How Scripture answers "Are Christians under the Ten Commandments today?"

Scripture is clear that Christians are no longer under the “Ten Commandments”1,2,3,4,5,6,7. During his ministry, Jesus taught that the kingdom of God was replacing the Old Covenant1. The “Ten Commandments”, as a representative part of the Mosaic Law or ‘Old Covenant’8, were abolished4,8 and replaced in the person and sacrifice of Jesus Christ3,6 and the “better”5 things (e.g. greater glory2, justification by faith3, peace/forgiveness2,4,7, hope5, etc.) that He represents. This happened at the cross4, meaning that the One that ushered in the New Covenant actually lived under the Old Covenant (along with the “thief on the cross”).

However, we should also take care to distinguish our “Old Testaments” from the Old Covenant and its Ten Commandments. It’s true that as a representative of the Mosaic Law8, Christians are not under the “Ten Commandments”. It’s also true that we can find every one of the listed “Ten Commandments” living within the New Covenant “Law of Christ”6. God’s law1,6 has been from the beginning. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim 3:16)

Answer built on scripture-blocks below

The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.
The Law and Prophets were until John [the Baptist], but since him the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces their way into it. This good news (e.g the gospel) along with the Law and the Prophets are all God’s word (collectively “the Law”) and none of it will pass away before the heavens and earth.

During the public ministry of Christ when he is sharing various truths and parables. Here Jesus makes points about the dangers of riches and the sin of divorce – two everlasting and Covenant-transcending truths – to make the point about the everlasting nature of God’s eternal word.

This is stated by Jesus elsewhere, “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:11-15)

Scripture-block application to this question

Jesus heralds a new covenant to replace the old covenant that was “until John” and describes it as the gospel of the “kingdom of God”. He wants to contrast His message and the precedence it takes over the Mosaic law with its Ten Commandments, but makes the point that God’s word as a whole will never become void.

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

Importantly, Jesus qualifies the transition of the Old Covenant (e.g. “Ten Commandments”) with the New Covenant by emphasizing that “God’s Law”6 will remain forever.

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.
Now if the old Law of death, carved on stone and coming to an end, came with such a glory that the Israelites could not look at Moses’ face.  Will not the new Law of the Spirit have even greater glory?  For the glory of the law of condemnation is far exceeded by the glory of the law of righteousness.

Paul is commending the Christians in Corinth by drawing a distinction between the Old Law – written on stone – with the New Law of the Spirit – written on hearts – in which they labor (3:1-2).

Scripture-block application to this question

Paul is contrasting the two laws, confirming the end of the old covenant (using placeholders of “death”, “condemnation”, “lessor glory”), replaced by the new covenant (aka “Spirit”, “righteousness”, “greater glory”).

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

Paul goes on to contrast the two throughout the chapter, speaking of the Old Law as “come to have no glory at all” (vs 10) and the New Law as being “permanent” (vs 11).

So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

Therefore, the [Old] law was our tutor until Christ came – now being justified by faith.  But now that faith has come, we no longer need a tutor, for in Jesus Christ we are all sons of God through faith.

Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia (a region).  Chapter 3 specifically argues the Christian’s justification through the [New] law of Christ, not the [Old] law of Moses, while at the same time, drawing strong parallels between the two.

Scripture-block application to this question

Christ replaced the law [of Moses] – the Old Covenant.

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
He [Jesus] is our peace, making us one by his flesh.  The Old Law expressed in commandments that had separated us is abolished.  In Him, we are one man in place of two, reconciled together to God in one body through the peace of the cross.

Paul is writing to the “saints that are in Ephesus” (1:1), but Gentile Christians in particular (2:11).  He is reminding them of this grace that they have from God and the fact that they are now “fellow citizens…of the household of God” (2:19).  Ultimately, his plea to them is to walk in a manner “worthy of the calling” (4:1).

Scripture-block application to this question

The old “law of commandments” has been abolished at the cross.

For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
It’s true that an old law has been abolished due to its weakness and inability to perfect or complete anyone, but now a better hope is present which allows us to draw close to God.
This chapter introduces the superiority of Jesus’ priesthood (order of Melchizedek) over that of Aaron’s (tribe of Levi). This “makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant” (vs 22).
Scripture-block application to this question

The Old Law was not sufficient to perfect (complete) man’s relationship with God.

To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.

To Jews I [Paul] was like a Jew in order to influence them. To those under the [Mosiac] law I became like one under the law in order to influence them (though I of course wasn’t actually under the law).  To those Gentiles not under the law I became like them (though never being outside the law of God but always under the law of Christ) that I might win over those outside the law.

Paul is admonishing the Corinthians throughout 8:1-11:1  to temper their “rights” and freedoms in Christ for the sake of others’ conscience.  His main point through these chapters is that they should “endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ” (9:12).

Scripture-block application to this question

Paul makes the point that he came to “win” both Jews and Gentiles while stating clearly that he was not “under the law” (Mosaic Law with the ten commandments), but under the “law of Christ” (both of which where under and never superseding the “law of God”).

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

God’s righteousness is now clear apart from the [old] law –  which the Law and the Prophets themselves bear witness to – which is faith in Jesus Christ for everyone that believes.  For there is no distinction since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  God put Him forward as an atoning sacrifice by his blood; a gift received by one’s faith. This demonstrates God’s righteousness because in His divine patience, he had passed over former sins.

Paul’s letter to the Roman Christians making the broad point of equal access to this new covenant in Jesus Christ.  All have sinned (vs 23) and all now have access to God’s “grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ” (vs 24).

Scripture-block application to this question

The [Mosaic] “Law and the Prophets” are “apart from” the manifestation of Christ and His new covenant, but they do bear witness to it.

And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and rules, that you might do them in the land that you are going over to possess.

He [God, the Father] declared His law and commanded you to adhere to it. It is the “Ten Commandments” written on two stone tablets. At that time, He commanded me [Moses] to teach you its requirements and rules so that you would do them in the land you’re going to possess.

The re-telling of the law of Moses to a new generation of people before entering into the Promised Land.

Scripture-block application to this question

The “Ten Commandments” was used to represent the Old Covenant.

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