By Neal Griffin

The question has been posed, "Why are we here?", and to respond to it I have chosen a few verses to substantiate my conclusion in the matter.

The writer of Ecclesiastes observed that too much study is tiresome and that the whole of man is to honor God and keep the commandments. Micah wrote: "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God".

Taking these points in the order which there are listed, the writer does not say that "study" makes one tired. He says that "too much study" makes one tired. The obvious conclusion is that there is a danger in "too much study". The Pharisees at the time of Jesus intellectually focused so intently on the Scriptures that they missed the intended Spiritual message. They dissected every word with such intensity that they failed to see the forest for the trees. They missed Jesus. I suspect that they tried to apply worldly wisdom to Spiritual concepts. Such application invariably results in the puffing up and self promotion for which the Pharisees were infamous. The legalists of our age fit this scenario. Their emphasis is on what the law says they must do rather than on what Christ has done. It appears that they wish to pay their own way as did the proud young ruler of Matthew 19.

The second point is keeping the commandments, but the totality of New Covenant law keeping is encompassed in one command--loving one another, and one who loves his fellow man will act justly toward him and when called upon will extend mercy. Such is the nature of New Covenant law-keeping. The legalist is proud that he is a better law-keeper than the lowly one who is only struggling to walk humbly before God. The legalist is not prone to beg for mercy. After all, he knows the law and thinks that he is abiding in it. He demands justice while the humble one asks for mercy.

Walking humbly before God may represent the most difficult challenge in that a good heart is prerequisite. It is not the proud heart that can cry out, "Forgive me, a sinner!". David addressed this point when he said, "Instill in me a pure heart, O God, that I might not sin against thee!". God desires obedience that emanates from the heart. He seeks worshipers on whose hearts His laws are written. He has no regard for Pharisaical obedience. He has no regard for the imagined righteousness of men that stems from their works. He wants followers whose righteousness accrues by reason of their faith. Philippians 3:9. Letting Christ dwell in our hearts by faith produces humble obedience. It is no longer us but Christ living in us. Our pride should be in what Christ has done. If we must boast let it be in Him.

Why are we here? We are here to honor God and to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. We are here to love one another, to care for the needy, and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. These are the reasons God put us here and it is what God wants that matters for the man who does what God wants lives forever.

Please think on these things. I believe them to be in harmony with the Word.

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