Then all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will stand in awe of you.
I. GOD'S PEOPLE CALLED BY HIS NAME. God calls or names his Name upon them, i.e. distinguishes, owns, chooses, recognizes them as his, by dwelling among them (2 Corinthians 3:16), by causing his blessing to rest upon them, by answering their prayers, by favoring their cause, by establishing their work (Psalm 90:13-17). "God is love" (1 John 4:8). His "Name" expresses pre-eminently that attribute of his character (Exodus 34:6, 7). It can, therefore, be revealed only upon or in relation to his own people.
II. NOMINAL AND REAL CALLING. "They are not all Israel which are of Israel" (Romans 9:6). Real, as distinguished from nominal, saints are marked:
1. By obedience to the Divine commands (ver. 9; Matthew 7:22).
2. By separation from the world (2 Corinthians 7:17, 18).
3. By the power of holiness dwelling in them.
4. By manifold tokens of the Divine favor.
Thus the world "sees" them to be what they are (Acts 4:13).
III. THOSE KNOWN TO BE CALLED BY GOD'S NAME ARE FEARED. Worldly men fear them. They fear the holiness that resides in them. They fear their prayers. They fear their power with God. They feel that there dwells in them a Presence whom they have every reason to dread (Acts 2:43). - J.O.
Obey the voice of the lord thy god.I. WHAT IS THE RULE OF OBEDIENCE? The written Word.
II. WHAT ARE THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS IN OUR OBEDIENCE TO MAKE IT ACCEPTABLE?
1. Obedience must be free and cheerful, else it is penance, not sacrifice (Isaiah 1:19). Willingness is the soul of obedience; God sometimes accepts of willingness without the work, but never of the work without willingness. Cheerfulness shows that there is love in the duty; and love doth to our services, as the sun doth to the fruits, mellow and ripen them and make them come off with a better relish.
2. Obedience must be devout and fervent: the heart must boil over with hot affections in the service of God.
3. Obedience must be extensive, it must reach to all God's commands (Psalm 119:6). True obedience runs through all duties of religion, as the blood through all the veins, or the sun through all the signs of the zodiac.
4. Obedience must be sincere — namely, we must aim at the glory of God in it, in religion the end is all. The end of our obedience must not be to stop the mouth of conscience, or to gain applause, but that we may grow more like God, and bring more glory to God.
5. Obedience must be in and through Christ, "He made us accepted in the Beloved."
6. Obedience must be constant, "Blessed is he who doeth righteousness at all times." True obedience is not like an high colour in a fit, but it is a right sanguine; it is like the fire on the altar which was always kept burning.
III. WHENCE IS IT THAT MEN DO NOT OBEY GOD?
1. The not obeying of God is for want of faith: "Who hath believed our report?" Did men believe sin were so bitter that hell followed at the heels of it, would they go on in sin? Did they believe there were such a reward for the righteous that godliness were gain, would they not pursue it?
2. The not obeying God is for want of self-denial. God commands one thing, and men's lusts command another, and they will rather die than deny their lusts; now, if lust cannot be denied God cannot be obeyed.
IV. WHAT ARE THE GREAT ARGUMENTS OR INCENTIVES TO OBEDIENCE?
2. There is nothing lost by obedience. To obey God's will is the way to have our will.
( T. Watson.)
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