Thursday, March 3, 2016

Obedience... evidence of love

"If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just (in the exact same way) as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love." - Jesus. Joh 15:10    

Is abiding in God's love something earned? It can't be because Christ himself, who is fully loved by the Father, experienced his father's love by abiding in it. 

Note how this verse ties abiding in Gods love to keeping his commandments. Keeping God's Commandments does not cause God to love us no more than it causes the Father to love the Son. Obedience however is a means of our participation in it.

In the same way that Christ obeyed his Father, he's calling us to obey him. In so doing we will experience the love of God in the same way that Christ experienced it.

This also is suggested in the following verses. 

Joh 14:21  Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." 

Joh 14:23  Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him

From the above two verses we see the dynamic that drives us in keeping God's commandments is our love for him, while at the same time keeping his commandments becomes the means by which we participate or partake  more fully in his unearned love secured for us in and by Christ. 

Both of these verses indicate our experience (subjectively) of God's love and presence is tied to our obedience. This is not the same as causing God to love us. God's love (objectively) is secured for us by Christ's efforts, not our own. 

Our obedience to God is the fruit of our trust in God and the greatest evidence of our love for God.

If we truly believe he loves us we will have no problem doing what he tells us to do. The more we trust in God's love the easier it is to follow his commandments i.e. they are not a burden to carry out.

1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome

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Grace to you
Jim Deal