Those who espoused this brand of extreme grace proclaimed that holding on to the 10 Commandments would cause a believer to lose his freedom in Christ. They preached that the teaching of the 10 Commandments has absolutely no place in new covenant church life, and that believers who have been taught them were, in a sense, actually given spiritual poison!
The common error here is the simplistic equating of the 10 Commandments as the whole Law of the old covenant. This is erroneous because the Law is really made up of three portions: civil, ceremonial, and moral. While the civil and ceremonial aspects of the Law are no longer relevant to us in the new covenant, the moral aspect still is. As such, with the exception of the Sabbath observance (Commandment #4), everyone of the 10 Commandments are still taught and recorded in the New Testament. For the brevity of space, I would give just one Scriptural reference for each one of them:
- John taught on the second commandment of not worshiping idols in 1 Jn. 5:21.
- James taught on the third commandment of not swearing in Jas. 5:12.
- Paul taught on the fifth commandment of honoring your parents in Eph. 6:1-2.
- John taught on the sixth commandment of not committing murder in 1 Jn. 3:11-15.
- Paul taught on the seventh commandment of not committing adultery in 1 Thess. 4:3-7.
- Paul taught on the eighth commandment of not stealing in Eph. 4:28-29.
- Paul taught on the ninth commandment of not lying in Rom. 13:8-9.
- Paul taught on the tenth commandment against covetousness in Col. 3:5.
Eminent Bible scholar, Professor C. Peter Wagner, in the Autumn 2001 issue of Church Growth wrote under the heading of "Our Disadvantaged Church" (pg. 17) the following words: "The Church is really short on biblical teaching ... today many rebel at being told that there is such a thing as rules. You have to go a long way to find a large congregation well versed in general Bible content, the use of the Lords Prayer, and the 10 Commandments. There is skimpy teaching on subjects such as tithing, forgiveness, honesty, and especially holiness."
Therefore, to say that the 10 Commandments are no longer applicable because we are new covenant saints only exhibit ideological ignorance of foundational Christian beliefs.
No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.