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The Whole Duty Of Man

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Holy Bible summed up our entire duty in one short verse so that we had perfect and simplistic guidance on how to live our lives? Of course it would, and it does!. Let’s take a look at it:

Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

So, there are two simple, but possibly difficult components to this scripture and we’re going to explore them both:

1. Fear God
2. Keep His Commandments

First, let’s examine the concept of fearing God. The type of fear this refers to is a fear out of respect for his sovereignty, omnipotence, and holiness found in his word. We don’t have to run around all day with our teeth chattering worrying that the Lord is going to strike us down for our transgressions. He very much loves us and wants us to identify with that love. So, this type of fear brings both wisdom and knowledge and is the first of the two stepping stones in the whole duty of man. Worthy of note, one does need to fear the Lord’s ability to cast them into hell if they’ve not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Prov 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

The second part of the whole duty of man is to keep the commandments. There are many commandments in the Holy Bible. Notably the Ten Commandments are always a good starting point (Exodus 20), but we’re also told that all the law and the prophets rest on two unique commandments.

Matt 22:37 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.

Matt 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Well said! First, we must love God with everything that makes us who we are, and next we must love and treat others with the same respect and care we give to ourselves. Pretty powerful stuff if you ask me.

Friends, there are a lot of items to study in the Holy Bible. You can spend a lifetime studying and never digest all of it completely. However, there are certain guidelines that we are given that keep us on track while we are growing spiritually. Ecc 12:13 is a good starter verse for any Christian and even for someone who has been a believer for many years. It rings true for all of us because it is truth inspired directly from our Lord, and that gives it both authority and promise. Thank you for reading and God bless.

About Joel Bauer

Joel M. Bauer is a 49-year-old U.S. Army Veteran from Dunn, NC, which is just outside of Raleigh. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, he attended school at Taylor University, a Christian liberal arts school, in Fort Wayne, IN, where he received his BS in social work and psychology. He has worked in such places as a homeless shelter, a community based treatment center for severe mental illnesses, a school for troubled students, and other social service agencies. His current endeavor is to build The Bottom Line website into a site that inspires both Christians and non-Christians alike, and brings glory to God.

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