The Law Written on Our Hearts is not the Ten Commandments

Law in our hearts

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time,” says the Lord. “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” (Heb 10:16)

“This is obviously a reference to the law of Moses,” says the law-preacher. “The Ten Commandments were written in stone, now they’re written in the hearts and minds of God’s people.”

Not true. Here are seventeen reasons why God has not written the Ten Commandments on your heart:

1. The law inflames sin (Rom 5:20) and the strength of sin is the law (1 Cor 15:56). Why would God want to stir up sin in your life?

2. The law condemns (2 Cor 3:9), yet there is no condemnation to those in Christ.

3. The law ministers death (2 Cor 3:7), but God wants you to enjoy abundant life.

4. Law and grace don’t mix. You are under grace, not law (Rom 6:14).

5. Living by the law will alienate you from Christ (Gal 5:4).

6. Living by the law is cheating on Jesus (Rom 7). Why would God do anything to encourage spiritual adultery?

7. We’re to live by faith but the law is not of faith (Gal 3:12). The law encourages us to depend on ourselves instead of Jesus.

8. Those who live under the law are under a curse (Gal 3:10). Why would God curse those he has blessed?

9. The law binds and enslaves (Rom 7:6), but Jesus wants you free.

10. The law keeps you immature for it makes nothing perfect or complete (Heb 7:19).

11. We have died to the law so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit and “not in the old way of the written code” (Rom 7:6).

12. When there has been a change of priesthood, the law must be changed also (Heb 7:12). For God to write the old law on our hearts would be like saying Aaron is greater than Jesus.

13. God found fault with the law-keeping covenant and made it obsolete (Heb 8:7,13). Why would God insult his Son’s sacrifice by giving you the very thing his sacrifice rendered obsolete?

14. The law is a shadow of the good things to come and not the reality (Heb 10:1). Why would God give you the shadow instead of “the good thing”?

15. The Jews considered the law to be ordained by angels (Heb 2:2). If so, says the author of Hebrews, then it is inferior to the gospel of Jesus (Heb 1:4). Why would God give you an inferior gift?

16. Some Christians think that God gives them the law as a guide to live by, but why would God want you to repeat the mistake of the Galatians (Gal 3:2)? Why would God do anything to make you fall from grace?

17. The old law-keeping covenant required an accounting or remembering of sin, but the new covenant is characterized by God forgiving and forgetting on account of Jesus (Heb 10:17). If the law that God writes in our hearts is the law of Moses, then Jesus died for nothing.

If God has written the Ten Commandments on your heart and mind, you should be able to list all ten with no trouble. Can you? What’s the seventh commandment? You can’t do it because it’s not there, and a very good thing that is too! If the law that God writes in our hearts is the law of Moses, you’re in big trouble.

The good news is that God has written in us a far better law. What is this new and better law? We’ll find out in the next post!

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88 Comments on The Law Written on Our Hearts is not the Ten Commandments

  1. This is great as are all of your posts. Thanks for helping us understand true grace. I have a guess as to what the law written on our heart is, but I’m going to wait until the next post to see if I’m right. Hurry up and write it please – haha! When a person is hearing the Good News, they just can’t wait!

  2. Diamond Girl // April 17, 2015 at 2:06 am // Reply

    It appears that God has always wanted his law to be in his people’s hearts. Deuteronomy 6:5-6 NKJV

    You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.

    • Except this is referring to the OT law, and God is addressing specifically the nation of Israel per their agreement to the covenant He established with them and those who entered into that agreement with them. That old covenant according to God’s Word is no longer valid. There is a new covenant with new “law”, and that is what God writes in our hearts.

      • Diamond Girl // April 19, 2015 at 9:45 am //

        God has always cared about the disposition of his people’s hearts. The covenant is new but the law isn’t.

      • I didn’t call the into question God caring about the condition of His people’s hearts. The old covenant IS the Law, the old law, and according to Apostle Paul, it was powerless to do anything more than make us aware of our sin. Romans 3:27 very clearly shows there are different kinds of law. We are under a new covenant and the “law” of faith. Jesus fulfilled the Law on our behalf because we were not capable. That is why we need the Holy Spirit. The greatest men in the OT under the old covenant all were guilty of being law breakers at one time or another. The idea of writing on our hearts has to do with reflecting God’s Lordship in our lives as we submit and show gratitude to Him. Romans 6:14 ESV “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” As we learn to live out our identity, our hearts become more in tune with God’s desires for how we should live our lives, and our actions will demonstrate that. If the Law had power to fix our hearts, Jesus would not have needed to come.

      • Diamond Girl // April 20, 2015 at 2:55 am //

        But these guys seemed to have been able to submit to the law (which has forgiveness of sin built in) : Luke 1:5-6 NKJV

        There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”

      • The fact that they were blameless does not mean they had never sinned. It simply meant that their hearts were in the right place and were submitted to the Lord, but under the old Law covenant, they had to continually atone for that sin via the sacrificial system, and it was unable to give them power over sin. Romans 8:3-4 “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

        The Law was good and righteous, but as the verse indicates not something we could fully meet apart from God helping us. We only have power over sin by Christ’s atonement, not by our own efforts or by the former sacrificial system. The old Law was not sufficient, and we are not bound by it. Knowledge of good and evil did not come from the Law, it came from Adam and Eve’s eating from the tree. The old Law was only meant to bind the nation of Israel into covenant with God, that if they would observe it, they would be blessed and if they ignored it, they would experience curses. They agreed to this old covenant, but God knew it was not enough, which is why He sent Jesus to die on our behalf. The new law of faith goes deeper by giving us power over sin and the means for genuine heart change, not simply having to exert willpower over sinful desires but the means for them to be obliterated.

    • The law kills, condems. This is how it works: Can you love God with all your heart, mind, body and soul and not lust for anything else? Can you love your neighbor as yourself? Did you buy him clothes, house, food, car, phone, take him on vacation with you? If not, you are not keeping the commanment but are a lawbreaker. Break one, guilty of breaking the whole law! Bam! Death penalty. Jesus is our righteousness and we are no longer under the law, the ‘Ministry of DEATH’ as Paul termed it. Read Gal 3:17 to see how the Mosaic Covenant did not supercede nor annul the promised SEED, the Messiah, the Eternal Coveannt promised in the Garden of Eden and ratified with Abraham. Two trees, two seeds, two women, two cities. Polarity. This is our Father’s world.

      • Diamond Girl // June 20, 2015 at 9:35 am //

        How we respond to the law has two outcomes. Blessings if we obey and curses if we do not. Why did God allow the curses to come upon Israel if they just could not obey. Paul makes it clear who cannot obey God’s law – those who are led by the flesh. Read Romans 6. The law has the sacrificial system built into it. So that if we sin, we have an advocate. If the law didn’t apply to us, then why do we need a High Priest interceding for us? The problem in the province of Galatia was that people were being lied to by Pharisees (among other things). And the lie was that God cannot accept Gentiles unless they are circumcised. That is not true, because Abraham was given circumcision after walking with Him for years. Hence the promise that all Gentiles will be blessed through him cannot be predicated upon those Gentiles first receiving circumcision. The Law is how the Father wants his children to live. Or else Galatians 5 then becomes void. Why warn against practices specifically prohibited in the very same law that Paul just said doesn’t apply (according to your interpretation). How one loves his neighbour is specifically expressed in both the Law and expounded further by Jesus and it doesn’t purely consist in throwing 21st century first world luxuries at “him”. God himself calls the Law an eternal covenant as well. The Law is how we ought to live as children of God. Just like he did not redeem Israel from Egypt based on how well the Law was adhered to. It is not the basis of our salvation. But just as the Law was given after being free from Egypt, we ought to WANT TO live according to the instructions of our Deliverer. If we are led by the Spirit.

  3. Man Paul, another great article! What a gift u have man! Unbelievable! I feel so encouraged every time I read your articles. God bless you brother! My family and I are so grateful for you! We are spreading news to all our friends and family about your website!! Words fresh from heavens bakery permeating every part of my soul!!!

  4. 18. Law voids faith, nullifies the promise and works wrath. Grace through faith absolutely guarantees righteousness to all the children of faith. Romans 4:13-16

  5. Joe A.Serge // April 17, 2015 at 3:15 am // Reply

    How true! Too often well-meaning believers remain chained to the Ten Commandments as “guidelines to holy living” due to faith errors learned in childhood through legalistic Bible teachers. Love of God and neighbor is the New Covenant’s primary directive.

  6. never really thought about this, good post, so now you have to tease us….. We’ll find out in the next post! thanks

  7. When the Scriptures describe New Covenant as the “law being written on their hearts” it is not speaking of the letter of the law ( the big ten) but the righteousness of the law- which is love.
    When we obey the new covenant we not only must refuse to be sin conscious but we must choose to follow that which God is putting on our hearts each moment- and that will be the righteousness and the spirit of the law which is love. The New Covanent removes our consciousness of sin and makes us conscious of God and the needs if others – and empowers and motivates us to love God and love others.

  8. David Martini // April 17, 2015 at 3:54 am // Reply

    Awesome! Thanks, Paul. This is something I’ve been pondering off and on over the last year. I will keep my own thoughts out of this comment and look forward to your next post and see if we agree and are of one mind.

  9. This says what the law does, no wonder things weren’t working for us years ago.

  10. Excellent! But you kind of left us hanging! Can’t wait for Part 2.

    • Sorry about that. I try to keep these posts under 800 words and I simply couldn’t do justice to the Law in our hearts by tacking it on to the end of this one. It’ll be worth the wait – I promise!

  11. I will say it once again. I very much appreciate you, Paul Eillis, as well as all of your books and your website. You have been extremely helpful to me.

  12. Tom Ludemann // April 17, 2015 at 5:45 am // Reply

    Wow! Thanks Paul. It doesn’t get any clearer then that. I went to church service the other day and felt a great heaviness in the spirit. I asked the Lord what it was. He said “my people are searching for something that is gone”. I asked Him what it was and He said “they are searching for their sins that are gone”. Thanks to our awesome Savior Jesus that we are free from Law based thinking. The greatness of Him living in us should put an end to that type of thinking. Praise to Him!

    • If the Son sets you free , you are free indeed..Not to be chained to an old covenant way of thinking. Jesus came to to make a better covenant a better way. With a clean heart given at salvation we have been purged of our sin never no more to remember this . the father says He will remember them no more… We didnt have to sacrifices lamb or a bull or a goat to set us right with God. Jesus Christ the righteous accomplished that on the cross, and settled this issue of sin on His body on the cross. The goodness of God leads people to repentance. We do fail but we are under no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus for He freed us from the law of sin and death.this is to those that walk after the wonderful 3rd person of the trinity. The holy spirit our helper, who came 2 thousand plus years ago to be our paraclete to come side of us to walk out this set apart life in Christ and for the Holy Father. Awesome New Covenant of grace abounding toward us who believe. Praise and adore our King.

  13. Excellent post! The Carnal minded believer sees this as opportunity to indulge in whatever passion. The insecure believer sees this as bad news and no restraint for fleshy desires. The legalist sees this as great heresy and trying to preach licentiousness. The New Covenant minded believer sees this a good glad gospel news. The New Covenant grace believer sees this as true freedom and the reality of life in the New Covenant. It puts Jesus back in the center of the gospel. It places Jesus faithfulness over our own. It causes us to fully rely on Jesus finished work not on our own again/off again faithfulness. It is open door to a lasting relationship with Jesus. No codes, or ordinances or hurdles to jump through to be good enough. Glad news!!!

  14. Great stuff, Paul, as usual.
    7. “The Law is not of faith” Yes, and further … Whatever is not of faith is sin.

    I agree with Joseph Prince (in his devotional) that the laws God put on our NEW hearts are: the law of faith, the law of love and the law of liberty. (The law of the Spirit of Life)
    Jesus’ Gospel to Paul relates these together in Gal. 5:1-6.

  15. Will you make a study bible with your notes.

  16. Serge Kulapa // April 17, 2015 at 11:39 am // Reply

    Great post Paul, clear and straight to the point. Looking forward to reading the next post.

  17. I bet it’s love. “I give u a new commandment: love one another…”

  18. Hi Paul, this is the first time I have read one of your articles, and the ten commandments have bothered me for a long time, especially the 4th Sabbath. Can you explain then, what this verse, and others like it mean; Rev 22:14 ‘Blessed are those who do His COMMANDMENTS, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.’ Thank you

    • Hi Sean, this is an odd verse because the KJV says “blessed are those who do his commandments” while other translations say “blessed are those who wash their robes.” If you prefer the command-keeping translation, this post and this one may help.

  19. Now you have me thinking. I always assumed that the law written on our hearts was to mankind in general – so we have an awareness of God’s laws to point us to Him. But you are right. The law is Old covenant – so i will look forward to seeing what you have to say next post. 🙂

  20. ADDAE BISMARK // April 17, 2015 at 8:36 pm // Reply

    Please Paul,what do you have to say about 1 John 1:1-10 and the seven churches.The parable of the ten virgins and that of the talent.How do you place the cross into all that

  21. AMEN!!! Well written and we all need to be reminded daily of that. This post was written so perfectly. I would not be surprised if some still contend with the faith to be abolished. God ministers to us in different ways but it will never by pass his word and the laws in our heart is a guidance. I remember on the way to a shop I was speaking to the Holy Spirit; I asked him a question about tithes and offering. He said to me immediately, do not listen to the letter of the law but the law of the Spirit. It’s more than that but he guides us by the newness of the Spirit. Instead of trying to be accepted by God by what we do, we are now accepted by what Christ and Christ alone had done and he now is our new Master and are led by the Holy Ghost.

  22. That’s awesome post Paul. another great gem. but you kept the suspense until next post. cant wait to read next part…lols

  23. Earl Hendricks // April 18, 2015 at 7:16 am // Reply

    Once again thanks

  24. Ben Fetcher // April 19, 2015 at 6:17 am // Reply

    AMAAAAAAAZING!!! I like point number 6. God cannot encourage spiritual adultery… Thanx Paul!

  25. Wonderful piece. The law was a tutor but not anymore since Christ already came. He is the author of the law of faith in our hearts. Great piece paul. God bless you

  26. Wonderful grasp of the word Paul! Thank you!

  27. Great post , cannot wait to hear about this law that creates without any demand.

  28. Amen! It is God who writes in our hearts. It is not something that says “You must not..” etc. else the prerogative is on us, man to do it.
    When God writes on our hearts, its spontaneous, its unconscious, its new desires, and I believe its love :).
    The very fact that you have to command someone/yourself not to do something already shows that there is a problem. It’s not from the heart.

    • “The very fact that you have to command someone/yourself not to do something already shows that there is a problem. It’s not from the heart.”

      [I’m going to borrow that] 🙂

  29. Raymond Gariseb // April 22, 2015 at 12:08 am // Reply

    Amazing post! Cant wait for the next post!!

  30. Masterpiece post

  31. Not to mention the law would never draw near to God 😉 Great post Paul!

  32. Serge Kulapa // May 10, 2015 at 9:57 pm // Reply

    Another very good piece of writing Paul. You have made it so simple to understand why the 10 commandments are not what God has put in our hearts and minds after the Cross, death and resurrection of Jesus. Merci Paul.

  33. Thanks Paul ,,, you nail it when it comes to grace

  34. Paul some people believe that God never desired to give the law in the first place, but made a concession because of the hard hearts of the Hebrew people. What are your thoughts?

      • Thanks Paul. I agree with your post. Here is where I struggle. Deut 5:23-27 is a parallel passage that gives the behind the scene conversation that the Israelites had with Moses and God when God descended on Mt. Sinai. They basically say, give us the rules and we will follow. I have no problem up to this point interpreting the way you have. However, in Deut 5:28-29, God said they did the right thing and it seems like he is pleased. This is confusing to me if God really didn’t want the law…Any other thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

      • The Good News Bible has an interesting take on this passage:

        “We will listen and obey.” When the LORD heard this, he said to me… “If only they would always feel this way! If only they would always honor me and obey all my commands, so that everything would go well with them and their descendants forever.” (Deu 5:27-29)

        If only indeed!

  35. very interesting. Thanks Paul!

  36. Always check KJV bible not whatever someone said. Matthew 22:34-40

    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

    • You do realize he was writing to people still under the old covenant right? Same reason he told the Pharisees they SHOULD be tithing their herbs, because they were under the old covenant. Notice no one is ever told to tithe in the new? Not everything Jesus said applies to Christians. Much of it is written to people still looking at their own works based righteousness (oxymoron). Jesus actually later gave a NEW commandment to be in the NEW covenant: love one another as HE has loved us. (John 13:34) He loves us even more than we love ourselves 🙂

  37. When people say the new covenant and the new law are separate things, it’s as if they haven’t read Galatians 3:21-30. You want to know if you’re under the law? then look at the covenants. one is a slave (given at mt sinai) one is free. you get into the new coventant you get out the slavery to the law and covenant. God is tieing the two together.

    and Look at 2 Cor 3:6. There it is again. Tablets of stone (10 Commandments)…gone with the old covenant… Alas we have mercy on those who still tie the laws of Moses to themselves. It’s clear further down why this is so: “But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts” (v.14). THERE IS HOPE! 🙂 “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (v.16).

  38. Ronald Stacy yawn // August 27, 2016 at 9:09 am // Reply

    Absolutely spot on Paul. If only the majority of the church could rightly divide the word of Truth. It would be so much more freedom. It just breaks my heart to see the church under so much bondage because they continue to put themselves under the law.

  39. If you can’t see love in the Law of God and why He gave them to us in the first place (the law was there before they where written in stone) Then you don’t understand what it’s about really or see the loving God behind it all. He holds our hand and lifts us up.
    And also Jesus didn’t destroy the Law He fulfilled the punishment for those who believe and follow in His way as lead by the Spirit and His Word.
    Again in one of the responses Paul’s teachings where brought up. Paul doesn’t dismiss the law He says we couldn’t survive it without the grace given to us because of Christ sacrifice aka fulfill.
    God gave us the Law because it is good and we live in a world full of evil. God never changes and His statutes last forever.. Your trying to change God to fit your life rather then admit your sin and repent. Which is essentially what your saying when you say His law matters not.
    Know that both testimonies point to God and are need to see the Truth. The world is not sinless if anything it’s worse now then before the cross.. knowing God’s good way is needed now too. For if we don’t know His way we don’t know Him.

  40. What Law does the Holy Spirit lay upon Gentile believers? Acts 15 says something very different from what you are claiming. Then the entire book of Galatians, which is speaking of what came from Mt Sinai, says that the Law is bondage and following it causes us to be fallen from grace and Christ then has no effect upon us. Deuteronomy 4:13, 9:9 and Hebrews 8:8-13 say that the 10 commandments were the old covenant, faulty because of our flesh and that Jesus has given us a new one written upon our hearts. Romans 7 says that we died to the Law(our first husband) so that we could be married to Christ. Going back to our first spouse would be committing adultery on Jesus with the Law.
    God never ever changes. Yet His covenants and methods of interacting with humanity have changed more than once in scripture. Do not confuse the two. God is not the Law. More than one place in scripture says that love is what fulfills the Law. 2 Corinthians 3 says that a vail remains upon people’s hearts when they hear the reading of the Law and only when the heart turn towards Christ is that vail taken away and liberty given in it’s place. Seek liberty let Jesus take away the vail that is one your heart.

  41. Sabbath Keepers believe that the tablets of stone written by the finger of God were placed in the Ark of the Covenant. While this is certainly true, they say the tablets written in this manner are the authority for Saturday worship and elevating the Ten Commandments. Here is the truth, God commanded Moses to write ALL the WORDS (EX 24:4) down in a book (EX.24:7) God calls the book the LAW, and place this book on the side of the ARK (Deut. 31:26. This same book is the book that Seventh Day Adventist say that Jesus nailed to the cross (Col 2:14-17). Unfortunately for the Adventist the words that God commanded Moses to write in this book include the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). I ask them the question, do the Ten commandments written in the Book have the same authority as those written by the finger of God. (Moses ratified the Covenant Heb 9:19,20) They have to say yes. Then I ask well, if the Ten Commandments are our guiding light for today, then why did Jesus nail the book to the cross? (Col. 2:14-17)
    They have no answer for this, by their own admission their cause is lost. We are not under the Law but under Grace, because the Law was our schoolmaster leading us to Christ. The whole Law (First Covenant) was nailed and fulfilled by the crucifixion and ascension of Christ to heaven on the third day, which ushered in Grace or the Second Covenant. (Mt. 5:15-17)

  42. Philip Dorsett // March 22, 2017 at 2:25 am // Reply

    “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. ” Matthew 5:19 NASB

    The greatest deception of all time is the notion that the Commandments that God Himself wrote are somehow evil or bad. Im afraid Christians who believe this are setting themselves up to be shocked.

    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Mat 7:22  “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ Mat 7:23  “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ 

    • Grace-preachers such as Paul are very clear that the law is holy, righteous, and good (Rom 7:12). They are equally clear that living under law is akin to spiritual adultery (Romans 7 again). I discuss Jesus words in Matthew 7:21-23 in this article.

      • Philip Dorsett // March 25, 2017 at 3:23 pm //

        I think where you are confused is in the idea of “living under the law”, which implies relying on the Law of God to get to heaven (which is clearly impossible). Let me make this very clear, I don’t keep God’s commandments because they justify me, I keep them because I love Jesus and its the very least I can do as a Christian (John 14:15). Please name which of the Ten Commandments by following it makes me somehow reject Christ? And if you confess that God’s Law is holy, then why should I reject them.

      • Living under law is contrasted in scripture with living under grace. It’s one or the other, not both. When the Galatians put themselves under law, they did so for much the same reason you did, and the result was they alienated themselves from Christ. They fell from grace.

        No one here is suggesting you should reject the law. There is nothing wrong with the law. The law is holy, righteous, and good. The problem is not the law, but putting ourselves under it. When you try to keep the law for any reason, you are no longer trusting in Jesus. That is not the proper use of the law.

        You want to please Christ? Then walk by faith. Faith pleases the Lord (Heb 11:6), and law is not of faith (Gal 3:12).

    • I would add a comparison reading of Deuteronomy 4:13, 9:9 and Hebrews 8:8-13.

      • Kelly Regan // March 22, 2017 at 4:33 pm //

        Right exactly. The old covenant was done away with because the children of God could understand what it was really all about and they failed to see it as some still do today.. Jesus made the new covenant because He brought understanding it in His teaching. He didnt do away with it, He up made it shine as the light it’s ment to have. What exactly about the commandments is so hard for people to not want it? Loving God with all our hearts? Taking his name in vain? Killing someone? Stealing something? Or covertness? Those who want to do away with the Law usually want to because God asks something of them that they don’t want to do. It’s sad really as to when it comes down to it what it actually means when these discussions take place to disput something that was made for good.
        Have a blessed day to you all.

  43. Philip Dorsett // March 26, 2017 at 12:45 pm // Reply

    Paul’s letter to the Galatians had absolutely nothing to do with the Ten Commandments, on the contrary it had everything to do with the Jews telling them in order to be saved they had to be circumcised and the Galatians believing it… I notice you are using specific terms that I feel you need to better explain: I specifically told you that obeying the Ten Commandments has nothing to do with justification, but yet you answer “The problem is not the law, but putting ourselves under it.” would you please explain exactly what you mean by this, bearing in mind what I’ve already explained. And just be clear, why is a person under grace not to obey the Law about having other gods before the LORD. Is that somehow okay now because we are under grace?

    Are we at liberty to bow down and worship Idols because we are now under grace? Are we to misuse the LORD’s name now because we are under grace? Are we to forget the Sabbath because we are under grace? Are we to no longer honor our parents because we are no longer under grace? Is it okay for Christians to murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness and covet all because we are now under grace? Exactly what is it that you are teaching people? I teach people to obey the Ten Commandments the same way that Jesus Himself does. How can you teach people that the Commandments are Holy but that they should not obey them? Don’t you know that teaching folks to disobey Jesus’ Commandments is the same as encouraging them to break them? Are you not encouraging folks to therefore be Lawless as Mat 7:23 warns?

    • These sorts of facetious arguments have been made for 2000 years. “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? God forbid!” (Rom 6:1-2). No one here is teaching people to sin or disobey the commandments. That’s just silly.

      But most foolish of all is teaching people to obey the very the thing that gives sin it’s strength – the law! “The power of sin is the law” (1 Cor 15:56). By preaching the 10 Commandments you are empowering sin. You are literally setting yourself up for catastrophic failure (see Romans 7). Only the supernatural grace of God can empower us to go and sin no more.

      I encourage you to read the various articles on law here for a fuller understanding. You can find them in the Archives.

      • Paul,

        Thank you for your various responses to this article. I’ve been receiving email updates about comments on it for a while now. It’s still a hot topic a long time later.

        Can you correct me if I’m mistaken about your position? Are you saying “of course we’re supposed to not sin and that includes obeying the heart of each of the 10 commandments, but we aren’t supposed to teach people this because to do so puts them under the law and thus increases their propensity to break those commandments. instead we teach them about God’s grace over their lives knowing that this is what will lead them to not breaking the 10 commandments – or at least the heart of each one.” ? So you believe people should follow them but the way we find ourselves doing this isn’t by teaching it but by teaching God’s goodness, grace, Christ’s sacrifice, our righteousness apart from being perfect doers, etc?

        I guess ultimately if so, it’s a fine line and major temptation to teach one another not to break the 10 commandments and trust that by focusing elsewhere people will arrive at not breaking them. as a father of 3 little kids it takes every ounce of effort not to tell my kids ‘don’t do that’ or ‘do this’. Of course I do see they aren’t perfect little angels 🙂 🙂

      • It is not a fine line but a huge yawning chasm. I would like for Christians to have no relationship whatsoever with the law but to be totally dependent on the Holy Spirit. However, also you mention parenting and that’s an entirely different subject. I have a law of “no playing in the driveway” that I enforce while my kids are too young to comprehend the dangers for themselves. But as they grow, I don’t enforce this law, but encourage them to walk with wisdom. Analogously, the mature Christian does not need rules to guide him like a donkey; he has the infinitely superior Holy Spirit.

  44. Hi everyone . . . the Ten Commandments are called a ministry of death and condemnation as we can clearly see:

    2Co 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written, and engraven on stones, came with glory . . . 2Co 3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation hath glory . . .

    Through one of the Ten Commandments, sin found occasion and wrought in Paul the apostle all manner of coveting:

    Rom 7:7 and 8 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Howbeit, I had not known sin, except through the law: for I had not known coveting, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet: but sin, finding occasion, wrought in me through the commandment all manner of coveting: for apart from the law sin is dead.

    Paul teaches over and over again that we have died to the Law, we are free from the Law and we are not under the Law, so the Law can’t give any power to sin and awaken sinful passions in our lives . . .

    Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were through the law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

    So when we are under the law, sin has dominion over us, but we are under grace, we are free!

    Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace.

    Grace and peace !!!

  45. Stephen Mark Rolland // June 25, 2017 at 2:56 pm // Reply

    I am really appreciate with the teaching. I am a Christian, but not only that, I am Spirit filled.

    I believe those whose read your post are filled with the epignoisis of God. God bless you all. Amen

  46. But God’s commandments remain. The last books written in the New Testament were, around A.D. 85-95, John’s epistles and, about the year 95, the book of Revelation. Were the Ten Commandments abolished by that time? Notice the words of John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 21:7, 20): “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4).

    • momzilla76 // July 19, 2017 at 12:22 am // Reply

      Jesus came to fulfill the Law. Did He return to heaven with His purpose unfulfilled? The Law every drop of it from the 10 C’s to the smallest temple regulation was fulfilled at the cross. The commands of Jesus are not the 10 C’s as some traditions tell us. Scripture shows that the 10 Commandments on stone are undeniably the first covenant. Deut 4:13, 9:9, Heb 8:8-13. 1 John 3:20-24 gives a concise statement of what commands of Jesus we are supposed to be keeping.

      • Doug Webber // July 19, 2017 at 10:02 am //

        The law that Jesus came to fulfill are the statutes or ordinances of the Jewish law, which are the rituals, such as animal sacrifices and circumcision. It does not include the 10 Commandments. Even Jesus said they are binding, as do the apostles of the New Testament. The first 4 commandments are related to love of the Lord, and the latter 6 to love of the neighbor, and Jesus states this must be followed to have eternal life. This is a fundamental error taught by Protestant churches which was unknown before the 16th century.

      • This is not a 16th century error but a 1st century question that was settled at the first Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15). We are not under law, but grace (Rom 6:14-15).

        It is true that Jesus preached the law to those under the law, but on the cross he fulfilled all the requirements of the law so that we might be justified by faith in him. On the day he rose from the dead, Jesus explained how the Law of Moses pointed to him (Luke 24:27). The law is a shadow; the reality is found in Jesus Christ (Heb 10:1).

        To insist we must observe the law in any form – whether the 10 Commandments or modern denominational rules and regulations – is to insult the Spirit of Grace and to trample the blood of Jesus underfoot (Heb 10:29).

      • Brandon Petrowski // July 19, 2017 at 2:12 pm //

        The 10 Commandments are part of the Mosaic Law. The Law was powerless to bring righteousness, according to God’s Word, which very clearly says Jesus fulfilled on our behalf that we might be made righteous. The Law still stands as accusation against us, but we are not bound in captivity to it. The only law that we are bound to is the law of love. The OT law including 10 C’s is living by the flesh. The law of love lives by the Spirit. Having said all that, this doesn’t mean we have free license to murder, steal, lie, etc. Those behaviors are still wrong and still have consequences. The point is, our behavior is not what condemns or saves us. If a person is a believer, their lives will reflect that, but as long as they are clothed in flesh, they can still stumble.

      • Doug Webber // July 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm //

        Then why does Paul mention many of the 10 commandments in Rom. 13:8-10?

      • For reasons Paul himself explains in Rom 13:10: “love is the fulfillment of the law.” If the love of Christ is in your heart, you will have no problem loving your neighbor, and if you love your neighbor you are not going to murder him, sleep with his wife, or steal his donkey, are you?

  47. I know in my heart what God has taught me through scripture and the Mosaic law was abolished not the 10 commandments. If you truly believe as I read here, God is writing things on your heart and in your mind on an individual bases, is just not scriptural. Not for me but for the Christian whom still needs a deeper understanding, you should exercise Romans 14. Love is not what is being accomplished here, Peace be with you brother.

    • The Law of Moses, that Christ fulfilled, includes the 10 Commandments. There is no law that surpasses the grace of God. Those “who do his commandments” and enter the holy city (Rev 22:14) are not law-keepers but believers (1 John 3:23). It is not those hypocrites who pretend to perfectly keep the law who are justified, but those who trust in Christ’s perfect sacrifice. Grace and peace to you too.

    • momzilla76 // July 20, 2017 at 12:29 am // Reply

      Bob- If what you say is true that what is written upon people’s hearts is the 10 commandments then why have genuine Christians not kept the Saturday Sabbath for 2,000 years? Think about what you just wrote. The 10 commandments are part of the laws of Moses, the very first part delivered to the people. It is only human tradition, not scripture that separates them off as a different set of legislation.
      You also seem to be thinking that the 10 commandments are the perfect embodiment of all of God’s morality. Yet even Jesus said that it is active love that is the embodiment and walking fulfillment of all the laws ever written. The 10 C’s are but brief cliff notes of God’s purest ways. God does not script an individual rule list for each believer’s heart, not sure where you got that idea, but what He pens there is something deeper than 10 rules that are easy to keep outwardly while remaining an inward mess.

  48. Question that all Law-lovers should consider… Did Jesus break the law when He didn’t condemn the woman caught in adultery? She was supposed to be stoned to death (together with her partner in crime)! So…? Did He? “The Law is made NOT for the righteous…” (1 Timothy 1:9)!! God is the Just One! He does not need the Law nor for Himself, nor for His children.

  49. In Revelation 14:12, the saints are described as “those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Faith and keeping God’s commandments go hand in hand, as Paul stated earlier (Romans 3:31).
    In the last chapter of the Bible, Jesus Christ gave a final message to the Church: “ ‘Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work…’ Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:12-14).

    • Yes, the saints keep the commands of God, as opposed to the law of Moses. The “commands of God,” means believing in Jesus (see 1 John 3:23). This is why those who keep the commands of God are those who hold fast to Jesus (Rev 12:17).

      As you say, faith and keeping God’s commands go hand-in-hand. In contrast, law-keeping has nothing to do with faith. “The law is not of faith” (Gal 3:12). It is super-important to distinguish law-keeping, from faith. To rely on the law is to walk after the flesh. In contrast, walking after the spirit means living from the persuasion that God is who he said he is.

      Who has a right to eat of the tree of life (Jesus) and enter into the city? It is the one who believes in Jesus. And who remains outside the city? “The dogs, the impure, and everyone who loves and practices lying” (Rev 22:15). A liar is an apt description of one who has deceived himself into believing that his law-keeping has earned the favor of God. And it is the one who pushes law on others that he himself cannot keep.

  50. I thumbed through this post, just curious what I would find at the end, I almost surfed on but I started to read the comments and some comments reflect young believers. The New Testament is all that was used to reply with. Someone may have abolished the Old Testament too. (Just messing with you Paul). I have many years of life’s experience and not all with full knowledge of truth until the past 7 years. This post is right about Grace but there is so much more that is not being shared. Young believers really need to build their knowledge from beginning to end with the whole truth. It’s all part of the perfect plan to lead us to true salvation. Follow Jesus Christ diligently with the full truth and we will be filled with the Holy spirit along with much visible fruit in our life’s until Jesus returns for us. This is my life now and I truly love people but from my heart I plea to all the readers, this and other commentaries are food for thought but always pray and use all of Gods word so your diluents for the truth will be taught by the Holy Spirit. The truth; the whole truth; and nothing but the truth: Thanks Paul for letting me share my hopes for the assembly of the true church in the body of Jesus Christ.

    • Brandon Petrowski // July 21, 2017 at 2:04 am // Reply

      Bob, you do not have “full knowledge of the truth”. You may have life experience and some revelation in some areas, but you do not fully understand or grasp the truth. Jesus himself said there were things he didn’t even have knowledge of. Perhaps you didn’t mean to suggest that you know all there is to know about Biblical truth, but that’s how you come across. I do not follow any man but Christ, who also happens to be God. I ask God to help me discern truth and to not blindly follow teachings of men. Paul Ellis hasn’t led anyone astray. I have had questions for him in the past where he has admitted lack of understanding. He is confident in what he has had revelation of, but he has always been humble and loving in his replies to those who disagree with him. He has never come across arrogant or condemning to those who fault him, and he doesn’t attempt to suppress comments from those people. The OT and NT both have been quoted in his support of what he believes in many of his posts, by both him and his readers. The whole Bible in context reveals the weakness of the OT Law and that it was never meant to save us or to guide us in our behavior. It’s sole purpose was to point us to our need of Jesus.

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