“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”–John 15:10.
The life of Jesus, with His feelings and disposition, is breathed into us by the Holy Spirit. The believer’s calling is to think and feel and will just what Jesus thought and felt and willed. To live the life of Christ means to be delivered from the life of self. Choosing the will of Christ is the only path of liberty from the slavery of our own evil self-will.
This is exactly what Christ did, there was no other way for Christ Himself to abide in the Father’s love (John 15:10). To Him as man, the offers of self-gratification did not escape Him; to refuse them, He had to fast and pray. He suffered, being tempted (Heb 4:15). He spoke very distinctly of not seeking to do His own will as a choice He had continually to make (John 5:30). He made the keeping of the Father’s commandments the distinct object of His life (John 5:36), and so abode in His love (John 15:10). Does He not tell us, “I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me, I speak these things. And He that sent me is with me; He hath not left me alone; for I do always the things that are pleasing to Him.” (John 8:28-29) By His example, He opened to us the only path to a life on earth that abides in the love of the Father in heaven. And when, as from our vine (Christ Himself), His Spirit flows in us, the branches, one of the surest and highest elements His life will inspire is keeping His commands.
We see in Romans 12:1-2 that this is one of the great elements of spiritual growth. It involves an initial commitment to Christ, by laying ourself (our own evil self-will) upon the altar as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1). But, because living sacrifices can crawl off the alter, this committed is followed by the continual “renewing of your mind” in order that what you think and do becomes more and more in line with that “good and perfect and acceptable will of God.” (Rom 12:2)
As we choose to live as Christ did, seeking not our own will but “the will of Him who sent us” (John 5:30), our love for the Father, and His love for us will make the commands as food from heaven. They will no longer be a law standing outside and against you, but as the living power which has transformed your will into perfect harmony with all your Lord requires. Learn to see them as the commandments of Him who loves you. They are all love, they come from His love, they lead to His love. Each new surrender to keep the commandments, each new sacrifice in keeping them, leads to deeper union with the will, the spirit, and the love of the Saviour.
Learn to prize these words as among your choicest treasures: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, EVEN AS I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”
Adapted from Andrew Murray Abiding in Christ Chapter 24
- In Ephesians 6:1 Paul says, “Children obey your parents, in the Lord.. That it will go well with you and that you may live a long life.” How does children obeying their parents relate to things going well for them and living a long life?
- In the same way, how does keeping Jesus commands (obedience) insure that we abide in His love? (By the way, this IS NOT SAYING that if stop keeping God’s commands that He will stop loving us! (Rom 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10)
- Do you agree with Andrew Murray’s statement; “Learn to see them as the commandments of Him who loves you. They are all love, they come from His love, they lead to His love.” Why or why not
- What is God saying to you from these thoughts?