The Ten Commandments
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
As the rescued people of Israel traveled toward the promised land, God gave them laws to guide them in how to live and to help them understand God’s perfect holiness. God’s laws covered every part of their lives and were summed up in the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments can be grouped into two categories: The first four laws deal with a person’s relationship with God and the last six laws deal with a person’s relationship with others. God did not give laws for the sake of giving laws; the laws had a purpose. Not only did they show what righteous living looks like, they were part of the covenant God made with Israel, known as the Mosaic covenant. (See Ex. 19:3-8.)
God had promised Abraham that all the peoples on earth would be blessed through him. (See Gen. 12:3.) “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3). God’s promise to Abraham would be fulfilled in Jesus. But God gave the law to guide people until Jesus came.
As you talk to your children this week, avoid presenting the Ten Commandments as a burden—a list of laws they must try to keep to earn God’s favor. God is holy and separate from sin. His law shows us what He requires—perfect righteousness. Our sin separates us from God, but Jesus came to bring us back to God. Jesus is perfectly righteous. When we trust in Jesus, He takes away our sin and welcomes us into God’s family.
Point your kids to Jesus and help them understand that God is pleased with us because He looks at Jesus, who never sinned. Because of Christ, we have a right relationship with God. He gives us power through the Holy Spirit to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-39).
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
- God made a covenant, or special agreement, with His people.
- God gave rules to show how to love Him and others.
- God promised to be their God if they kept His covenant.
KEY PASSAGE: Matthew 22:37
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- What is God like? God is holy, good, and loving.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- Name some of the commandments.
- Is keeping the Ten Commandments easy or hard? Who can we ask to help us obey His Law?
- Who always obeyed God’s commands?
- Play a game such as “Simon Says” or “Mother, May I?” Talk about what it would be like to play with no rules.
- Memorize the Ten Commandments as a family. Talk about how Jesus kept all the commandments perfectly on our behalf.