Implications of the Great Commandment
By Dean E. Boelt
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment" (Mt. 22:35-38; cf. Deut. 6:4-5).
• To use religion for any purpose other than to bind people to God in unyielding allegiance to Him is to pervert it. The object of Christ's sacrifice for the world's sins was to bring people to God His Father (I Pet. 3:18). Thus, the efforts of the church should be bent to that end, and to build them up and settle them in Him.
• Fellowship and walk with God require reconciliation to Him on the part of men. That is just because two cannot walk together, "except they be agreed" (Amos 3:3). Men must do all the giving in order to that agreement; God will not relent in any of His demands upon them in order thereto (Isa. 55:6-9; Jas. 4:7-8). It is true that God gives grace in this matter, but this does not exempt men in any wise from the responsibility imposed upon them. Men must seek Him with the whole heart, and He will be found, as the Scripture declares.
• The love of God by men entails full reconciliation to Him in His purpose and ways. Thus, the proviso of Ephesians 3:20, concerning God's ability to do "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." That is done "according to the power that worketh in us," which is the power of Christ's resurrection which works in us only for the accomplishment of God's will.
• David, in Psalm 37, sets forth the right procedure. "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy ways unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass" (vv. 4-5).
• Such reconciliation to God and delight in His will radically alters one's natural desires and ambitions. So will he want and seek what is in full harmony with God, and so will certainly receive from God the desires of His heart.
• What is, therefore, needed today is the willing exposure to extensive proclamations of the gospel, and of the Persons of the Godhead: of God, Christ, and the kingdom—it's manner and way. As the Apostle declared, “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (I Cor. 1:21). That subject matter (namely, the gospel) should replace the popular one of "how to, which now monopolizes the religious seminars.
• The only effective way to deal with the "how to syndrome, created by the problems and difficulties of life in the body and the world, is to acquaint people with God and His ways, and seek to reconcile them to Him and them. In that state of familiarity and reconciliation, they will be enabled to work out their own salvation, without a lot of human counseling. It is futile to try to solve the problems for them without" their possessing a lively knowledge of and agreement with God. –Noted and recorded by Fred O. Blakely