MAN'S THREE-FOLD DUTY TO GOD.
Eccl. chapter 12. Read this chapter.
1. There are two things upon which emphasis is based in Ecc. 12.
A. The vanity of man's strength and wisdom.
B. Man's duty to God.
2. In looking at man's duty to God, note the following:
A. That man has certain duties to God in this life, all will agree.
B. Duty is that which is bound, or must be given; that which is due, a debt, or that we owe; an obligation that must be rendered; the dues of a debtor.
C. The original word form which we get the word duty, in its various forms, is translated into each of the definitions above given.
D. Literally, duty is conduct due a superior;homage that we pay; respect to, or an act of respect and love; respectful considerations; that which we owe; the obligation of service; legal, moral, and spiritual obligation.
E. Luke expresses the true meaning of duty, "Even so ye also when ye shall have done all the things that are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which it was our duty to do." Lk. 17:10. The preceding verses explain the force of the truth taught.
F. Because of blessings received, we are duty bound.
"Yea, it hath been their good pleasure; and their debtors they are. For if
the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, they owe it to
them also to minister unto them in carnal things." Rom. 15:27.
"Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin has left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow."
G. This being true, a life of sacrifice and service is not unreasonable, but absolutely necessary. "I beseech you therefore, brethern, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Rom. 12:1,2.
H. Solomon's statement has the tone of finality when he says: "This is the end of the matter: all hath been heard: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Eccl. 12:13,14. I. Solomon was fully qualified to make such a statement, he had experience, wisdom and inspiration.
J. Now let us consider our three-fold duty to God today.
I. APPROPRIATION -- From the standpoint of "taking and using."
A. It is the duty of God's creatures to accept and use that which He has provided for them. We rebel if we do not.
1. By His grace, He gives -- By our faith, we receive and use. Titus 2:11-14.
B. Man must take the cup of salvation. Psa. 116:12-14.
1. "Cup" is often used by the Hebrews to denote plenty, or abundance.
a. So, I will gladly accept and use God's abundance.
2. The salvation which the Lord provides is abundant, even as He is "abundant in lovingkindness and truth." Exo. 34:6.
3. We must accept the responsibility of this abundant gift from God, and use it to His glory. Heb. 2:1-4.
4. Too many, in or modern world, reject this precious treasure, instead of accepting it gladly. Note the following scriptures: Matt. 13:44-46; Prov. 23:23.
5. The cup of deliverance must be lifted high so that others may see and understand. Matt. 5:14-16.
6. All are invited to take of the water of life freely. Rev. 22:17.
7. So, let us sing, "There is a fountain free, tis for you and me, let us haste O haste to its brink; Tis the fount of love from the Source above, and He bids us all freely drink."
C. We must appropriate instructions.
1. Growth and development are impossibe without it. 1 Pet. 2:1,2.
2. Being approved of God depends on it. 2 Tim. 2:15.
3. It will keep us from perishing. Hos. 4:6.
4. Our ability to stand firm for God and win the battle for Christ depends upon it. Psa. 1:1-3; Eph. 6:10-17.
D. Strength may be appropriated from God.
1. Peace with God is found when we learn to depend upon His strength and not our own. Psa. 37:39,40; Prov. 3:5.
2. Our strength is in Christ and is made even stronger when we recognize our weakness. 2 Cor. 12:9,10.
3. We have sufficient strength through Christ to do what God wants us to do. Phil. 4: 13; Psa. 46:1.
E. Life's opportunities must be appropriated.
1. We are given opportunities to serve, failure to do so will bring condemnation. Matt. 25:34-46; Lk. 19:12-27.
II. FORMATION. -- From the standpoint of "making."
A. A study of the word "form" is interesting.
1. One use of the word is to denote special characteristics or features of a person, or thing.
2. One word in the original refers to Christ alone. Mk. 16:12; Phil. 2:6,7.
3. Another denotes an image, or an outward semblance, such as is found in, Rom. 2: 20; 2 Tim. 3:5. Hypocritical in nature.
4. Still another is the representation, or pattern of anything. Rom. 6:17. Following in semblance, or similitude. Rom. 6:3-6.
5. A fifth indicates that which is seen, an appearance of external form. Lk. 3:22; Jno. 5:37.
6. A sixth is used metaphorically to denote a pattern, an example, an outline or sketch. 1 Tim. 1:16; 2 Tim. 1:13. Paul, an example of how sinners may be saved.
7. From this thought we should note that :
B. God has a pattern upon which we should build.
1. God gave Moses a pattern for the building of the tabernacle and commanded him to build according to that pattern. Exo. 25:40.
2. We too, are commanded to build according to the pattern. 1 Cor. 3:10,11; Col. 3: 17; Gal. 1:6-9; 1 Pet. 4:11; 2 Jno. 9; 2 Tim. 1:13.
C. We must "form" things according to the pattern left us.
1. Our preaching and teaching and building up the church must have authority and pattern from God. Jno. 13:15-17; 1 Pet. 2:21; 2 Tim. 2:2.
D. Building for God cannot be fashioned according to this world.
1. A transformation must take place. 1 Pet. 1:13-16; 2 Cor. 3:18.
2. Transformed instead of conformed. Rom. 12:1,2.
E. We have a sacred and solemn duty to form our lives into the likeness of Christ.
1. Begin with the heart. Phil. 2:5-11.
2. From the heart come our words. Matt. 12:34-37.
3. From the heart come the issues of life. Prov. 4:2,3.
III. DONATION: -- From the standpoint of "giving".
A. this third phase of man's duty to Christ is reciprocal. 1 Jno. 4:19.
1. God first loved, and gave. 1 Jno. 3:16; Jno. 3:16.
2. Christ loved, and gave His all.
3. If we truly love, we will give our all, this is the true spirit of giving.
B. We must give or lose all. Matt. 16:25.
C. There are great blessings in giving. Acts 20:35; 1 Pet. 4:7-11.
D. Giving is not easy. The only way to master the art of giving is to first give ourselves. 2 Cor. 8:1-5.
1. Then, we can truly sing; "All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give."
2. We need to give or our time talents, and prosperity.
1. "God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Eccl. 12:13.
2. Performing the "whole duty of man" while we live will present us "approved unto God."
3. The words "well done" at the judgment will make our sacrifices and services here worth while. Rom. 8:;18; 2 cor. 4:16-18.
4. Fulfill your duty to God today that you might be saved.
By Jim Sasser
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