Ten Commandments: How Well Do You Know Them?

As we finish “Irresistible Husband” by Ed Cole this week, he brings up an interesting question. Do you know the Ten Commandments? Do you? It would be easy to say we did but what if we had to recite them in front of our family or church family? So how well do you know them?

You shall have no other gods before me.

Only because of who God is can He demand to be Number 1. He is holy, righteous, omnipotent and doesn’t have to explain why.

As Ed Cole said, “Only when God is first and foremost in our lives will the others give satisfaction, and only then will the rest of the commandments become easy to follow. Jesus said the first commandment is the greatest, upon which all others rest.”

You shall not make for yourself a carved image.

It would be easy to say that we don’t have any wooden Baal’s or Ashera poles in our homes that we worship. So we might think we would be good here. But when you realize that idolatry is the worship of self, how good are we really? We can make idols out of many things: money, work, sports, pornography, and church and on and on.

Is there anything or things in our lives that we are unwilling to give up? What do we really give importance to? If it’s anything other than God, then it’s an idol.

You shall not take the name of the Lord our God in vain.

Again this may be a commandment that we believe we are keeping. But how often do we use phrases like “OMG” or “gosh-darn” or something close and think we are not taking God’s name in vain? And if “all profanity is based on taking God’s name in vain”, how often are we really breaking this commandment?

If our language is a direct reflection of our character, then how often are we saying things that reflect badly on our character and on God’s name?

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

It would seem that the Sabbath has become just another day in the week. It’s rare to see businesses like Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby that close on Sunday. Most give in to the pursuit of the almighty dollar. It’s easy to pick on businesses, but what about us?

Do we keep the Sabbath holy? Or do we treat it like just another day of the week?


Honor your father and mother that your days may be long on the earth.
This is the first commandment with promise. For some this is an easy commandment to keep, for others this may prove to be the most difficult. But God didn’t say to honor “good” fathers and mothers, He said to honor your father and mother, good or bad. Maybe you get to continue the tradition of being a good parent like your parents were or maybe you have to break the cycle of bad parenting and become that good parent to your children.
In either case, we aren’t offered an option.
You shall not murder.

Sure, most of us have never taken the life of another. But how many of us have done so in thought? How many of us have murdered an idea, dreams, someone’s witness, our witness, a reputation or someone’s self-esteem?

“Grace is the antidote to murder.”
Pg. 157 Irresistible Husband.

You shall not commit adultery.

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28 (NIV).

Enough said.

You shall not steal.
“Stealing is trespassing on another’s right of possession.”
Pg. 158 Irresistible Husband.
While most of us haven’t committed a heist deserving of a movie, how many of us have stolen time away from our wives and children? Time is precious and you can never get it back. Invest your time where it matters most.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Today, hearing this should make some of us turn our heads to the side like a dog when it hears something strange. After all, how many of us know our neighbors? So how could we say something bad about them?
Ed Cole said, “If a person is unwilling to speak ill of another, he is less likely to steal from him or commit murder. To lie is to act like the devil.” We will not be blessed when we lie. Lying is standing in agreement with Satan instead of God.
You shall not covet.
When we have put the first commandment into practice, we desire what God wants for our lives. Only when we put ourselves first will we want what others have and be discontent with all with which God has blessed us.
If only we could live by these Ten Commandments. But we live in a time where God’s law is rejected because man’s wisdom has evolved and we know better. Just look around you, how well is that working out?
Jesus came and fulfilled the Law, the Ten Commandments. Knowing that we still needed help, He broke them down into just two:
“’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 tow commandments.” Matthew 22: 37-40 (NIV).

Adrian Rogers gave seven facts about the Ten Commandments:

  1. Absolute – not obsolete.
  2. Given in perpetuity for each generation.
  3. For a righteous social structure.
  4. Given to each individual to build character.
  5. Given to every family to build a strong family.
  6. Guidelines to daily living.
  7. An essential element in God’s covenant with His people.

How can we keep them if we don’t know them?

Run to the Cross!


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