Blessings to you, the readers of this page, in Jesus Christ our Lord. May He guide you and protect you always.

What Does God Really Require Of Us?

Many people have wrestled long hours with this this question: "What does God really require of us?"

Lists of "sins" have been made and minutely categorized. Lists of "virtues" have also been made. Claiming authority from the Bible or from "tradition," doctrines of man have been developed and imposed on almost all facets of human life, from diet to sex, and everything in between.

Fortunately for us, the Bible itself clearly summarizes what God requires from us: first, to have a right relationship with Him; second, to have a right relationship with other people.

Deuteronomy 10:12 describes the right relationship with God: to love Him, fear Him, serve Him, walk in His ways. And Deuteronomy 10:13 describes the right relationship with other people: to keep the statutes and commandments of God, which he has given to us FOR OUR OWN GOOD!

       DEUTERONOMY 10:12-13 (RSV)
       
         _____________________________________________________________
       
        12
               "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of
               you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his
               ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all
               your heart and with all your soul,
        13
               and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD,
               which I command you this day for your good?
         _____________________________________________________________
       
The Ten Commandments provide the most important specific requirements given by God. Commandments one through four describe our relationship with Him, and commandments five through ten describe our relationship to other people.
              The Ten Commandments, Summarized
     1. "Do not put anything ahead of God your Creator."
     2. "Do not make or worship idols."
     3. "Do not take the name of God in vain."
     4. "Take one day of complete rest each week, in honor of God.
     5. "Honor your father and your mother."
     6. "Do not commit murder."
     7. "Do not commit adultery."
     8. "Do not steal."
     9. "Do not tell lies against anyone."
    10. "Do not covet other people's possessions."
                    (Based on Exodus 20:1-17, restated in
                    Deuteronomy 5:6-22)
Jesus summarized the requirements of God this way, revealing that love is the main thing God wants from us: love for Himself and love for other people. All of God's requirements are based on love.
                      The Great Commandment
         _____________________________________________________________
       
        35
               And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test
               him.
        36
               "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
        37
               And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with
               all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your
               mind.
        38
               This is the great and first commandment.
        39
               And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as
               yourself.
        40
               On these two commandments depend all the law and the
               prophets."
         _____________________________________________________________
       
So everything God requires from us springs from these two main requirements: Love God and love your neighbor.

But who, then, is our "neighbor?" When Jesus was questioned about "who is my neighbor?," He answered by giving the parable of the Good Samaritan, which shows that everyone is our neighbor.

Here is the story, faithfully translated from the original.

       LUKE 10:25-37 (RSV)
                           The Good Samaritan
         _____________________________________________________________
        25
               And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test,
               saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal
               life?"
        26
               He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you
               read?"
        27
               And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with
               all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your
               strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as
               yourself."
        28
               And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and
               you will live."
        29
               But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And
               who is my neighbor?"
        30
               Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to
               Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and
               beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
        31
               Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when
               he saw him he passed by on the other side.
        32
               So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw
               him, passed by on the other side.
        33
               But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was;
               and when he saw him, he had compassion,
        34
               and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil
               and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him
               to an inn, and took care of him.
        35
               And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to
               the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him; and whatever
               more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.'
        36
               Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the
               man who fell among the robbers?"
        37
               He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said
               to him, "Go and do likewise."
         _____________________________________________________________

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     Rev. Bill McGinnis  <><
     bmcgin@patriot.net
     

See more pages like this, at our Index of Pearls Of Faith, a treasury of Biblical truths.

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May the Lord bless this presentation of His holy Word.


     Rev. Bill McGinnis  <><
     bmcgin@patriot.net
     

See more pages like this, at our Index of Pearls Of Faith, a treasury of Biblical truths.

Please also see our related pages . . .

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ETHICS & HUMAN RELATIONS
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Blessings to you. May God help us all.

       Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - LoveAllPeople.org

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