After discovering there are 613 laws in the Torah, I was curious as to how many commandments for Christians there are in the New Testament. To date, my study has revealed 855 laws for Christians to live by.
The New Testament word for law is nomos. The word Theonomic is derived from Theo, which is the Greek word for God, and nomos, meaning, law. Christians believe the New Testament is just as much God’s law as the Torah. Because God is the only true Great Lawgiver, His word is His law. Every word which proceeds from the Lord’s mouth is to be honored and obeyed. It has been said that, “The Old Testament contains the New Testament, while the New Testament explains the Old Testament.” To put it another way, “The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed, while the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.”
There is a fundamental difference between the purpose of the laws found in the Old Testament, and the commandments of the New Testament. The purpose of Old Testament laws was to show the helplessness of people, and bring them to Christ. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24).
The purpose of the New Testament commandments is different. These commandments, written on the heart according to promise, are designed to enable the Christian to live out the ethics of the gospel, and to please the Lord. The commandments given to Christians are not grievous to be borne. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:29-30). The commandments for Christians in the New Testament do not stir up anger and opposition, as the Law did, but they increase the heart’s desire to be holy.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31:31-33).
In examining the various passages containing commandments for Christians in the New Testament, there is always a lesson to be learned, or a principle to be discerned. While the commandments listed in this work are extensive, they are not exhaustive. There is much room for improvement on the notes provided as additional commandments can be added, and better applications can be made. I pray the Lord will bless each person as they study the New Testament commandments for Christians, and seek to keep them in gospel obedience.