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Jesus Redefines The Ten Commandments

Would you think Iím a heretic if I told you that the Ten Commandments as they were written donít apply to New Testament Christians? Well, Iím here to tell you just that. Note that Iíve emphasized the words "as they are written", because these words let me off the hook from being a full fledged heretic.

In Matt. 5:21 to 23 Jesus comments on the "do not kill" command. This command says "donít kill", but Jesus says, "anyone who is angry at his brother will be subject to judgment", and "anyone that says, Ďyou foolí will be in danger of the fire of hell". Though the Law says "donít kill", Jesus says, "donít get angry". Anger is linked to murder as being worthy of Godís judgment. Even calling someone a fool puts you in danger of hell. Have you ever called a person a jerk after that person cuts you off while youíre driving? You might want to remember Jesusí words the next time the word fool or jerk comes to your lips.

Of course killing someone has greater implications and consequences than merely being angry at him. But being angry at a person for no Biblical reason deserves Godís wrath because He hates unrighteous anger just as much as He hates murder.

Jesus is putting the emphasis on the issues of the heart here, not merely the outward working of these issues. Jesus is going beyond the outward sin the Commandment addresses and speaks to the condition of our hearts, because itís the condition of our hearts that produce the outward sin.

In the next section of Matt. 5 Jesus comments on the "donít commit adultery" command. He says if you lust after someone sexually in your heart, youíve committed adultery with that person in the eyes of God. Once again Jesus is getting to the heart of the matter, because He knows if the lust problem can be solved, there wonít be an adultery problem. The Ten Commandments points out our sin while the Holy Spirit deals with our sin.

In both of these examples Jesus is redefining the Commandments. Heís going beyond the outward sin the Commandments addresses and redefining them by stating Godís real intent. Donít kill becomes donít get angry. Donít commit adultery becomes donít lust. This is why I say that the Ten Commandments donít apply to us "as they are written". We obey Jesus and what He says . We thus approach the Old Testament, including the Ten Commandments from this New Testament perspective.

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