I've heard it said my whole life that the ceremonial laws, governing ritual and physical cleanliness, were fulfilled in Christ, but the moral laws, especially the Ten Commandments, are still in tact. While it is true that the ceremonial laws were indeed fulfilled by Christ, it is interesting to me that in Galatians 4 when Paul speaks of the covenant we are no longer under, he speaks of the "one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage." (Gal. 4:24) The covenant from Mount Sinai included the big 10.
In fact in Romans 13:8-10, the Apostle teaches, "Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,' and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Continually throughout the New Testament we are told that the requirements of the New Covenant are fulfilled with Love. The entire law (not just ceremonial) was wrapped up in the Old Covenant and was fulfilled in Christ.
His death ushered us into a new agreement with God, the fulfillment of which is based, not on a strict standard of rules and regulations where the slightest slip-up results in our condemnation, but on two principles that capture the heart of God and reveal His passion and driving motivation; Love Him with everything in you, and love others with that same fervor.
So what do we do with the old law? Paul goes further in Galatians 4 to say the the old law, given under the covenant at Mt. Sinai, (which includes the 10 commandments) brings bondage and death. Paul continues to teach that the old law, (the one that we typically reference when we think of sin and holiness) was simply our tutor that revealed to us our utter helplessness to be completely righteous in our own effort and strength. The Law was given to convince us of our need for a Savior. The old agreement with God found in the Law was sufficient until the new agreement was procured in Christ. Under the New Covenant, God's requirements for holiness are fulfilled when we love Him with our whole being. Love for each other is the natural outflow of such divine passion.
The awesome news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we are released from the bondage of the old law and are no longer made righteous by adherence to it. Instead we are made righteous by trusting and resting in the One who satisfied the old requirements by His death on the cross. That is not to say we have liberty to break the ten commandments; Paul also warns in Galatians not to use our liberty as a license to sin. It does however mean that when we concentrate on loving God and loving others, the other commands will take care of themselves.
Our problem is that we are under the New Covenant but still try to meet the requirements of the old one. We heap the requirements of the Old Law on ourselves and others demanding strict obedience. The result is self righteousness, bondage, and condemnation under the guise of holiness. The liberty that Christ died to secure, goes out the window along with our peace and holiness. Oh we may have good days where we made all the right choices and feel we have measured up, but by and large we find our Christian walk is more of a roller-coaster ride of success and failure.
We find ourselves living in the latter part of Romans 7 where Paul describes the experience of wanting to do good but consistently falling short. Why is this? Because righteousness, holiness, and godliness has never and will never come about by human effort, ability or desire. When we concentrate on the old standard of living set by the Old Law, we quickly find it unobtainable.
When however, we stop striving to be something we are not and begin to focus on loving God, and in faith trusting Him to transform us and bring our hearts and desires in alignment with His heart and desires, we find both liberty and power to live holy lives characterized by love, not legalism. When this becomes our focus we find ourselves testifying along with the Apostle, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)