solid on this commandment. I mean, not too many of us have ever killed anyone and even fewer have ever murdered anyone! I used to do Evangelism Explosion where we would share God’s Word door to door. We once had a guy that we asked why he thought he should go to Heaven, and he said, “I ain’t never killed no one.”
But, Jesus upped the ante for this commandment and the 7th commandment specifically. In Matthew 5:21-22 he said that anyone who is angry with his brother is subject to the same judgement as one who murders someone.
So, the next time you get angry at another person whether they are arguing with you, cutting you off in traffic, or setting you up for failure at work, realize that you are treading on eggshells. This could cause you to have to answer for your anger when they day of judgment comes.
The 7th Commandment
The seventh commandment, do not commit adultery, can be found in Exodus 2:14. Almost everyone can agree (if they are being honest) that cheating on a spouse is bad. It causes feelings of inadequacy, envy, jealousy, and can lead the spouse being cheated on to break the 6th commandment.
But, again Jesus clarified this commandment in Matthew 5:27-28 that even looking at someone of the opposite sex lustfully has caused you to commit adultery in your heart.
This means that viewing pornography, or even staring at that hot person for more than a moment is adultery. This isn’t limited to married people either. Eventually either you or the person for which you have affection will be married, and your fantasy of them will have caused you to commit adultery with them.
If you’ve read many of my articles or watched my videos, you will know that this is an area I struggle in. I’d also like to mention that Paul is rather blunt about sexual immorality and says the people who commit this sin has no place in the Kingdom of God. It’s time we Christians relinquish our obsession with fornication, pornography, homosexuality, or any kind of sexual immorality.
The 8th Commandment
The eighth commandment, do not steal, can be found in Exodus 2:15. Simple command, right?
I used to burn CDs of music downloaded from Napster among other sites. I’ve joined Columbia House several times without fulfilling the contracts. I’ve left the store knowing the clerk gave me too much change back.
All of these things I did before I had truly given my life to Christ, but I know plenty of professing Christians who bragged that they’ve done these things. I’ve read stories of more who have shifted a number or a decimal when doing their taxes.
Any one of these actions is a violation of the 8th commandment. We should be above reproach, and this means we should be honest to a fault. That is to say that we should be so honest that the average person would make fun of us because of our honesty.
The 9th Commandment
The ninth commandment found in Exodus 2:16 is do not give false testimony against your neighbor. This is very different from do not lie. Although I believe we shouldn’t lie, I think this commandment is specifically meant to keep us from causing our neighbor harm by lying about them.
There was a practice in that day where someone would accuse or even testify against someone falsely in order to take their possessions. This command was meant to keep God’s people from committing this offense. God intends for us to love one another, and this most definitely does not show love for our neighbor.
That being said, lying to our neighbors can also cause harm. I think that if we are lying to gain some benefit or cause them harm, this is also a violation of this commandment. And, in general, how can we be above reproach when we are known to lie to people?
The 10th Commandment
The tenth commandment found in Exodus 2:17 is do not covet your neighbor’s possessions. It goes on to specify his house, wife, slaves, farm animals, or anything else that belongs to him.
Now coveting is defined as wanting by many people, but wanting is not as powerful a word as coveting. When I want something and I work hard to make the money to buy it, or when I have the money and purchase it, I have not necessarily committed a sin.
However, when I think about, have fantasies about, or plot to steal what my neighbor has, now this is more on par with coveting. It could also entail sacrificing the needs of myself or my family to get what my neighbor possesses.
The Old Law
Some Christians say that the Ten Commandments are part of the old law of the old testament, and that we are under the new covenant.
This is true, but Paul repeatedly says that we should be transforming to be more like Christ. These laws were meant to keep Israel set apart and holy to the Lord. If these were meant to show the world that they were indeed set apart, shouldn’t we strive to keep these commands?
But, don’t be discouraged if you sin in one of these areas. Know that they are a diagnosis tool like an MRI or a blood test. It doesn’t tell you your future, but it does show you where you have issues. Talk to the great physician (Jesus) in prayer to learn His treatment plan for your life!
God created these commandments to show Israel that He would need to provide a sacrifice for them to have a right relationship with Him again. They did not understand and many still do not accept that Jesus was the sacrifice once for all time for this sin.
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9