There has been a marked tendency in recent years to minimize the importance of the Decalogue. To the critics, of course, who see in it merely a brief code of laws which reflects the gradual growth of moral and religious ideas and ideals in Israel, it can have little or no permanent and divine authority.
According to those, on the other hand, who set the Gospel in sharp contrast with the Law, the Decalogue is not intended for the present Church Age. This is, they tell us, the dispensation of grace; and the Old Testament law is Jewish and concerns the Kingdom and not the Church. But in the history of the Church the Decalogue has always, especially since the Reformation, occupied an important place in Christian education. The great Catechisms of Protestantism, such as Luther’s, the Heidelberg, and the Westminster Shorter and Longer Catechisms, have all stressed the Ten Commandments as of permanent and binding validity. They used to be memorized in the home and the Sunday-school; and they were recited in public worship much more frequently than to-day. And because the solemn “Thou shalt not” of the Law of God, with its clear and sharp distinction between right and wrong is so seldom heard, an easy-going system of morals which has few if any blacks and whites but consists largely of the greys of expediency and self-interest, has become popular even among Christians.
Christians need constantly to remind themselves that love is not an easy-going substitute for law, but the fulfilling of the Law (Rom. 13:10); and that the Law is needed both as a warning to those who are tempted to sin and as a pattern for those who are striving after righteousness. The sense in which Jesus regarded the Law as “fulfilled” in the Gospel is made appallingly plain in the Sermon on the Mount (e.g. Matt. 5:21 f.); and His summary of the Decalogue in terms of love to God and love to man (Matt. 22:37–40) makes it a counsel of perfection for all men, since even the most advanced in spiritual growth cannot hope to keep it perfectly.
Allis, O. T. (1951). God Spake by Moses: An Exposition of the Pentateuch (pp. 79–80). Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co.