Fulfilling God’s Requirements

KEY VERSE: “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

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Micah 6:3, 4, 7-13

THE words of the Key Verse were addressed to the nation of Israel, and they are, in essence, a summary of the Law. Apparently, the nation felt too much was being asked of them, so the Lord brought the matter of obedience down to a simple, concise statement. If they were able to abide by the letter of these requirements, they would be blessed accordingly. While these words were spoken only to Israel, the world of mankind will be required to live up to the same standard by the end of the Millennial Age.

The church, during the Gospel Age, is also required to do justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with God according to the best of their ability. All recognize, of course, that perfect performance by the church in the flesh is impossible, but the Heavenly Father has graciously covered those failings and short-comings with the robe of Christ’s righteousness. The Apostle Paul states in Romans 8:1,4, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit … that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us.” The peculiar position of the church in this arrangement is that they are invited to be more than over-comers, that is, to voluntarily live above the strict requirements of the Law and endeavor to keep the spirit of it. This leads to actively seeking out opportunities to express God’s law of love in service which in turn results in the spending of strength, talent and means to glorify the Heavenly Father’s name.

The Apostle Paul in considering this matter said: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”—II Cor. 5:14-17

All things are new in the sense that the complete outlook of the footstep followers of Jesus changes. They have new aims, ambitions and desires. This new attitude of mind centers around an appreciation of the perfection and beauty of God’s laws which reflect his character. The prospective members of the church are motivated to endeavor to conform their minds and lives to the perfection of the pattern set before them. To take this step of consecration and a life of complete devotion to the Lord and his principles is not a requirement. Conversely it must be a voluntary offering, in order to be acceptable to the Heavenly Father. But once the commitment is made there can be no turning back, for, as the Apostle Paul states, to do so would mean they would “crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh.”—Heb. 6:6

The Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1,2 directs his admonition to brethren in the church at Rome who had made a consecration but who apparently had not been diligent in carrying it out. He states that it is by the mercies (grace) of God that the privilege of sacrifice had been given to them, and because of this, they should present (yield) their bodies as living sacrifices which are holy and acceptable to God. The thought is that God had provided that the merit of Christ be applied on their behalf, justifying them in order to make their sacrifice holy and acceptable. The apostle concludes this admonition with the statement that to do this is their reasonable service. It was not God’s commandment that they do this, but in view of all that the Heavenly Father had done for them, it was nothing more than what a good conscience would dictate for them to do.

The apostle then continues to outline the process by which the footstep followers of the Master can transform their minds, which are accustomed to dealing in things of the world, to minds that are in harmony with God’s will and purpose. “Let love be without dissimulation [hypocrisy]. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another.—Rom. 12:9-11,14

Dawn Bible Students Association
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