Are the Ten Commandments Relevant today?

There are some pastors today within the Christian Church who are preaching that the Ten Commandments are no longer valid. Is this what the Word of God teaches?

Jesus summarized the Ten Commandments when He said, Mathew 22:37-40 “…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”.

Some people have misunderstood this to be saying that these two commandments replaced the Ten Commandments, but Jesus was not giving a ‘new’ law, He was in fact quoting an Old Testament scripture about the importance of keeping the Ten Commandments. Deuteronomy 6:5-8 “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: … And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes”.

Jesus was showing that the Ten Commandments were a law of love, the first four commandments showed us how to love God, and the last six how to love our fellow man. This is why He said, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”.

Another misunderstanding on the relevance of the Ten Commandments has come from Colossians 2:16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat (offering), or in drink (offering), or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days:”. Many people who have read this verse out of context have concluded that this means that the fourth Commandment, which says “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy….” was abolished at the cross, but this is not what the verse is saying. It is speaking about the Ceremonial law, which was abolished at the cross, when Jesus’ one time perfect sacrifice, made forever null and void the need for further animal sacrifices. If the previous verses are read, it is clear that it was the handwritten ceremonial law, and not the ten commandment law, which was written by God’s own finger in stone, that was abolished. Colossians 2:14 states, “blotting out the handwriting (the only laws written by hand were the ceremonial laws, written by Moses -) of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.”

Also the ceremonial law had always been symbolically placed in the side of the Ark of the Covenant, to show that it was temporary, and ‘against’ the people. The Ten Commandment law on the other hand, was written in stone by the finger of God, and placed inside the Ark of the Covenant, symbolizing its eternal nature.

Luke further clarifies that there is a definite distinction between the Ten Commandment and Ceremonial laws, and that they were not one and the same. Luke 1:6 “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”