Friday, October 26, 2018

The Vision (10.26.18): If ye love me, keep my commandments

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on John 14:15-21.

If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15)

Note that this is a conditional statement. It is a “If this…then this…” statement. Usually, such constructions reflect a condition like, If you do this, then this will be the result. Or, if this is a reality in your life, then this will be the outcome.

But here the second part of the sentence is a command: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

We can glean at least two things from this:

First, Christ expect that his disciples will have an abiding love, affection, passion for him that will over-rule and overwhelm every other passion in their lives. Second, he expects them to be obedient to his commands.

There is, therefore, no such thing, from Christ’s perspective, as a disciple who loves him but who is unwilling to keep his commandments.

It also striking how in in both parts of this simple command, we see the underlining affirmation of the deity of Christ. By such statements Christ is making himself equal with God.

In the first part, it implies his expectation, even his demand, that his disciples will love him above all. Who can command this kind of devotion but God himself? When the Lord Jesus was asked to identify the greatest commandment (see Mark 12:28-31), he had quoted Deuteronomy 5:6, which reads: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

To whom is love rightly directed? To God alone. To whom does Christ say that love is rightly directed? To himself. The implication: Jesus is Lord.

In the second part, Christ speaks of his commandments. Who has the authority to give commandments? God alone. But now it is Jesus who gives commandments. The implication: Jesus is Lord.

If we love him, then we must keep his commandments.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff

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