The Ten Commandments
- Full Text: Read full text below
- Format: Folded Gospel Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5" x 5.5"
- Pages: 4
- Versions: KJV, NKJV
The full text of this gospel tract is shown below in the KJV version. It is also available in NKJV. Select the one you want to order using the “Version” buttons above.
Many people speak fondly of the Ten Commandments, display them, memorize them, and try to live by them, but do not understand what they are actually for. When people hold up the Ten Commandments as "a historical document," "an acknowledgement of God," or "the moral foundation of our society," they are missing the point entirely.
Righteous Through The Law?
In the New Testament, the Ten Commandments are often called by the general term "the law," and their purpose is quickly brought to light in these two verses: "That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified [declared righteous] in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:19,20).
If you have ever tried to keep the Ten Commandments, you have undoubtedly experienced the frustration of not being able to accomplish what you set out to do. Though you may not break them all, there will usually be one or two that you find it impossible to keep perfectly. We may try to rationalize them away, as people did in Jesus' day, but their testimony engraven in stone does not change. "Thou shalt not steal" covers many pilferages that have little effect on the social conscience of today's world. "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me" has been repeatedly trodden underfoot by those who exalt people or possessions to a central place in their lives. "Thou shalt not covet" is treated as a joke in a world where so much is based on what we have, or what we would like to have.
Broken One, Broken All
James 2:10 tells us that in God's eyes, "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." This means that one who curses using God's name, steals, or covets is as guilty of being a sinner as one who has broken all ten of the commandments.
That's exactly the point. Though people continually try to justify themselves, to proclaim their goodness through noble—and even religious—thoughts of "I do this" and "I've never done that," the truth is that we are all sinners. God's law given in the Ten Commandments is there as a proof of this fact, so "every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." I fear for those who think they can stand before God some day and convince Him that they deserve Heaven because of their righteousness. "By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." If you think you are "good enough," then you've never honestly examined yourself against God's Word!
Righteous Through Another
If we really understand what God is saying, the Ten Commandments will not be "a pattern for life," but rather what the Bible declares them to be: a "ministration of death"—a pronouncement of guilt (2 Corinthians 3:7). I pray that a realization of this fact will cause you to stop "going about to establish [your] own righteousness," and lead you to the wonderful truth that "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" (Romans 10:3,4).
Through His sacrificial death on Calvary's cross, Jesus Christ—the only One who ever perfectly kept God's law—has opened the way to Heaven. All of the works, sacrifices, and prayers of sinners like you and me could never take away a single sin. "But now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26).
You may ask, "What then is the way to life?" The Bible answers this question with the simple words: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).
Nothing, either great or small—Nothing, sinner, no;
Jesus died and paid it all, Long, long ago.
Till to Jesus' work you cling By a simple faith,
"Doing" is a deadly thing—"Doing" ends in death.
Cast your deadly "doing" down—Down at Jesus' feet;
Stand in Him, in Him alone, Gloriously complete.
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