I have been reading through the minor prophets lately. Amos sums up the basic and central requirement God had for his people then and has for us now.
In Amos 2:4 he proclaims:
This is what the Lord says:
For three sins of Judah,
even for four, I will not turn back my
Because they have rejected the law of the
and have not kept his decrees,
Because they have been led astray by false
the gods their ancestors followed.
We are called to worship the true God and then to obey his commands i.e. to follow his directions toward full identification with him. Sanctification – allowing the life of Jesus (in whom the fullness of the deity dwells) to be lived out through us.
N. T. Wright describes this as developing ‘virtue’ or Godly character. Not to be achieved by rule keeping but by following Jesus.