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|Christian Obedience||JULY 12|
"THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN"
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Eccl. 12:13.
What is the whole matter of which this verse is the conclusion? The matter is Solomon's own experience. He has had every opportunity to enjoy all that the human soul could possibly desire. He has his fill of everything. Finally, he is totally disillusioned with it all. His conclusion: "Vanity of vanities . . . ; all is vanity" (Eccl. 12:8).
In our day of advancement in every field of knowledge and endeavor, we have undoubtedly excelled Solomon. He was convinced, however, that there is no solid happiness or security to be found in this world outside of harmony with God's righteous character as seen in the commandments. 'To fear God and obey Him constitutes man's whole being. In any case, God will bring us to judgment to reveal what choices we have made.
To speak of keeping the commandments as an essential aspect of our whole duty to God might sound like legalism to some. But this is to miss the point. The issue is: how do we stand in relation to God, which is a moral relationship? Whose righteousness will sit in judgment on our morality?
Every act of obedience and faithfulness to God and His commandments brings us into harmony with Him. Christ came into the world to restore us to harmony with God. Obedience is the best evidence that this harmony is being realized. In proportion as we love God enough to obey Him, He will in the judgment pronounce the verdict in our favor.
The law of God should constitute no problem for Christians. It is a revelation of the very moral heart of God to us. The closer we come to Christ, the more our lives are marked with the same moral principles.
When Solomon wanted to make sure that he was right with God, in harmony with Him as against the world, this statement in Ecclesiastes was his conclusion. What evidence do we have that we have reversed the course of our lives from earthly things to the divine, from sin to God? Indeed, it is a serious thing to live in harmony with God. There is no sanction for transgression either in thought or in deed.
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