“Behold, today I am setting before you a blessing and a curse—
the blessing, if you listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today;
and the curse, if you do not listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following (acknowledging, worshiping) other gods which you have not known.
“Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obedience to the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed [is better] than the fat of rams.
Oh, that you had paid attention to My commandments!
Then your peace and prosperity would have been like a [flowing] river,
And your righteousness [the holiness and purity of the nation] like the [abundant] waves of the sea.
But this thing I did command them: ‘Listen to and obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, so that it may be well with you.’
“If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments.
The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him [I will make Myself real to him].”
Then Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men [we have no other choice].
And this is how we know [daily, by experience] that we have come to know Him [to understand Him and be more deeply acquainted with Him]: if we habitually keep [focused on His precepts and obey] His commandments (teachings).
Whoever says, “I have come to know Him,” but does not habitually keep [focused on His precepts and obey] His commandments (teachings), is a liar, and the truth [of the divine word] is not in him.
But whoever habitually keeps His word and obeys His precepts [and treasures His message in its entirety], in him the love of God has truly been perfected [it is completed and has reached maturity]. By this we know [for certain] that we are in Him:
whoever says he lives in Christ [that is, whoever says he has accepted Him as God and Savior] ought [as a moral obligation] to walk and conduct himself just as He walked and conducted Himself.