Dangerous Places – 2

Please read the following verse:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” – John 14:15

Question: When you read this verse, do you feel that if you are to be loved by Him you must keep His commandments?  Do you feel that, if you are to be found in Christ you must obey Him perfectly, or at least to the best of your abilities?

Please take a moment now to order your thoughts regarding this verse.

Ready?             Let’s continue…

Please note that the language in this verse is a simple if/then statement.  If we love Him, then we keep His commandments.  The keeping of His commandments flows from our love of Him, it does not bring about a love of Christ. In other words, obedience does not precede our love of Christ (nor His love of us).  No.  Instead the verse quite clearly states the opposite.  Obedience flows from love.  It is difficult to read this verse without thinking of the highly descriptive passage in Ezekiel, where our Lord describes what happens when a person is born again by His Spirit:

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” – Ezekiel 36:26-27

In the process of becoming a child of God, we are given a new heart that is careful to obey His commandments.  We still have a sinful nature, and do fall into sin.  But after receiving this new heart (or undergoing the new birth), sin is no longer enjoyable, it is no longer our desire (see Philippians 2:13) and it is no longer intentional.  Instead, the believer is careful to obey, and the obedience flows out of a heart that loves its’ Master.

If your view of this verse is that believers are burdened with the impossible task of obedience to merit Christ’s love, or that He loves us, and now we have to obey or He will turn His back, then that means obedience is NOT flowing out of your heart, but is rather viewed as an activity with some merit attached.  If your heart hasn’t been made new, so that it loves and yearns to obey, then you my friend …. are in a very Dangerous Place indeed!!

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One Comment on “Dangerous Places – 2”

  1. dmattice Says:

    I have understood this verse to show us how much we actually value Christ over ourselves, like a gauge. we lack the ability to be fully committed to Christ, as we still live in the flesh. but He gives us the desire to follow Him and live for Him. He promises the Holy Spirit will help us and not leave us as orphans. we really should read the whole chapter to get the whole story as to why Jesus said this to His disciples. Jesus proved He was from the Father through the works He did, and we prove to the world that we love Him through the works that we do. but we need His Holy Spirit to complete these works, and He promised this to encourage them because He was preparing them for His departure. but in no way was He implying that our works counted for anything other than glorifying the Father. nothing the apostles wrote after receiving the Holy Spirit ever implied that their works gave them salvation either, but only glorified God, since He was doing the work through them.

    Reply

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