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THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN - by Paul M Hanssen

The Whole Duty of Man – by Paul M Hanssen

If man has a moral duty to fulfill, what is it? To have a duty means to have a moral or legal obligation and responsibility. Living life without knowing or acknowledging one’s duty is like sailing on the open ocean without a compass.


Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)


The complete and entire duty of man is summed up into two obligations and responsibilities:

1. To fear God

2. To keep God’s commandments.



When an individual, or society at large, loses the fear of God, which is to respect and honor Him for who He is, the breakdown of society is inevitable. When the honor and the respect towards God is omitted from the conversation, we are standing on thin ice rather than a solid rock.


The Ten Commandments serve a twofold purpose.

1. To position mankind in his rightful place in relationship with God.

2. To position mankind in his rightful place in his relationship with mankind.


The first four commandments fulfill the former. The remaining six commandments fulfill the later. (Exodus 20:1-17).


Mankind’s Duty Towards God

1. I am the LORD thy God. Thou shalt have no other God’s before me

2. Thou shalt not make any graven images

3. Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD thy God in vain

4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy


Mankind’s Duty Towards Mankind

5. Honor thy father and thy mother

6. Thou shalt not kill

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery

8. Thou shalt not steal

9. Thou shalt not lie against thy neighbor

10. Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbors


When God is honored and respected as the sovereign, supreme ruler of His creation, and when mankind keeps God’s commandments, he is fulfilling his whole duty towards God and towards his fellowman. But when mankind removes God from his/her life and abandons God’s commandments, he has betrayed his whole moral duty and responsibility. The result of such betrayal is the ruin and the collapse of the moral fibers of society. Today, we are witnessing what happens to a nation that removes God from the houses of government, court houses, school houses, church houses, and from the houses in which we as individuals live.


We live in a world where God is no longer feared and where His commandments are no longer adhered too. Should there be any surprise that society is at the point of collapse?


We can talk politics, racial inequality, authoritarian brutality, and other such important topics that certainly need to be addressed – however, until this nation turns to God and begins to fulfill her duty towards Him, we will never see a favorable, fulfilling, peaceful, and lasting outcome to the issues we face as a nation. It is a shame that during all the upheaval taking place in our country I have hardly heard anybody talking about God. May we as a nation begin to fear God and obey His commandments. In doing so we will also fulfill the whole duty of man!


How can we possibly truly honor our fellowman, no matter what his/her skin color may be, if we do not first of all honor the creator of “us”? WE NEED GOD IN OUR SOCIETY!

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