While Jesus was on earth he lived under the Old Covenant.
Yet, using his authority as the Son of God, the Messiah/Christ, (Matthew 26:63-65; John 4:25-26; Matthew 11:27; 28:18; John 10:30; 12:49-50; 13:3; 14:10-11;) he gave us some insight into the New Covenant.
This is evident in the account of the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:1-11).
The prevailing view was that Moses law required her to be put to death (Leviticus 20:10).
Yet, Jesus short circuited that death penalty requirement of the law by not condemning her but allotting her grace.
Yet he did not discount her sin as not a serious violation of God’s will for he told her to go and sin no more (John 8:11).
In so doing he revealed the framework for the New Covenant of grace. A covenant that withholds the death penalty but not necessarily chastisement (Hebrews 12:5-11) with the understanding that he/she that receives such grace will strive to sin no more.
In 1 John 1:9 and Romans 6:1-2, respectively, John and Paul echoes this principle of repentant faith that Jesus sets forth.
Indeed, Jesus began his public preaching with the message of repentance (Matthew 4:17).
The New Covenant came in full force not just a precursor with Jesus death on the cross as stated in Hebrews 9:16-18.
Hebrews 8:7-13 and Hebrews 10:16-18 quote from Jeremiah 31:31-34 some details about the New Covenant.
That with Hebrews 9:16-18 establishes that the New Covenant is in effect.
Hebrews 8:10 speaks about the law of God being put in the believers mind and written on his heart.
Therefore, it is clear that God under the New Covenant holds obedience to his law/commandment to be important to him even under the covenant of grace. This is the essence of Jesus telling the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more. This is the essence of Paul saying God forbid that we should continue in sin just because we are under grace (Romans 6:1-2).
So then let me for sake of brevity only deal with the ten commandments as points of obedience though there are other points in the bible.
First let me say that in Matthew 22:34-40 in his answer to the question of what is the greatest commandment, Jesus speaks of the spirit of carrying out the commandments.
The point is every disciple of Christ should strive to surrender to the Holy Spirit to obey and repent if one fails to obey (Matthew 4:17; 1 John 1:9)
Also, between them John, James, and Paul write about how disciples of Christ should obey the principles set forth in the ten commandments such that obedience to the Sabbath commandment being about spirit (Rom 7:6; 2 Cor 3:6) more than letter.
They write about this after Jesus death on the cross and resurrection. Therefore, it is illogical to say obedience only applied prior to Jesus death.
For the true disciple of Christ (John 3:16; John 8:31-32; Ephesians 1:6-7), failure to always obey the ten commandments including the spirit of the Sabbath will not result in lost of salvation.
The point of Matthew 19:16-30 is not that we should not strive to keep the commandments for they are good to keep; but, it is that none other than Jesus have kept them to God’s standard.
With respect to keeping the sabbath in spirit rather than letter, Col 2:16 cautions against judging regarding sabbath days.
Also in this regard, Jesus says the Sabbath is made for man not man for the Sabbath.
In my view the compelling reason for Col 2:16 that is that it is difficult for people so far removed from the land of Israel in the days of Moses to know exactly what day is the Sabbath Day as folks use numerous formulas to calculate the Sabbath day.
For example, in my study and discussion with folks on what day is the Sabbath in this day and time sincere well meaning people who love God don’t agree: (2) it is based on when time began in Genesis 2:1 and we know beyond a shadow of doubt that Saturday was Saturday/7th-day in the beginning, (2) it is based on the New Moon and therefore will possibly start a different calendar day of the week each month and each year, (3) it is not based on the New Moon, (4) it is always the 7th, 14th, 21nd, and 28th of each month (5) it is always the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of each month, (6) it is based on there being 364 days as given in the book of Jubilee chapter 6; this will result in the year eventually starting in winter rather than spring; and so on
Even considering Hebrew 4 about Jesus being our sabbat rest at some level, it is still good to take a day of rest weekly and to ensure one’s household takes one and if you are an employer to give your employees one (Exodus 20:10).
I do not speak here as to getting saved. I only speak here saying those who are saved should strive to be obedient.
Praise God for the blood Jesus shed for remission of sin; yet let us strive for obedience to his will for our individual and collective lives.
My list of Ten Commandments in the New Testament/ Covenant is given below to include correspondence between the Old Testament and New Testament:
Here are the Ten Commandments and some examples of where they are found in the New Testament.
Note that John, James, and Paul writings of the Holy Spirit occurred after Jesus death on the cross.
Therefore, it would be illogical to say they only applied before Jesus death on the cross.
1) Do not worship any other gods — Exodus 20:3 — Matthew 4:10; 22:27; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Timothy 2:5
2) Do not make idols — Exodus 20:4-6 — 1 Cor 6:9; 10:14; Eph 5:5; 1 John 5:21
3) Do not misuse the name of the LORD — James 5:12; Exodus 20:7 — 1 Timothy 6:1
4) Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. — Exodus 20:8-11 — see below
5) Honor your father and your mother — Exodus 20:12 — Matthew 15:3-6; 19:16-21; Ephesians 6:1–2
6) Do not murder — Exodus 20:13 — Matthew 5:21-22; 19:16-21; Romans 13:9; Gal 5:19-21; 1 Peter 4:15
7) Do not commit adultery — Exodus 20:14 — Matthew 5:27-28; 19:16-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10
8 ) Do not steal — Exodus 20:15 — Matthew 19:16-21; Ephesians 4:28
9) Do not give false testimony — Exodus 20:16 — Matthew 19:16-21; Col 3:9; Eph 4:25; Revelation 21:8
10) Do not covet — Exodus 20:17 — Romans 7:7; Ephesians 5:3-5; Colossians 3:5
Except for the 4th commandment having to do with the Sabbath, all of the ten commandments are brought forward into the New Covenant to be obeyed by disciples of Christ both in spirit (Rom 7:6; 2 Cor 3:6) and in letter.
Obedience to the Sabbath commandment is more about spirit (Rom 7:6; 2 Cor 3:6) than letter.
Seemingly the reason the Sabbath is not brought forward in the same way as the other nine is that once Israel was disbursed outside of the land of Israel there would be no command and communication structure to retain and pass down knowledge as to when the Sabbath would be kept.
Indeed, people have various formula today for determining what day is the Sabbath.
Hence Col 2:16 says let no one judge you as to Sabbath days or holy days.
Let me briefly address the 2nd commandment. The 2nd commandment is about idolatry. It says one shall not worship a graven image that is the likeness of anything in heaven above, in the earth or under the earth. Now it cannot say one cannot have an image of such things for then one could not even have an image of a car or a picture of ones children for they are certainly in the earth. The idea is clearly one is not to worship such things; it is all about idolatry.
Some people wear a cross that symbolizes the sacrifice of Jesus in shedding his blood for the remission of our sins. Wearing such a cross does not violate the 2nd commandment; the cross does not represent some false god one is worshipping.
For a more detailed discussion of the Sabbath see About the Christian Sabbath and Lord’s Day