If You Love Me, Keep My Commandments
The above passage is a statement from our Lord found in John 14:15. Given the context of this verse, one understands the Lord to be saying to his disciples, “Don’t show your love to me by sorrow, mourning, and being troubled for my departure; but show it by your obedience to what I have commanded you.” This same conditional statement applies to the Lord’s modern day disciples as well.
One’s love for the Lord, and one another, must not simply be encased in compliment and flattery, but must discover itself in a strict observance of all the commandments of Jehovah God. This is the only proper evidence and confirmation of our love to Jesus. Simply saying we love Jesus is not proof of our love. But, that love for Him which leads one to do all of His will, to love one another, to deny oneself, to take up his cross, and to follow him completely through the bitter and the sweet, that is love.
How does one know when a child truly loves his parents? It is evident when that child is willing, without hesitation, without contradiction, or without murmuring, to do all that the parents require him to do. So disciples of Christ are required to show they are attached to Him supremely, above all others, by yielding to all of His requirements and by patiently doing His will in the face of opposition and ridicule (1 John 2:3).
The continuation of God’s work (in Christ) is based upon His disciples’ love for Him. Love for Him is to be the motive in a disciple’s life. Obedience to Him is to be the standard for all of one’s activities (1 Corinthians 13:1-3; 16:14; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Galatians 5:6). The test for genuine love is the keeping of His commandments. Those who do not keep the commandments of the Lord shall suffer destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). The Lord presses obedience to His commandments as a means, and indeed the only means, by which one can declare his love to Him. One’s obedience is the fruit of his true love for Christ.
Now, can one truly love the Lord and not obey His commandments? Suppose He commands to admonish one another (Romans 15:14)? Suppose He commands to reprove and rebuke our brethren who are in sin (2 Timothy 4:2)? Suppose our Lord commands to discipline the unruly members of the body of Christ and finally withdraw fellowship from all of those who continue to walk disorderly and will not repent (Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6)? Would obedience to these commands be unloving? Or would obeying these be the fruit of one’s true love for our God and His Christ?
God will provide goodness and spiritual prosperity for those who abide in His will (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12). However, He will also provide severity and destruction for those who do not abide in His will (Romans 11:22). Who would dare to call Jehovah God unloving?
When one obeys the commandments of Christ, he is showing his love for Him and for one another! When one lets the sins of his brethren go unnoticed, when he overlooks, covers up, or even takes up for their sins, he does not show his love for Him but he shows his contempt, his disdain, and his haughtiness for the love of God and His word (1 Corinthians 5:2, 6-7; 2 John 9).
The Lord knew that obedience to the Father would not always be pleasant for His disciples (Matthew 10:16-24). And even though He personally would have had it otherwise, He gave His life in obedience to the Father (Luke 22:42; Hebrews 5:8-9). Jesus always obeyed the will of His Father (John 6:38). And at His death He lost His friends, He lost His family, all because of His love for the Father. But He knew that the resurrection was sure and that heaven would be worth it all. When one fully realizes that heaven will be worth it all, then, and only then, will he display his love for Christ, and for others, and obey all of His commandments, even the unpleasant ones (1 John 5:1-3).
Do you really love Jesus? If so, keep His commandments.
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