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Passage of the Week – January 8, 2012

January 8, 2012

[4] “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [5] You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. [6] And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. [7] You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. [8] You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. [9] You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

(Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV)

 

These words should be familiar to anyone who has spent any time studying Jewish culture and the Bible. Deuteronomy 6:4 comprises the Shema and is recited by Jews every day. The plain confession to the one God of monotheism is hard to miss. For centuries Christian apologists have looked to this verse in defense of monotheism and that there is only one God. Of course we have the benefit of the New Testament and we know that God exists as one eternal being in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.)

However, it is not my burden today to provide a defense of the Trinity. What I want to focus on is the rest of this passage. Notice the command present in the next verse. How can we love the Lord in this manner? How can we love anything in this manner? What does this look like? Lest we think that Christians are exempt from this we must remember that this is repeated by Christ in the New Testament (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, and Luke 10:27.)

The next question that needs to be asked is do we obey this? Have you loved the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength in the last day? What about the last hour? I know I haven’t. One of the hardest things about living as a Christian on this side of Eternity is dealing with the demands of the Law. God requires perfection (Matthew 5:48.) the trouble is that even in our redeemed state we miss the mark of perfection. To be sure the process of sanctification continues and we are to be growing toward that goal but we will always find areas where we fall short.

This is why I am convinced that Christians need the gospel as much as non-Christians. We need to be reminded that the demands of God’s perfect Law are beyond our ability to meet. It is only as we lean on Christ and His perfect righteousness that we can approach God. The wonderful thing about this is the more you lean on Him, the more you are protected from sin and temptation.

As for the rest of today’s passage, I think it is self-explanatory. Always remember the Law and make it a part of your life and family. Remember also that the Law must always point us to the Gospel.

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