The Ten Commandments
1. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image - 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; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
- The Ten Commandments, as recorded in Exodus 20:2-17 (NKJV)
The Two Most Important Commandments
First: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." - Jesus in Mark 12:30 (NKJV)
Second: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." - Jesus in Mark 12:31 (NKJV)
It is important to note that Jesus not only teaches us to keep the Commandments ("Good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life ?"),
He also ties the keeping of the Two Most Important Commandments (Love for God and others) to the keeping of the Ten Commandments.
See Matthew 19:16-19, 22:34-40; Mark 10:17-19, 12:28-31; Luke 10:25-28, 18:18-20; John 14:15, 14:21, 15:9-10.
"If you love Me, keep My commandments."
- Jesus in John 14:15 (NKJV)
God too points out the difference between those who Love Him and those who hate Him.
Look at the very end of the Second Commandment in the Ten Commandments above.
Those who Love Him keep His Commandments.
"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.
And His commandments are not burdensome."
- 1 John 5:2-3 (NKJV)
"He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him."
- 1 John 2:4-5 (NKJV)
Regarding the Commandments, Jesus teaches the importance of keeping both the Letter and the Heart of them, giving us examples to follow in Matthew 5, including the Heart of "you shall not murder" and "you shall not commit adultery". He also adds that we shall keep the Commandments not only in our outward behavior, but also in our inward self, in our own heart. By these examples, Jesus teaches how the Ten Commandments, in their easy-to-understand language, provide the basis of the full moral code we are to live by (see also Exodus 34:27-28).
For example, "you shall not murder" (the Letter of the Sixth Commandment) also means do not keep anger or ill will toward anyone (the Heart of the Sixth Commandment). We shall not even call anyone a “fool!” in unrighteous anger. In the same way, "you shall not commit adultery" (the Seventh Commandment) also means we shall not look at anyone to lust for them; and also, we shall not divorce for any reason except sexual immorality. And all the Ten Commandments are like this, each having both Letter and Heart, with the Heart expanding the Letter to its full meaning in God's Standard of Righteousness.
Thus, from Jesus' examples, we know that a true-hearted person will not just keep the Letter of God's Law (the Commandments) for “technical” or “legalistic" reasons; a true-hearted person will also keep the Heart of God's Law, by contemplating the Commandments (with the help of God's Word and the Holy Spirit) to see how the Commandments include all aspects of human behavior. When a person does this and becomes convicted as to what sin really is, they will know the true extent of sin, and its causes-and-effects, both within themselves and in the world around them. It is a great awakening, from which a sanctifying Walk with the Lord can progress in all Valuable ways.