When students enter a new class they usually ask, "What are the requirements? How many tests will there be? Will we have to write a term paper? And if so, how long must it be?" How much homework and extra reading will there be? Etc. It's the same in the workplace. Employees want to know their job description. What is required of me? Everybody wants to know the requirements, including Christians. In our text Moses asks, "And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee..." Now keep in mind that this text addresses people who already know God; those who already have a personal relationship with Him. So this is speaking of requirements for living a Christian life, not entering it. If you have no personal relationship with the Lord, realize that the only requirement that you should consider today is to be born again.
1 John 3:23a, "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ…"
We would love to help you understand this one and only requirement that God has for your today. We will invite you to come and place your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary, and I pray that you will do just that. Come to Jesus by faith in Him and in Him alone!
However, our text this morning deals with those who know Him in a real and personal way. God has some requirements for every Christian today. This text is to Israel, but by application we can learn some things that are for us today.
I. Fear Him
1. The word 'fear' means "respect" or "reverence."
2. That is absolutely correct, but we need to understand that although believers should not be afraid of God, because he is their heavenly Father.
3. Fear can be healthy
4. ex. Dad and jobs assigned
5. Sometimes it is the only thing that motivates people to fulfill their obligations.
B. Unfortunately many believers today have lost the fear of the Lord.
1. One of the greatest tragedies we face today is casual Christianity!
2. Having such an attitude toward God and His Son, Jesus that we convince ourselves that there are no real consequences of neglecting Bible reading, prayer, or the local church.
3. I am not talking about fear losing our salvation …
4. But I am talking about a healthy fear of God that will motivate us to be more than casual Christians!
5. One day we will stand before God and give an account of how we have used the gifts and talents that He has given to us.
6. And that is not a light thing to consider…
II. Walk in His Ways
A. To walk with someone is to be close to them; how close are we with the Lord?
B. Walking implies several things:
1. It implies action.
a. Walking is the opposite of sitting and doing nothing.
b. If we are Christians, then we should act like it.
c. We need to live the things we believe.
d. We need to allow others to see our faith at work.
e. It is time for us to become active…no room for pew-potatoes…let's get moving in our spiritual life.
2. It implies progress.
a. If we take one step and then sit down, that's not much of a walk.
b. Are we growing in Christ?
c. Are we more spiritually mature than we were a year ago?
d. If not, why not? Every disciple should be on 'the grow'.
3. It implies perseverance.
(Genesis 5:22-24) And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
a. We can be sure that many obstacles to his faith confronted Enoch during those three centuries.
b. But he didn't give up; he continued walking with God.
c. Often I meet people who say, "I used to live for Christ, but then such and such happened."
d. They have grown complacent toward Christ over the years, but God expects us to persevere through every obstacle as we walk with him.
e. We cannot claim to walk in the Lord's ways if we just show up at church on Sunday and then for all practical purposes forget Him the rest of the week.
(Ephesians 2:2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
f. If are not walking with Christ we are walking in disobedience; there is no middle ground.
III. Love Him
A. The first and great commandment.
(Matthew 22:37-38) 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.
B. Love for our Lord enables us to trust Him.
1. Here is a scene that is replayed over and over again…it is night time, there is a storm brewing with thunder and lightning…a child comes to their parents bedroom and asks, "Can I sleep with you?"
2. Why? The storm doesn't simply go away when they crawl into bed with mom or dad.
3. It is about trust! They trust mom and dad because of their love for them!
4. If we love God we can face whatever comes our way because we trust Him to see us through.
C. Where's the love?
1. We can be sure of this: If Jesus is not the object of our affections, something or someone else is!
2. But is it worthy of our love?
(1 John 4:19) We love him, because he first loved us.
3. Jesus gave us the ability to love in the first place, so we should love him above everything and everyone else.
IV. Serve Him
A. Note the connection:
1. Because we love Jesus we serve Him.
2. It would be wrong for our love to do nothing.
3. True love always longs to show itself in action.
B. How do we spell 'service'?
1. Many spell it "serve us."
2. Many come to church in order to be served rather than to serve.
3. A worship service is not a performance!
4. Note the story of a little boy listening to his parents on Sunday afternoon.
C. The Bible clearly teaches that every believer is to do the work of the ministry!
(Ephesians 4:11-12) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
1. There are two responsibilities outlined in this verse.
2. One is my responsibility: 'perfecting or maturing the believers'
3. The second is the believers' responsibility to do the 'work of the ministry'.
4. Together as we each fulfill our roles, we will see the 'edifying or building up of the body of Christ'.
D. How are you serving the Lord?
1. What is your area of service?
2. Are you faithful to do it?
3. No excuses…God requires us to serve Him!
V. Obey Him
A. Partial obedience = disobedience.
1. We wouldn't accept it in others…
2. Why do we think that God will accept it?
3. Scripture is filled with examples off people who tried to offer God partial obedience.
4. But He always treated disobedience.
5. Example of Saul
(1 Samuel 15:3) Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
(1 Samuel 15:9) But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
(1 Samuel 15:22) And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Our text reminds us that these requirements are for our good. If we choose to do go our own way it will not be 'for our good'. Now and again parents will want to know why their students received a particular grade in a class. More often than not, it is a reflection of the student's failure to fulfill the requirements. The first impulse is to blame the teacher…or the school…but it isn't the school or the teacher's fault a student fails to do the required work! When we stand before God, there will be no one to point a finger toward for why we didn't fear the Lord, walk in His ways, love Him, serve Him, and obey Him. This morning, if you have never placed your faith in Jesus Christ's finished work on Calvary; the only requirement is that you do so now. It is a requirement, because to fail to come to Jesus in faith means an individual will go out into eternity unprepared…they will be separated from God forever in an awful place called Hell.
(Acts 4:12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
If you are a believer, if you are born again, how are we doing with these requirements? Perhaps we need to come this morning and meet God at this altar. Surrender your heart and life today