The Ten Commandments are the only words in the Bible that were written by God Himself. (In fact the only words in recorded history to have been written by God Himself.) The rest of the Bible (verbal plenary inspiration), although authoritative, does not carry the same weight. This is evidenced in Matthew 5:17-18:
17. “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill."
18. "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished." (NASB)
While Jesus said that He came to fulfill both the Law and the Prophets, He does not mention the prophets in the following verse; only the Law, meaning the words that were written by the Finger of God. Jesus fulfilled what the prophets spoke of Him AND the ceremonial laws that were prophetic types of what would be required to fulfill in respect to the weightier matters of the Law. However, the Ten Commandments (the component of the Law written by God Himself) shall be the criteria by which all men shall be judged, even though Jesus Himself is, and will be, the Judge of all men, having paid the ransom to redeem what was lost at the fall.
The role of the Ten Commandments today has not changed from when they were first written by the Finger of God. The role of the Ten Commandments are these:
1. A guide to how we can relate to Father of Life, the Lord God, Creator of Heaven and Earth (i.e. Universe) without violating our relationship with Him.
2. A guide to how we can relate to other human beings without violating each other's rights and disregarding individual dignity, having been created in the image of God.
3. To inform people that God has an inheritance for all those who obey His commandments.
4. To inform people that God is prepared to help ALL who call upon His name.
5. To inform people of the consequences of disregarding the Source of Life.
6. To inform people the Judge of Heaven and Earth exercises mercy.
7. To provide an authoritative guide for the interpretation of the Bible.
The Ten Commandments are often thought to be merely a set of rules. However, as is evident in the book "The Only Words Written By The Finger Of God", there are some twenty or more academic disciplines covered by what the Lord God wrote that embrace every aspect of life when it comes to human relationships and associated activities that affect those relationships. These range through and include the many branches of inquiry within theology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and economics.
Essentially, understanding the Ten Commandments is essential for a purposeful and healthy lifestyle; a lifestyle that is dependent upon possessing sound spiritual, psychological, social, financial and physical well-being.