Text: Psa. 127:1 "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."
Eccl.3:14 "I know that, whatsoever God doeth , it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it : and God doeth it, that men should fear before him."
The Pulpit Commentary Volumes 8 &9 , Pages 62-63 &227-228 , comments on Psa.127:1 and Eccl. 3:14 . "UNBLESSED LABOUR 1. We can do nothing at all without the Divine co-operation. We constantly depend on the presence of his material, on the action of his laws, on the activity of the forces he keeps in play. We all recognize this in agriculture; that it is vain for the husbandman to sow his seed, unless God sends his rain and wind and sunshine ect. It is also true of our other occupations. The sailor and the builder depend on the constancy and regularity of Divine laws and forces. We are always assuming their existence, though we may think nothing of their Author. 2. We can effect nothing without divine permission. If God means that the guilty city shall fall, the watchman will wake and the soldier will fight in vain. If God intends to humble a man whose pride needs to be brought down, his utmost exertions in his trade or in his profession will not bring success. Many a man has found, as he at first thought to his cost, but afterwards knew to his advantage, that when God's wise and faithful providence is against his prosperity, he wakes early and works hard in vain. But how much more is blessed is he in a corrective adversity, than he would be in a hardened prosperity! We do well to ask that God's blessing may wait upon and crown all our activities; we do well, also; to remember that it may happen that, for our own sake, God will not grant us our desire in the form of temporal success. 3. We find no blessedness in a prosperity which is not hallowed by devotion. It is a vain thing for a man to strive hard and to attain the immediate object of his pursuit , if he is not making his life a life of holy service. Even if the bread he eats is not "bread of sorrows" in the sense that it is scanty, yet it will be such in the sense that it yields no abiding joy; for it is abundantly clear that a life of even prosperous labour , apart from the service and without the friendship of God, selfish and earthbound, is a life of dissatisfaction and practical defeat. The springs of pure and lasting joy do not rise on that lower ground."
A comment on Eccl.3:14 says "Behind man's free action and volition (the act of willing) stands the will of God, which orders events with a view to eternity, and that man can alter nothing of the providential arrangement. We cannot hasten or retard god's designs; we cannot add to or curtail his plans. There is a moral purpose in this disposal of events. Men feel this uniformity and unchangeableness in the working of Providence, and thence learn to cherish a reverential awe for the righteous government of which they are the subjects."
Exception means a leaving out, an unusual instance, a case that does not follow the general.Deut.10:17 "For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward."
Exemption means freedom or release from liability, obligation or legal requirement.
Imperative means absolutely necessary, compelling, a binding or compelling rule or requirement.
1.We Must Have Righteousness Beyond Religion--- St. Matt. 5:20 "For I say unto you , That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
2.We Must All Repent--- St. Luke 13:1-3 "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. (vs2) And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all Galileans, because they suffered such things? (vs3) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
3.We Must All Guard Against Worldliness--- 1 John 2:15-17 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.(vs16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (vs17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
4.We Must All Present Our Bodies A Living Sacrifice--- Rom. 12:1-2 "I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.(vs2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
5.We Must All Abide In Christ--- St. John 15:4-6 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.(vs5) I am the vine , ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit : for without me ye can do nothing.(vs6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
6.There Is Only One way Of Salvation--- Eph.4:4-6 "There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.(vs5) One Lord, one faith. one baptism, (vs6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
7.We Must All Have Faith In God--- Heb. 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
8. We All Must Know That Labor Will Not Be Forgotten By God and work Accordingly--- 1 Cor.15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
9. We Must All Know And Embrace That There Is Only One Main Sign Of Discipleship In Christ After Salvation--- St John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.(vs35) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples , if ye have love one to another."