A. The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man. (2 Tim. 3:16,17; John 20:31; Acts 24:14; 1 Cor. 10:11; Eccles. 12:13)
I. THE SCRIPTURES PRINCIPALLY TEACH WHAT MAN IS TO BELIEVE CONCERNING GOD
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
“6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty…”
“1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
“1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”
“The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of 10,000 temporal problems.” — A.W. Tozer
Would you relieve yourself of 10,000 problems? Get a right belief about God. That’s what the Scriptures principally teach.
II. THE SCRIPTURES PRINCIPALLY TEACH WHAT DUTY GOD REQUIRES OF MAN
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
What duty does God require of man? Here are 8 main duties the Lord Jesus requires of us in Scripture.
I) It is your duty to love the LORD with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength
29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
II) It is your duty to love your neighbor as yourself
“The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Have you done that? I can tell you with absolute certainty you have not done that and I have not done that.
22 For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”
Our problem is that there is no small sin because there is no small God to sin against. There is only the infinitely holy One who created us, upholds us, gives all gifts of life to us. He has clearly revealed in our conscience and in the Bible what He requires of us, yet we have all gladly rebelled against Him.We have preferred our way to His, our kingship to His, our rules to His, our path to His, our glory to His. Will what is made say to it’s maker, “You have no right to tell me what to do”? Not with impunity. Sin is cosmic treason.
GALATIANS 3:10, 13
10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”. . . 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.”
The gospel is the good news that what God requires, He provides in Jesus Christ. Whom He provides for by Christ, He purifies by the Holy Spirit. Whom He purifies by the Spirit, He protects by His providence. And whom He protects by His providence, He will one day perfect in His presence.
III) As a sinner who is in the path of the wrath of God, it is your duty to repent and believe the gospel
14 Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
IV) In Christ, your duty is to take up your cross and follow Jesus
34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Recommendation: John Piper’s book What Jesus Demands from the World.
V) In Christ, it is our duty to make disciples of all nations
“18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
VI) In Christ, it is your duty to act and speak in order to glorify God in all of life
1 CORINTHIANS 10:31
“whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
“let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
VII) In Christ, it is your duty to worship God in all of life, especially as a member of a local church
“24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
VIII) In Christ, it is your duty to be anxious for nothing, casting all your anxieties on Him
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
1 PETER 5:6-7
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
“To withhold Scripture from anyone is an act of ecclesiastical robbery as well as spiritual murder.” — Wilhelmus A. Brakel