Friday, February 26, 2010

Defined Requirements

Some people make serving God exceptionally difficult. He has made it very simple. The difficult part does come in when we are not close to Him, when we don’t follow what He has shown us.

Very clearly has He laid out what He expects. He has told us what is our duty.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV)

He has laid out what is required.

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8 KJV)

He has defined all of His commandments.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV)

There is more, of course, but this is the simplicity of a child, as Christ said we must be to come to Him.

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. (Mark 10:15 KJV)

We do not do our duty. We do not meet the Lord’s requirement. We cannot keep all of His commandments – not even the two on which hang all the law and the prophets. We cannot earn the right to come to Him.

God knew this from the beginning and planned ahead. He laid out what He was going to do for us – offer mercy through grace.

But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, (Acts 15:11a KJV)

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:4-5 KJV)

Paul repeats that, as though we can’t possibly hear it enough, just a few verses later.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)

We always come back to faith. That which so many have lost. Without it, we cannot come to God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 KJV)

Yet God has given instructions on how to gain faith, to grow faith – and the means to do so.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)

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