Sharon Harris is wife, mother, English teacher, amateur photographer, and gardener.

Is someone a real Christian when he obeys the Ten Commandments?

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Question:  Is someone a real Christian when he obeys the Ten Commandments?

Answer: Many have wondered, am I a true Christian when I follow all the Bible’s rules?

People have a misunderstanding of what is required to be a Christian. It’s not following a set of commandments, doing good deeds, giving all that we have to the poor, or traveling to remote parts of the earth to tell others about Jesus Christ. Does this seem surprising to you? Jesus asks this of believers:

Realize that He died on the cross for your sins.

Be sorry for the wrong things you have done in life.

Turn away from your past sins and to Him for His help in leading you through the rest of your life.

A difficult concept for us to understand and accept is that there is no way we can EARN our ticket to heaven! In our present earthly existence, we know that we must work to gain money, the trust of others, and acceptance by our friends. So, when the Bible teaches that Jesus has given us a FREE gift of eternal life, we think there must be some catch to this! It’s just too easy. Surely, we must do something to keep from losing this or to pay Him back.

“Because of Jesus’ kindness, you have been saved through trusting Him. This way Jesus has saved you is not anything you have earned, but it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can brag and take any credit for it. It is God Himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Jesus. He planned long ago that we should spend our lives in helping others.” Ephesians 2:8-10

When we develop a daily friendship with Jesus through talking to Him and watching for His answers, we want to make Him proud of us by following His Biblical instruction of right and wrong. Christians feel compassion for the poor and try to help them in various ways. Some believers participate in mission trips to help people in other parts of the world know about Jesus and the only Way to heaven. These are certainly not requirements for going to heaven but things believers desire to do to show their thankfulness to God for all He has done for them. They also have an urgency to help others know God’s truths, as they now do.

“For God loved the world so much, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17

“…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” Romans 10:9-13

The Ten Commandments were among a great number of highly detailed instructions for living that God gave to Moses. They are a part of what is known as the Law of Moses, guidelines covering every aspect of the Israelites’ lives. They were humanly impossible to keep! God intended for us, through our realization of that truth, to put our hope in Him to save us rather than trying to save ourselves through our own deeds.  He planned a much better way for us to enter into a right relationship with Him: Through trusting in His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus was sent to offer Himself, His own blood, as a once-and-for-all sacrifice to pay for the sins of mankind. Jesus offers this today to everyone as a free gift to accept, but not everyone does. God still asks the people He created to strive to obey His commandments, but success in doing so is not a requirement for entry into God’s family. He expected us to fail because we are only human, and we needed – and still need – His forgiveness and a new start, the opportunity to have our slate of wrongdoing cleared. Long ago, Jesus distilled some of what was really intended by the laws He gave to Moses for those he led:

“But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Hima question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’” Matthew 22:34-40

What would God have you to do? Ask Him. He always answers!

You can say or pray this:

Dear Jesus,

I thank you for dying on a cross long ago so that people in all generations could trust in you and receive your gift of salvation from the terrible punishment for our sins. I am thankful you rose from the dead and are in heaven right now, preparing a place for those who choose to join your family. I admit that I am greatly in need of your forgiveness because I have hurt others you must have meant for me to love and help. I understand that you intended for me during this life to have a relationship with you, and I come to you, asking you to show me what this means. I want to talk with you daily and follow your lead. I will be watching for signs of what your new path in life will be for me. Thank you for wiping my record of sins clean and giving me a new life, beginning now!

Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, don’t forsake me, until I have shown your strength to this generation, and your power to everyone who is to come.” Psalm 71:18

“For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100:5

“How great are His signs! And how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation.” Daniel 4:3

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