Repentance - the starting point
The great commandment
Jesus and the ten commandments



- Verses from three of the first sermons given by John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the Apostle Peter

Matthew 3:1-2 - "In due course John the Baptist arrived, preaching in the Judean desert: You must change your hearts (repent) - for the kingdom of Heaven has arrived!"

Matthew 4:17 - From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "You must change your hearts (repent) - for the kingdom of Heaven has arrived!"

Acts 2:38-40 - (The apostle) Peter told them, "You must repent and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, so that you may have your sins forgiven and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For this great promise is for you and your children - yes, and for all who are far away, for as many as the Lord our God shall call to himself!"

Peter said much more than this as he gave his testimony and implored them, saying, "Save yourselves from this perverted generation!"


Matthew 22:36-40 - "Master (one of the Sadducees, an expert in the Law, said to Jesus), what are we to consider the Law's greatest commandment?" Jesus answered him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'

This is the first and great commandment. And there is a second like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' The whole of the Law and the Prophets depends on these two commandments."

Mark 12:28b-33 - (One of the scribes to Jesus ....) "What are we to consider the greatest commandment of all?" "The first and most important one is this," Jesus replied - 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength.'

The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these."

"I am well answered," replied the scribe. "You are absolutely right when you say that there is one God and no other God exists but him; and to love him with the whole of our hearts, the whole of our intelligence and the whole of our energy, and to love our neighbours as ourselves is infinitely more important than all these burnt-offerings and sacrifices."

Luke 10:25-28 - Then one of the experts in the Law (a scribe) stood up to test him and said, "Master, what must I do to be sure of eternal life?" "What does the Law say and what has your reading taught you?" said Jesus.

"The Law says, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind' and 'your neighbour as yourself'," he replied. "Quite right," said Jesus. "Do that and you will live."


Matthew 5:17-20 - (Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount ....) "You must not think I have come to abolish the Law (including the Ten Commandments) or the prophets. I have not come to abolish them but to complete them. Indeed, I assure you that, while Heaven and earth last, the Law will not lose a single dot or comma until its purpose is complete. This means that whoever now relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men to do the same will himself be called least in Heaven.

But whoever teaches and practises them will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that your goodness must be a far better thing then the goodness of the scribes and Pharisees before you can set foot in the kingdom of Heaven at all!

The Ten Commandments (The New King James Version)

Exodus 20:1-17 - And God spoke all these words, saying: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.


(1) You shall have no other gods before me.

(2) You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments.

(3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

(4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.


(5) Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

(6) You shall not murder.

(7) You shall not commit adultery.

(8) You shall not steal.

(9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

(10) You shall not covet your neighbour's house, you shall not covet your neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour's."

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J.B.Phillips, "The New Testament in Modern English", 1962 edition, published by HarperCollins, is presented here with the kind permission of Mrs Vera Phillips and the J.B.Phillips estate