It has been my joy to write this blog for a number of years. My aim is to encourage "whosoever that would read" to move towards a Calvinistic and Reformed path. One that honours the written Scriptures and the truths therein, so that reform takes place in our ideas, regarding the doctrine of God, our thoughts about the church and public worship, the doctrine we hold and the way the church should be governed under Christ.
Once bad habits set in, it can be hard to change them, but if the Holy Spirit is at work then a change of direction, in our thinking and action is more than possible. We are living at a juncture in the West, where the church is largely in a state of spiritual confusion. Due to wrong teaching, many churches have no moral compass, other than what the consensus thinks is morally right. Without a robust love of the Ten Commandments, this is no surprise. Quite often I hear the phrase in discussing biblical truth: "I do not agree" or "I cannot accept that ... " or "I have a different opinion". These comments may be valid, but often they underlie a thought pattern that we can all believe what we want rather than being submitted to the right interpretation of Scripture. Romans 4:3 is crucial as Paul asks: "What does the Scripture say?".
Simply put, the Book of Deuteronomy offers many valuable lessons for the church today. Why? The message is the same as for the New Testament church as to what the Covenant LORD expects from his people in every age, in every continent. It is this. He expects Covenant faithfulness. But, what does that look like in practice?
Deuteronomy chapters 4, 6 and 8 are helpful to summarise what covenant faithfulness is to look like among the people of God.
4:1-2 “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.
4:4-5 "But you who held fast to the LORD your God are all alive today. See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
4:9 "Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—".
How may we summarise these truths? The people of the Covenant LORD are to walk in covenant faithfulness by:
*Listening to the statutes and rules
*To do these statutes and rules
* Not adding or taking away from the commandments, that you may keep them and obey them
* Hold fast to the LORD and do the LORD's commandments
*Take care and keep your soul diligently
* Teach your children and your children's children to do the same
In essence, covenant faithfulness means to hear and listen carefully to the Scriptures being faithfully read and taught faithfully publicly. The Bible is not primarily a private book, but the possession of the whole people of God. We are to do then the commandments and to keep the teaching faithfully. As the Lord Jesus said in John 14:15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments"; John 14:21 "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me"; John 15:10 "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love". Here Christ Jesus is effectually summarising the same teaching that is found in Deuteronomy.
Covenant faithfulness is what the LORD requires of his people. Let us pray that the whole church would desire to walk in covenant faithfulness by his grace.