Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth…
Sincerity is the disposition of soul which alone can recommend us to God, and incline Him to look with an eye of mercy upon the errors and frailties of our conduct.
I. If we would know whether we serve God in sincerity, LET US LOOK WITH AN ATTENTIVE EYE INTO OUR HEARTS, in order to trace the true springs or principles of our actions.
II. Another evidence of our serving God in sincerity is, WHEN WE ARE AS CAREFUL TO PRESERVE A GOOD CONSCIENCE AS TO SAVE APPEARANCES, and act with the same integrity in secret, where God is the sole spectator of our actions, as when they lie open to the view and observation of the world.
III. Another evidence of our serving God in sincerity and in truth is, WHEN WE PAY AN EQUAL REGARD TO THE WHOLE LAW, and mean not, by selecting some favourite duties, to compensate for the habitual violation or neglect of others that happen not to fall in with our taste and inclination.
IV. Another evidence of our serving God in sincerity is, WHEN WE RESIST AND OVERCOME TEMPTATIONS; for to serve God in those instances only where we are not tempted to disobey is a very defective test of our integrity. The decisive proof is, when we are faithful to our duty in opposition to seducements, and reject every solicitation that offers to corrupt us.
V. The last evidence I shall mention of our serving God in sincerity is, IF, IN CASES WHERE WE ARE DOUBTFUL OF THE OBLIGATION OR LAWFULNESS OF AN ACTION, WE ALWAYS INCLINE TO DO WHAT APPEARS MOST CONFORMABLE TO DUTY, what will best answer the ends of piety, and be most conducive to the honour of religion.
(G. Cart, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.