“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecc. 12:13
“But what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.” 1 Cor. 7:19
I just love how the Lord worded that Ecclesiastes verse. One translation says, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Solomon writes the entire book of Ecclesiastes and expounds on many deep things and touches upon many diverse topics but then he sums it all up by basically saying, “Ok, you’ve read my book and heard all that I had to say, but really all that matters when you add all this up is just simply fear God and keep His commandments.”
I think this is where Paul pulled the verse that he quotes in 1 Cor. 7:19 from. These New Testament writers quoted the Old Testament more than the average person or casual reader thinks. They were constantly in the word digging for truth; they were constantly quoting the Old Testament.
At the end of the day when we all stand before the Lord, there will only be four “persons” present: the Lord and His word, and you and your conscience. The Lord and His word will be in agreement with each other (1 John 5:7). And we need to make sure that our conscience is void of offence toward God and His word.In the mind of the Lord, the Old Testament writers, and the New Testament writers, this issue of “keeping His commandments” was of paramount importance. Love will keep His commandments. Just a cursory glance at the New Testament alone reveals several scriptures that portray this truth:
Matthew 9:17, “but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.”
John 15:10, “If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love.”
1 John 2:3, “And here’s how we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.”
1 John 3:22, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments.”
1 John 5:2, “By this we know that we love the children of God…and keep His commandments.”
1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.”
Rev. 12:17, “And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with her children, which keep the commandments of God.”
Rev. 14:12, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God.”
And there are almost 60 more references in the Old Testament that were not mentioned here.
I saved one of the references because I wanted to talk about it a little further: John 14:15 says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” If you count the bolded words in red, you will notice something of deep interest: the words are words of choice. It’s totally your choice as to whether or not you keep His commandments. He will not force you. The only way that you will be able to keep His commandments is “If you love Me.” Dear reader, how is your love life going with the Lord? Do you truly love Him enough to say “YES” to Him and His word? Do you love Him enough to want to just please Him and be pleasing to Him?
Or does your life and your living say something different to Him? He has come looking for fruit and not just leaves. Brethren, are you bearing fruit unto Him? All that He has ever wanted from you is your heart, your devotion, and your love towards Him and His Father.
John went on to say that His commandments are not grievous or burdensome. In the Old Testament that were made to keep the commandments, but in the New Testament, you have been empowered with grace to keep them. So really, the question is: Do you really love Him enough to do what He said in His word? Love is the fulfillment of the law. Love empowers you to keep the commandments as we seen in the 1 John 5:3 verse above.
One brother worded it this way: “IF YOU LOVE…you will KEEP….” keeping is not a new law….KEEPING IS A REFLECTION OF THE NEW LIFE, which is LOVE! He says in Ex 19…“KEEP MY COVENANT.” How do we keep it? BY FAITH! Keep means to take hold of something and not let go. Esau let go… and Jacob would not! One chose the Love of God…or the God of love…the other chose self over God. The fruit of choosing was Jacob BECAME an every increasingly obedient child of God…Esau an every increasing disobedient child of the devil…”Jacob I have loved (because He choose me) Esau I have hated…because he choose himself over Me.”
He goes on to say, “Man has but one choice in life…whom will he serve…(and) from what tree will he eat? The tree of the knowledge of good and evil…or the tree of life? What man chooses – that he serves (Rom 6:16), and what he serves – he becomes the slave of. If man chooses Christ he is joined to the Lord and becomes one spirit with Him (1 Cor 6:17). And in becoming one spirit with Him…he has chosen love, which is death to the self-life. And because he has chosen Christ over self, he therefore loves and keeps His commandments by abiding in Christ. It is always ‘spiritual obedience’….’by the obedience of one’; and once we share the One life of John 17, the fruit of that abiding is love which is the fulfillment of the law. We become the expression, or manifestation of the life we live…either sin and death…or LIFE OF CHRIST. We receive an obedient life because we choose Christ and His life/love is fulfilled (perfected in us); meaning it is increasingly being manifest through us as a branch as we simply abide. His commandment is LOVE…and we can only love by abiding…and thus fulfill/keep His commandment which is LIFE IN CHRIST.” (bolded & underlined words mine).
We must be very careful how we walk before the Lord. We must do it in great reverence – “Blessed is the man who is always reverent.” Prov. 28:14. And we must never presume upon the Lord. Yes, He is our Father, Brother, Lord and Savior…but He is also our God. There are always two sides to any father: his loving and tender side, and the side that will punish all disobedience quickly when needed. The bible tells us to walk carefully and humbly before Him.
I feel that many just take Him for granted and walk before Him however they feel like, or in the way they think they should. God is watching all and listening to all. He is the silent observer of every thought, motive, intent, word, and deed. Nothing escapes His memory or His books. Only the blood can sprinkle (cleanse) our hearts from an evil conscience.
This truth alone should cause us to walk in great soberness, and solemnity before Him. This truth alone should be strong enough to cause us to “go and sin no more.” Let us not do anything to grieve Him or to hurt His feelings. Yes, God has feelings too; and they run a lot deeper than ours. If your husband/wife committed adultery against you, think of how this would make you feel. Just imagine it for a moment if you can. What type of feelings would rise up in you? Feelings of betrayal, hurt, dishonesty, they shared their most intimate part with another, etc., etc., etc. This is how God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit feel when we sin!! Sin is spiritual adultery against God. When we sin, we are sleeping with His enemy. We are not just sleeping with another friend of His whom He may know; we are sleeping with His greatest enemy whom He hates with all His heart, and who will receive the full brunt of God’s wrath very shortly.
God hates evil. Seven times in the Old Testament God says to “depart from evil.” The New Testament says to hate evil, and to run from evil, and to do no evil. God will judge all sin and all disobedience. He will not be mocked!!
Brethren, again, here is the sum of all matters: Fear God, depart from evil, and keep His commandments. What are His commandments? A quick study of His word will reveal this answer to all. God is not trying to hide anything from anybody.