THE PROOF OF LOVE.
I. JESUS RELATES OUR LOVING HIM WITH OUR KEEPING OF HIS COMMANDMENTS.
A. This is not the first place in the Bible where our love for God is related to our obedience to His commandments.
1. Exodus 20:6
. In the midst of the ten commandments when God has commanded against making any graven images to bow down to them, He declared His mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments.
2. In Deut.7:9
. Moses declared, "Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God which keepeth covenant, and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations."
3. Toward the end of Joshua's life as the men of Rueben and Gad were returning to the other side of the Jordan, having helped in the conquest of the land, he said to them, "Take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God and to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave to Him and serve Him with all of your heart and all of your soul."
B. Keeping His commandments is the way by which He has asked me to demonstrate my love for Him.
1. We so often express our love to Him through words.
a. We sing our songs of devotion with hands raised in worship, but if I do not keep His commandments, all of my attesting of love is meaningless.
b. John tells us not to love in words only, but in deeds and truth.
2. The best way that you can show God that you love Him is to obey Him.
C. Special promises are made to those who show their love through obedience.
1. Vs. 21, "He that hath My commandments and keepeth them He it is that loveth Me, and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father and I will love Him and will manifest Myself unto Him."
2. Vs. 23, "If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him."
3. These then are the special benefits.
a. We will be loved of the Father.
b. We will be loved by Jesus.
c. Jesus will manifest Himself to us.
d. The Father and the Son will make their dwelling with us.
D. In verse 31, Jesus uses His obedience to the commandment of the Father as a witness of His love for the Father.
II. WHAT ARE HIS COMMANDMENTS?
A. In 15:4, Jesus commanded them to abide in Him.
B. In verse 7, He speaks of His word abiding in them.
C. In verse 9, He tells them to continue in His love.
D. In verse 12, "This is My commandment that you love one another as I have loved you."
E. In verse 17, "These things I command you that you love one another."
F. Earlier when Jesus was asked by a lawyer as to the greatest commandment Jesus answered, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, heart, and mind, and the second is like the first, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
G. Words of warning.
1. I John 4:20
, "If a man say that he loves God and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen."
2. I John 3:17
, "He that has of this world's goods and sees a brother in need and if he shuts his heart from him, how dwelleth the love of God in Him?"
3. It is in the context of this verse that John tells us not to love in words, or tongue, but in deeds and truth.
H. Love is the basic commandment He has given to us. Love God and love one another.
1. Without this love I have no assurance that I am a child of God. "We know that we have passed from death into life, because we love the brethern."
2. Without this love, the world has no proof that we are His disciples. By this sign shall all men know that you are My disciples, that you love one another.
3. Without this love we have no proof that we are filled with the Spirit. "For the fruit of the Spirit is love."
I. Love is the heart and essence of Christianity, without it you have not true Christianity.
1. It begins with God, He so loved the world. It comes to us through His Son, greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.
2. We accept and respond to this love, and we in turn love Him because He first loved us. Because we love Him, we desire to keep His commandment which is to love one another even as He has loved us.
3. People may boast of spiritual powers and revelations, but if you have not love, you have nothing.
III. THE GREEK WORD FOR LOVE IS NATURALLY THAT WORD AGAPE.
A. Paul defines this quality of love in I Cor. 13
1. It suffers long and is kind.
2. It envies not.
3. It does not vaunt itself.
4. It is not puffed up.
5. It does not behave itself unseemly.
6. It seeks not its own way.
7. It is not provoked.
8. It thinks no evil.
9 It bears all things.
10. It believes all things.
11. It hopes all things.
12. It never fails.
13. It is the greatest of all of the enduring things.