DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Are the Ten Commandments found in the Bible, or did some church make them up? I’ve heard of them all my life, but I don’t come from a religious family, so I’ve never had an opportunity to study them. Are they still important? — J.M.
DEAR J.M.: Yes, the Ten Commandments are still important! You’ll find them in the Old Testament (the part of the Bible that tells us what God did before Jesus Christ came into the world). You’ll find them in two places: Exodus, chapter 20, and Deuteronomy, chapter 5.
The Bible tells us God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, who led the ancient Israelites after they’d been freed from slavery and were headed toward the land God had promised them. The Ten Commandments were given so they would know how to live, and God promised that if they followed them, their lives would be blessed.
Moses said, “Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days” (Deuteronomy 5:33).
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Although they were given many centuries ago, the Ten Commandments are still valid, and our lives (and our world) would be far better if we followed them. The first ones deal with our responsibilities toward God, to put him first in our lives and not allow anything to take his rightful place. The latter ones deal with our responsibilities toward others — avoid lying, stealing, murder, immorality, greed and so forth.
But the Ten Commandments are important for another reason: They point to our need for God’s forgiveness and help. No one lives up to them perfectly, and that’s why we need Christ. Don’t let your past hold you back, but begin a new life today by asking Jesus to forgive and help you.
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