By John Foll, 12/8/2016.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down His life for His friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:13-14 NASB. Jesus is the good shepherd who laid down his life for His friends!Jesus said, “Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46 NASB. We are Jesus’ friends if we do what He says. Doing everything that He said is doing everything that He has commanded us.
What did Jesus command His friends? “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 15:12 NASB. How do we love one another? By keeping the Law. Paul says that “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of thelaw.” Romans 13:10 NASB. What law is Paul talking about here? The 10 Commandments. “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8-10 NASB. Paul is listing some of the 10 commandments here, but not all of them. But we believe that even though he is not mentioning all of them, or that he specifically is not mentioning any of the commandments regarding how we should treat God, that he is meaning them as well. Thus we see that the fulfillment of the Law is love.
Jesus told us that if we are His friend, that we will do what He has commanded us. If we refuse to do anything that He has commanded us or do not ask for His help to keep His commands, we are not His friend. What has He commanded us? “And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."” Matthew 22:37-40 NASB. Jesus clearly states here that all of the Law, which are the 10 Commandments, and the Prophets are dependent on loving God first, and then loving everyone else second; there are no laws greater than these. Thus love is the fulfillment of the Law, as Paul stated in Romans 13:8-10. We cannot love our neighbor as ourselves if we do not first love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all of our mind, all of our soul and all of our strength. See also Mark 12:29-31.
If you are Jesus’ friend, you will want to keep all of His commandments, which are to love one another. If you are Jesus’ friend, that means that you love Him. If you love Him with all of your heart, and all of your mind and with all of your soul and with all of your strength, then you are keeping the first great commandment that Jesus commanded. Jesus laid down His life for His friends, which will be you, if you love Him. You cannot be Jesus’ friend, if you do not love Him or want to do everything that He has commanded.
How can you love Jesus? “Jesus answered and said to 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 abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.’” John 14:23-24 NASB. Is that what you want? Do you want to keep Jesus’ word? Then Jesus and the Father will make their abode in you!This is the secret to how you can love Jesus! When you learn that you are a sinner and in need of Him, and that He laid down His life for you, then you will learn to love Him, if you choose to believe it! There can be no greater love than Jesus, the Son of God laying down His life for you, except for the love of the Father who gave His only Son Jesus to die for your sins! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17 NASB. So we see that the Father greatly loves us too, for He gave His only Son Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins!
How do you prove that you are Jesus’ friend and do everything that He commanded, which is to love Him and one another; which is to keep the 10 Commandments? It is God’s gift to you, if you will accept it. The Holy Spirit will produce this desire in your heart, if you will let Him! See John 16:7-11 for more on how the Holy Spirit will give you the desire to be Jesus’ friend, by convicting you of sin. The Holy Spirit will also give you the ability to do everything that Jesus’ commanded, if you invite Him into your heart and make a confession of all your sins. Jesus promised that if anyone would keep His word, that He and His Father would come and make their abode in them! Oh precious sweet promise! Jesus wants to abide in your heart, if you will ask Him to! This is how you can keep His word, the only way: If Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit abide in your heart continually. God so longs to give you this precious gift! “We love Him [God], because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 KJV. When you finally see your great need of Him, and that He is your only hope, and that He will provide all the help that you need, then you will love Him. Let God’s love penetrate your heart, and come boldly to Him before the throne of grace, that you may obtain help and mercy in time of need. Hebrews 4:16. Amen.
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