John 15:9 ¶ As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.10 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. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
The way a child learns to conduct himself in the world, even to the language he speaks, is derived by imitation of the parents. And here the blessed Son of God instructs us that the way he loves us as his believers is by the experience of the Father’s love to him! This was so much his desire that he prayed concerning it in his great high priestly prayer on his way to the cross. John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 ¶ Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
This was the central issue within the Holy Trinity because God IS love! 1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
And this was the ardent desire of the Apostle Paul as he ministered to the believers at Ephesus. Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Also the Lord Jesus Christ is the author of all true faith. Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; And the gift of faith, which separates the true believers from mere practicing religionists is derived from the great love, which God is! Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Therefore as God is love, and as faith worketh by love, to have the Holy Spirit come to dwell within the hearts of the true believers, they all then have the faith once delivered to the saints. And they all possess the faith which is the victory which overcometh the world! Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
And abiding in the love of God is manifest by complete obedience to, and absolute submission in the commands of God! For in verse ten of our text we see that the believer must keep Christ’s commandments in order to abide in unbroken love, just as he kept his Father’s commands and abides in His unbroken fellowship. Therefore if the provision of salvation by the Lord Jesus had to be defined by just one word, it would be the word “obedience.” Consider these words of our Savior:
John 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
And in the time immediately before going to be betrayed by Judas, we read in John 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence. He clearly speaks of his love to the Father being revealed by his obedience to the Father’s commands.
He did petition the Father that if it were possible, his crucifixion would be averted. But he followed up that petition with the most submissive word that reflects his absolute yielding to the Father’s will. That is the word, “nevertheless.” Matthew 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
The Hebrew writer attributes our entire salvation to this willing submission of the Son of God to his Father’s will! Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 ¶ Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Then in verse eleven of our text we read of the glorious benefit of these matters being a reality within the hearts of the believers. For our Lord states that as his own absolute obedience to the Father renders him his heart-felt joy, so he will invest his own joy within all these who also yield to him their obedience! Therefore we understand that the Father’s love to the Son, and the Son’s love to the believers is not passed on without the submission of obedience to the higher authority.
And this is carried on throughout the entire authority structure, whether in the natural realm or in the spiritual. Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. For in this spirit of loving submission flows the life-giving power for the production of fruitfulness throughout the entire oneness of root, vine and branch! John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. Christ’s life is derived and sustained by the Father. And the entire body of the organism of the church is derived and sustained by Christ!
And this goes back to the verses in John 17 listed in the first column of this article. And they bear repeating here: John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Therefore to see one ‘part’ is to see the whole! For this oneness is a conforming to the image of the entirety! John 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Luke 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. 1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Religionists speak of ‘going to heaven’ promising themselves physical blessings – i.e. seeing loved ones; not being sick any more; seeing ‘Jesus.’ But true believers, have a great desire to see the Lord given the glory he rightly deserves. They, being jealous for his glory, wish his name vindicated; his glorified state worshipped! For religionists only see the cross as that which was necessary to keep them out of Hell. But the true believers view it as that which causes the Suffering Lamb, worthy to become the Reigning Lion! They, along with the angels who appeared at this birth, see that the salvation of man is that which brings God his highest glory! Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
In every progressive state of spiritual growth the true believer is matured by a continued relation of Christ’s glory to their hearts. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
And so it is the will of the Father! Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Christ’s love to us is truly the “Greater love.” As Jonathan’s love to David surpassed the most intimate love between a man and a woman, for he was perfectly willing to take the crown off his own head and the very clothes off his own back to give them to David. So Christ’s love is greater as his is that which is defined by the laying down his highest ranking and supreme life for us all! 2 Samuel 1:26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jonathan (Jehovah-given) was willing to lay aside the benefits of being the king’s son and yielding that position with all its benefits in order that this lowly shepherd boy might have it all! 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 Samuel 23:16 And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. 17 And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth.
Pastor Gene Breed
April 30, 2021