The Ten Commandments, or the Law, were part of the Mosaic covenant in the Old Testament. Although we are no longer living under the Mosaic law,
these laws were repeated in the New Testament by our Lord and Savior, only in a different form. The ten were boiled down into two: Love God with every fiber of your being, with all the strength that is within you, and
and love and care for your neighbor every bit as much as you
love and care for yourself.
"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
The purpose of the law is to show us our own guilt, much as we would like to deny it. The law gives us God's standards for our behavior; it tells us what He expects from us.
When we measure ourselves by God's standards, we see how badly we have failed, how badly we have sinned, how guilty we are. And we are guilty--- there is no doubt about that!
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not
known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (Rom. 7:7)
I can already hear many people arguing, "Well, I'm pretty good; I keep all the important ones!"
But is that good enough? We all tend to think we're "pretty good" or "good enough". We like to pat ourselves on the back because we keep the "big" ones.
We are all guily. Our human instinct is to cover our sin, to hide our guilt, to rationalize and justify our wickedness. But that won't stand up in the light of God's law.
The law is a mirror that shows us, over and over again, that we are all guilty sinners in need of redemption. Even if we think we do "good enough", the Bible tells us:
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.(James 2:10)
It's a terrible mistake to ever think we are "good enough". We are not to measure ourselves by the standards of others, but by the standards set forth by a pure and holy Almighty God! The law shows us our sinfulness and shows up our disobedience.
It shows us we can never measure up on our own. It shows us how much we need Jesus to make us righteous and clean in God's sight.
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24)