Question: Isn’t God more interested in what’s in the heart than in the outward behavior? So why worry about the law?
Answer: From the very beginning, God has made obedience to His law the only test of love and loyalty. Sadly, Adam and Eve’s actions showed a divided heart.
God desires to save men from breaking His law by instilling an agape love into the hearts of believers. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). This is the miracle of transformation that God gives to the believer when he invites Him into his heart. “for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God” (1 John 4:7). The believer needs only to submit his will to God. Then, God does the works of obedience in the believer’s heart by His grace “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
John writes that at the end of time every soul will receive the seal of God or the mark of the beast. And the test will be over obedience to the law. The Lord gives the description of the saints as those who keep the commandments of God: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).
Thus, we see that the condition that God set up for man to remain in Eden becomes the same condition for man to return to Paradise. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Love is the motive power of obedience. Obedience that originates from force or from fear is not the ideal form of obedience. One of the best human illustrations of obedience that springs from love is that of children to their parents.
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In His service,