“Keep His Commandments"  - Bringing Life out of Death

God has not been silent about how we should conduct ourselves in this life. He has revealed His truth in His Word, and especially in His Law. Jesus and Paul, His chief exponent, said that God gave His Law to men because of sin (Matthew 19:7,8; Galatians 3:19). Something happened in the relationship between God and His image-bearers that found them rebelling against God’s good purposes and plan, turning away from His truth to seek their own, autonomous way in life. The result of this rebellion was the entrance of sin and all its attendant miseries to the human situation. The whole world was affected by the entrance of sin—the fruit of prideful self-seeking—so that ruin, misery, fear, and death became the norm throughout the whole creation. So violent and self-serving did men become that the only law that prevailed among them was the law of power and preference: whoever had the power did whatever he wanted.

God did not condone this way of death; instead, He determined to establish a people unto Himself who would begin the task of reconciling the cosmos back to God. He rescued them from a cruel bondage in a foreign land and gave them His Law as a guide to righteousness and life. By keeping His Law they would know a full and abundant life and be a nation to attract other nations to God and His ways (Deuteronomy 4:1-8), thus becoming a catalyst for renewal for the entire world.

When His people proved unwilling and unable to abide by His Law, God sent His Son to fulfill the Law’s demands on their behalf, and to secure them to Him by a powerful act of grace. The life, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled all the requirements of God’s Law, satisfied the justice His Law demands, and opened a way for all who turn to Jesus to take up that Law as the way of life and love once again (Matthew 22:34-40). This is because Jesus of Nazareth was the Word and Son of God incarnate, as He demonstrated by fulfilling all the ancient prophecies, in His words and works, and by His resurrection from the dead.

Now those who know the redeeming grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ possess the Mystery of God’s Kingdom—the Holy Spirit of God (Mark 4:10,11,22-25)—who dwells in them, prompting them to worship, filling them with gratitude, fitting them for service (Ephesians 5.18-21), and empowering them to live God’s Law and testify of His Son (Ezekiel 36:26,27; Acts 1:8). Those who have been redeemed gladly take up the commandments of God because they know them to outline the way of love for God and love for our neighbors. They see in these commandments—and in all the Word of God—the key to re-establishing much of the original goodness, beauty, and truth of God in the cosmos.

“The Whole Duty of Man" - People with a Mission

Now those who have been redeemed have a duty to perform. They are a people with a mission; that mission is to bear the Good News of Jesus to the whole world, and to call people everywhere to repent of their sins, enter the Kingdom of Christ, take up the Word of God, and join Him in the glorious task of making all things new. Whatever may be our calling in life, we receive our vocation as a gift of God and pursue it with a view to restoring goodness, beauty, and truth to every area of life. So much a part of our lives does this become that Solomon literally says that fearing God and keeping His commandments “is the whole of a man.” That is, everything that is involved in knowing full and abundant, satisfying and rewarding life as a human being is focused in this great worldview calling and challenge. We will never know what it means to “be all that you can be” until we locate ourselves squarely within the framework of truth of the Christian worldview and start to re-organize our lives according to the divine economy.