Love and Obey

May 14, 2022

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 (John 14:23).

Here Jesus patiently explains to His disciples this solemn truth - God has fellowship only with those who believe in, and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who love Him, and who obey His Word. The world cannot, and does not experience such fellowship with God. Only those in Christ Jesus can enjoy such fellowship. There is no such thing as ‘the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man’. God is the Creator of mankind, but only Father to those who love and believe in Him through Jesus Christ.

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. The word ‘if’ is a 3rd class condition, meaning ‘since’. The word ‘anyone’ is not an accurate translation of tis. It is better translated ‘a man’ or ‘a person’. The word ‘love’ is in the present tense, meaning continual action. So the clause is a specific reference to the true disciple of Jesus - ‘since a person continues to love Me’, that person will keep (obey) the Word of the Lord. “But we cannot, and do not obey the Lord continually” you may argue, and you would be right. But that does not cancel out the promise. How so?

Every sincere Christian must understand and appreciate what the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:12-15, Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind.

I submit to Jesus was speaking of a desire and longing of the heart to obey His Word. Every true believer in Jesus Christ loves Him and desires to obey Him. But it is clearly evident to the Lord, and to the Christian that perpetual perfect obedience is not attainable in this life. Paul made that clear in the above text. It is also clear in John 21:15-17 when Jesus asked Peter 3 times, Do you love Me. Three times Peter’s response was, Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. The 3rd time he said, Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You. His disgraceful denials of Jesus contradicted such love, but the Lord looked beyond the denials and saw the desire of his heart. 

On the one hand it is a seriously solemn thing to know that nothing can be hidden from the Lord (1 Chronicles 28:9), on the other hand it is humbling and blessed to know that He sees in the heart the earnest desire to amend the ways of the sinful flesh, though that is beyond us (read carefully and humbly Romans 7:18-25). Amen.


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