The Love of Christ
June 10, 2022
As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:9-11).
John Gill (an English Baptist pastor, biblical scholar, and theologian, 1697-1771) wrote, “As the Father loved Him [Jesus] from everlasting, so did He love them [the disciples]; as His Father loved Him with a love of complacency [quiet pleasure] and delight, so did He love them; as the Father loved Him with a special and peculiar [distinctive from all others] affection, with an unchanging, invariable, constant love, which would last forever, in like manner does Christ love His people, and with this He enforces the exhortation which follows.”
The love of Jesus for us is not affected by our constant changing, our faithlessness, our periods of worldliness and sin. His love for us abides forever. But we should never believe that this should be a license for, or give us a ‘pass’ on living in sin. (Romans 6:1-2) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Sadly, there are those who believe that ‘once saved, always saved’ gives them the go ahead to live as they please. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Why does Jesus call us to abide in His love? Because if we don’t we will forfeit His love? That cannot be, as we have stated previously. The call to live in His love provides for us the joy of salvation we are to experience through this continued fellowship with Jesus - this calm delight and assurance that ought to flood the soul of the believer. By continuing to live in His love, and our love for Him, the fellowship we have with Him grows “sweeter as the days go by” (Smith & Stokes).
The measure of our Lord’s love for us was revealed on the cross, and that measure of love never diminishes - He loves us with an infinite love. But to abide in His love is to be occupied with it, to count upon it, to be persuaded that nothing can separate us from it, and to live in the assurance of it. To dwell on our imperfect love for Him, our failure to love Him as He loves us, will make us miserable and weak, and will cause us to question whether or not He loves us as He said. But having our heart fixed upon His great love for us, that love which passes all understanding, will fill us with awe and wonder, and will move in us to praise and worship Him with a grateful heart.
To abide in Jesus is to abide in His love for us. Our daily spiritual growth proceeds from such living in Him who died for us. Amen.