The Whole Duty of Man.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
God is Sovereign.
Man is Responsible.
Man is the creature, before God the Creator.
Therefore we are responsible to use the means God gives…..to bring about the Creator’s foreordained ends.
Sadly, all around us, people have lost the true view of God.
And the reason, I believe, is that we don’t see ourselves as created beings before the Creator.
As Christians, whose relationship is one of light and love to our God, we are still required to obey Him, as His creatures.
At the first, man’s only requirement to maintain Paradise, was to obey God.
Christ, our Redeemer, has redeemed us from the penalty of the Law….but not the essential duty of obedience to God’s commands.
God’s promises do not set aside His precepts; on the contrary, Jesus said plainly that we should “continue in His word” (John 8:31); for He, as our example, was obedient to His Father’s will.
John 6:38 “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”
We just need to get obedient to the light we have…..what we know we should do…….the light shown us by the Scriptures.
By One man’s Obedience, we are restored to God.
Romans 5:19 “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.”
That One, Who shall make many righteous, is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul also says: Grace reigns through righteousness, not without it.
Romans 5:21 “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Grace is the unmerited favor of power. Power from the Holy Spirit within any Christian, to be obedient.
We often think that doing good for man, is what God wants us to do.
Sometimes that is true…
John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Sometimes those ideas simply get in the way of what God really wants you to do.
Acts 16:6-7 “Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.”
Paul wanted to go into Asia, but could not. Then they thought to go into what is now the upper part of Turkey, but was told not to, by the Holy Spirit.
God had a better Way for them to go, for now…
Acts 16:9-10 “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; there stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel unto them.”
This they did, “immediately”….and when they came….they waited, getting direction.
Then, going to a river where people gathered for prayer (especially women)….Paul spoke to them of Christ.
Notice he did not go to a synagogue…..but a place of prayer.
Unusual, but the obedience was blessed.
From that, Lydia, from Thyatira, was born again….”and her household”….and would have surely taken the knowledge of Christ back to her city when she left.
Also in that city, Paul and Silas were imprisoned…..yet the jailer and his household was saved (Acts 16:30-34).
Sometimes we think that the small thing that we are called to do, is not that important….but to the Lord, the Lydia’s and the jailers are very important.
The Reality of the matter for each person, is:
Revelation 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
He is the Creator. He created us to be to the praise of His glory, through obedience.
Ephesians 1:11-12 “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
That we should be to the praise of his glory,…”
Predestination has to do with the jobs we are called to do….big things, or small testimonies, or praying….each is “according to the Purpose” of Christ for us.
The whole duty of man is to love and obey God;
This should be a joyful duty, because it is to the One Who gave so much to save me.