Reformed Articles

The Ten Commandments: What They Forbid and Promote

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There’s more to the 10 commandments than we usually think. Yes, all 10 commandments still matter today. We should take them seriously and seek to study and appropriately apply them to our lives.

You might be able to list the ten commandments in order, but do you know what they forbid and promote? I used to think I knew the ten commandments pretty well. “Thou shall not steal.” Got it. Won’t steal anyone’s stuff. As long as I do that I’m good, right? Not necessarily. There’s more to the ten commandments than what first meets the eye, and below you can find what they both encourage and discourage. 1

The Ten Commandments: What They Forbid and Promote

From Exodus 20: 3-17.

1st Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me.”

Forbids: Having or worshipping any other God but Yahweh. Worshipping false notions of the God of the Bible.

Promotes: Worshipping God correctly and worshipping him alone. Exclusive loyalty to Yahweh and consecrating ourselves from the world to be fully devoted to him.

2nd Commandment: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”

Forbids: Creating carved images in place of worshipping the triune God. Worshipping God without regard to his preferences.

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