One Confession, One Resolution, One Way to Live: Deuteronomy 6:4-9

What is your resolution for the New Year?

When we make New Year’s resolutions we often resolve ourselves to do more of things that we perceive bring us life or set ourselves to correct and eradicate sinful behaviors in our lives that have caused us guilt.  You may have heard resolutions such as: to get fit in the new year, to spend more time with family, to recreate more, to spend more time reading than watching TV, to quit smoking, drink less, etc.

But what is the resolution the Bible calls Christians too?  I think the Bible speaks of one on-going resolution for the Christian that is relevant for this coming year as much as it is for the next, and the year after that, and the year after that, and every year until we see our Savior face to face.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (also known as the Shema) gives us a great guide for the Christian life.  Within the Shema we find the one resolution that should be the ongoing aim of the Christian life.  Deuteronomy 6:5 calls Christians to “…love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 served as my text for the last sermon of this year to our congregation at Risen Life Church.  With Christmas over and the new year fast approaching I wanted to help our people who have confessed Christ as their Savior resolve to love Him with everything they are in this New Year.

Within the Shema there are three important sections.  First, there is a confession and then there is a resolution that comes out of the confession.  Finally, we are given a pattern for life whereby we can live out the confession and resolution.  In my sermon I take a look at each of these sections in turn.  I could say many more things about the Shema and all three of these important sections but I encourage you to listen to my sermon to get the fuller picture.  Below I have given a brief overview of the three sections of the Shema that I deal with.

One Confession
Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”  It is here that the People of Israel confessed the one, personal, unique God that had entered into a covenant with them to be their God and for the Israelites to be His people.  Galatians 3:7 tells us that if you have confessed Christ as Lord through faith you are included in Israel.  This is a confession for modern day Christians that believe in the Lord by faith as it was a confession for the Israelite that believed in the Lord by faith.  The mystery of the Gospel is that we confess this God in the face of Christ.  Check out 2 Corinthians 4:6, John 14:9, and 1 Corinthians 8:6 to see how that is true.  The Christian life begins with confession, confession of one God who has come to us in the face of Christ.  Have you confessed Him as Lord and Savior?

One Resolution
But Confession is not enough, in fact James 2:19 tells us that even the demons confess that God is one, so what should be different for the Christian? It is the fact that in response to who God is and what Christ has done on the cross to forgive us our sins we respond to Him in love.  We give up our lives for a life lived in devotion to this one God.  Deuteronomy 6:5 lays out the Christian’s one resolution, “…[to] love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”  Maybe you have confessed that Jesus is Lord, but have you freely responded to Him in loving devotion?

One Way to Live
Maybe you have confessed Christ and have set yourself to love Him with everything that you are but you struggle to know what does that looks like in daily life as you live out this confession and resolution?  Well, the Shema gives us one way to live as believers in Jesus.  Moses gives 4 commands that teach the people how to live out their confession and resolution.  In Deuteronomy 6:6 Moses commands the people to have God’s Word written on their hearts.  This means to love the Lord your God with all of who you are is to know His Word.  In fact, all three of the other commands in Deuteronomy 6:7-9 are predicated on this; that as a believer you know God’s word.  If there is any Christian discipline that I could encourage you to set your heart to this year it would be to spend lots of time in God’s Word.  When you spend time with the Word of God you are spending time with God!

Moses goes on to show in Deuteronomy 6:7-9 that this Word is what we teach to our Children (and by extension all those around us) by speaking of the Word when we sit in our house, when we are going about our everyday routines, when we go to bed, and when we get up.  In fact, implicit in the Shema is an idea of witness.  That as you live out your confession and resolution towards God you witness to others.  Our whole day should revolve around God’s word.  In Deuteronomy 6:8 Moses tells us to bind the Word on our hands and place the Word between our eyes.  Our work and everything we do with our hands should be driven by God’s Word and pointing back to God.  With the Word between our eyes we are expected to see everything through the Biblical lens.  We interpret the times, the news, and all things through the filter of God’s Word.  Final, the Word in Deuteronomy 6:9 is to be on our house and on our gates.  This means everything under our control should be subjected and organized according to God’s Word.  How do you need to resolve to coat your life in God’s Word in the New Year?

What we get in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is One Confession, One Resolution, and One Way to Live.  How do you need to ask God to help you resolve to live this way in the New Year?  I hope you enjoy my sermon for the New Year and that by God’s Spirit He moves you to respond to who He is and what He has done with a resolution to love Him with all that you are.  I pray you will Love Christ with all of your Heart and all of your soul and all of your might! 


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