SBS Sermon Notes

SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 02/05

The Law of Yahweh

1. Man's Duty

We live in a world in which the Law of the Most High is given little or no attention. Sad to say even in the churches Yahweh's law is considered by many to be obsolete, a veritable burden and of little practical use to the new-covenant believer. Is this conclusion the Truth:? and if so does the Bible teach it? Listen to these words of wisdom by two of the wisest men that ever walked this earth (Solomon son of David and Jesus Son of God):
Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12:13
Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Jesus in Matthew 19:16-17
And behold one came and said unto him, 'Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?' And he said unto him. 'Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
In view of such statements let all beware of classifying the Almighty's law as being obsolete.

2. The Greatest Commandment

Yes the commandments are important no matter what people may say: and some commandments are more important than others. In Matthew 22:36-39 we discover this fact.
Question: Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Answer: 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.
  • And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
Let us examine those two important words 'fear' and 'love' as used in these passages of Scripture.

3. Fear Yahweh

English 'fear:' An unpleasant emotion caused by the nearness of danger or expectation of pain.
Or the reverence or awe felt for God.
Hebrew 'yare': to fear, revere, be afraid, stand in awe of, honour, respect.
Greek 'phobos': fear, dread, terror;     or reverence for one's husband

When used in connection with man's duty to God the word 'fear' means primarily to 'hold Jehovah in reverential awe;' to consider Him so great a person that His will must be placed above one's own. To fear God means to be afraid to the extent of abandoning one's own wishes in favour of His - to walk in His ways. It is an expression which begins with holy awe, progresses to respectful admiration and matures to reverential love and worship. And mature love always manifests itself in willing obedience. This process begins a chain of benefits.
Psalm 111:10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and a good understanding have they that do His commandments."
Fountain of Life
Proverbs 14:26-27 "In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death."
Proverbs 15:16 "Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith."
Proverbs 19:23 "The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil."

4. Love the LORD thy God

The word 'love' is probably the most misunderstood word in the English language. It means different things to different people. Just say the word 'love' and into a dozen minds will spring a dozen different ideas. Your concept of the word 'love' will be somewhat different to others. In view of these differences of opinion how can we express our 'love' to Yahweh? What do we have to do? How can we be sure that our love is the type of love the Most High is calling for? The Messiah answers these difficult questions for us in these words.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
v 21 He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me ...
v 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
We see here that obedience is proof of love; and disobedience is proof that love is absent. Obedience is, in fact, faith and love in action. The Bible says that obedience is better than praise or sacrifice and that in the courts of heaven is the most acceptable testimony a believer can give.
1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said: Hath the Lord as great a 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.
In the final analysis we will all be judged, not by how much we possess, not by how much we know or understand or even by how much we praise God; but by whether we obey Him or not. And though we are not justified (cleared of past sins) by the deeds of obedience, (for justification comes through faith in Christ;) we are nevertheless evaluated, graded and rewarded according to the deeds done in this life.
Romans 2:6 ... God Who will render to every man according to his deeds.
See study on Works ... Are they Important?

5. How are we to obey?

Question: To what extent is obedience expected of us?
Answer: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul.

This is not just a New Testament concept or command. It is old: and it was, and still is, possible to keep; as the following examples prove.
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
1 Chronicles 29:2 I have prepared with all my might ...
2 Kings 23:25 And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his might ...
Notice how Yahweh wants the whole individual; not to become a slave-like robot incapable of individual thought who mechanically does what he is told. Yahweh wants His followers to respect, love and obey Him, with heart and soul. That, according to king Solomon, is the whole duty of mankind: and, as the Saviour said, was the entrance to life.


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Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Placed on Internet Dec.1995 ... Updated with KJV references July 1999