And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good? (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
Nothing Has Changed
The Law of Moses was given to the children of Israel over three thousand years ago but the principles of the covenant between man and God have never changed. In fact, what is contained in the Law of Moses was not a new theology but the same principles that began in the Garden of Eden when the Lord placed man in the garden. Today the covenant of God with man is contained in the body of Christ with the same principles Moses enumerated in his final thesis to Israel. The Lord has taken away the Law of Moses but He did not change His mind of how man should worship Him. What the Lord requires of all men has never changed because He has never changed. His law to Abraham and the Law to the Jews was unique in its structure but lacked the power of cleansing sins through the blood of animals. Only in the blood of Jesus Christ can redemption be found thereby removing the implications of Abrahamic law and the Law of Moses. Salvation is only in the name of Jesus Christ.
Serving God begins with the fear of the Lord. Man must understand who he is as man and who the God of Heaven has always been. The problem man finds himself in turns upon his denial of authority in the Creator. There is no fear in the heart of man. Salvation begins with fear. It is the clear understanding of two things: there is God and man is not Him. Man must fear God to be saved. This fear comes from the respect, honor and glory deserving of the Lord God Almighty.
Secondly, fearing the Lord demands walking in the ways of the Lord. It is not in man to know how to walk in this world because he is helpless, in need of a Savior. The sheep is a vivid example of the state of man. He is an animal that has no defenses to protect him from wild animals and he is unable to know where to find green pastures and still waters. Only the shepherd can provide for the sheep. The animals trust the shepherd and will follow him because they know he is their protector. Man must walk in the ways of the Lord to find peace, happiness and protection. Obedience to the word of God is not just a good idea but a lifesaving decision. Man cannot walk in his own way because he will fail. Fearing the Lord demands going where the Lord directs, walking in a manner chosen by God and following wherever the Shepherd leads. His choice – not mine.
Love is basis of obedience. Doing all that is in the word of God is from a heart that is fully devoted to the commands of the Lord. He knows what is best for us looking out for our welfare and safety. Keeping the commandments of the Lord is not a harsh relationship but filled with a love to please the Father. No greater joy is brought to the heart of the child than following the will of the Father. Obedience expresses love and magnifies it. Fear and love are the building blocks of a deep relationship of obedience. A love that wants to please the Father is an active spirit of serving the Lord with a full heart and soul. There is no middle ground to this kind of love. We must fall madly in love with God and spend our life showing how much we love Him. He is our life, our existence, our future, our today, our hope and promise and our guide. There is nothing we want to do that will hurt my God. Every part of my heart is filled with a constant longing to talk with the Lord and to hear His words in my ear. Serving God with all the heart and with all the soul will not leave room for things of the world. He will be my all in all and the fullness of my soul.
Serving God requires commandment keeping. The health and wealth religion of today proclaims a salvation by feelings and joy, denying man must do anything to save his soul. Moses declared the people of Israel must keep the commandments and statures commanded by God. That did not originate with Moses. Adam and Eve lost their place in the garden because they did not keep the commandment and statute of the Lord. The early world of Noah was destroyed for the same reason. God emphasized this in the Law of Moses. Jesus declared the same message when He taught His disciples that loving Him was keeping His commandments. Salvation comes through the grace of God but faith without works is dead. God’s will has never changed. If men refuse to obey the commandments and statutes of the Lord, they will be lost.
Nothing has changed. What does the Lord require? Salvation is through Jesus Christ and what a glorious redemption is found in the love of God. The will of God has not changed. Fearing the Lord with a heart devoted in love, keeping the commandments and statutes of the God is still required. He commands this for our good and our good will only find eternal life when we follow the requirements of the Lord.