John 14:15, 21, 23-24 NASB (Jesus speaking)
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”
John continued this theme a little further when he wrote 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. There he stated that the way we know that we have come to know Jesus is if, in fact, we make it our practice to keep his commandments. If we claim to know him, but we do not make it our practice to keep his commands, he said, then we are liars (See: 1 Jn. 2:3-6).
And, he also said that those who obey his commands live in Christ, and he in them. He said that if we claim to have fellowship with God, but we walk (live, conduct our lives) in darkness (sin, wickedness), then, again, we are liars. And, too, if we do not practice righteousness, then we are not of God (See: 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:15, 24-25; 1 Jn. 3:10, 24).
And, he went into even more depth on this subject in John 15 when he said that if we keep his commands we will remain in his love. He said, too, that we are his friends if we keep his commands.
And, there he also talked about the importance of remaining in him, and that if we don’t remain (endure, persist, persevere) in him, and if we don’t bear spiritual fruit (results) for the kingdom of heaven, he will cut us off from himself (the true vine), and we will be thrown into the fire and burned (See: John 15:1-17; cf. Rom. 11:17-24).
Paul, as well, continued this same theme when he said that the righteous requirement of the law will be fully met in us who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For, he said, if we walk (live in lifestyle) according to our sinful flesh, we will die in our sins. But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live for eternity (Rom. 8:1-17; cf. Lu. 9:23-25).
Now, these are not my words. This is what the Bible teaches. Loving God/Jesus means that we make it our practice to obey his teachings, which are his instructions to us for godly living. And, if we love him, by keeping his teachings, then we will be loved by God, and the Father and the Son will make their abode with us.
In fact, this is the sign to us that we truly know Jesus, that we are those who practice obedience and his righteousness. And, practicing righteousness means, too, that we are not those who make sin our practice, our lifestyle, i.e. the way in which we conduct our daily lives. For, if we practice sin, we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God or heaven as our eternal destiny. Instead, we have the promise of eternal punishment in the fires of hell (See also: Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 5:3-6).
So, we must take this seriously, and we must stop believing what many humans are teaching with regard to our salvation. For, the vast majority, at least here in America, are not teaching what these verses teach. But, they are teaching a diluted gospel absent of the necessity of repentance and obedience to Christ and to his Word.
Also, what many people are teaching is that our salvation is based off a singular experience we had in which we claimed to have faith in Jesus Christ. But, that is also not what the Bible teaches. Yes, there is a point in which we believe and we enter into relationship with Jesus Christ, but that must continue, and it must become our lifestyle, and we must no longer live as we did before we met Jesus.
For, all throughout the New Testament, if we read verse by verse and chapter by chapter and book by book, in context, we learn that our salvation is progressive, i.e. we are saved (past), we are being saved (present) and we will be saved (future) when Jesus’ returns for us, his bride. Then, our salvation will be complete.
And, we learn, too, that being born again, and having a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ is proved true by our lifestyles, by how we walk day in and day out, and not by some singular experience in our lives.
John 14:25-26 NASB
“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
When we are truly in Christ Jesus, and he is in us, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, then the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. And, he teaches us all things in relation to Christ and our salvation and holiness and godly living. But, we have to remain in Christ, and abide in him and in his Words so that we hear the Holy Spirit speaking God’s words to our hearts. And, then we have to walk in obedience to what he teaches us.
John 14:27 NASB
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
Jesus doesn’t give the kind of peace that the world craves or promotes. What the world wants is absence of conflict, and for everyone to get along, and for the people of the whole world, regardless of religious belief or lifestyle preference, to join hands and hearts together in singing “Kumbaya” in perfect harmony, one with the other.
But, Jesus said that he didn’t come to bring peace (the kind the world craves), but a sword, and to turn family members one against another. Now, that doesn’t sound like the Jesus we know, does it? But, he isn’t promoting anarchy, and he isn’t promoting hate, either (See: Matt. 10:34-39).
What he is saying is that if we truly follow Jesus Christ with our lives, the way in which he requires, and if we have left everything of this world behind to walk in obedience to his commands, then we are not going to be in harmony with people who don’t have that kind of relationship with Christ Jesus. And, so we will have to make a choice either to follow Jesus or to live to please other humans, for we can’t do both.
What he is also saying here is that when we truly follow him, and we have separated ourselves from the things of this world – from the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, etc. – and when we are walking in his holiness and righteous, living lives pleasing to him, we will be hated by those who don’t live like that, and so we need to be prepared for that eventuality. And, we need to be ready to stand on the Word of truth so we don’t cave to the pressures of the world to compromise with the world, to be liked by others.
For, he says, that if we love our family members, or anyone, really, more than him, then we are not worthy of him; we are not worthy to be called his disciples. And, he continued by saying that if we don’t take up our cross (daily – Lu. 9:23-25) and follow (obey) him, we are not worthy of him, to be considered one of his.
And, here is the clincher: He concluded these thoughts by saying that if we cling to our own lives, we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose (give up) our lives (die to sin and self) for his sake, then we will find our lives, our purpose, our fulfillment and eternal life with God.
Many people throughout the world, who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of their lives, are being put to the test in this area right now. They are having to choose total abandonment to Jesus Christ, with no compromise with the world of sin, with the full knowledge that it will lead to their physical death or torture or some kind of serious persecution because they were not willing to unite with the world and the devil.
Or, they have to choose denying their Lord and rejecting their salvation in favor of compromise with the world so that it will not cost them their lives, or so they think. But, it will cost them their lives for eternity.
In America, though Christian persecution definitely exists here, even within the institutional church, it has not yet reached the level of severity that it has across the rest of the world. But, we are not going to be spared this just because we are Americans. So, we need to make that choice now, because when this does come to our nation, if we are not already standing on the Word of truth, we will most certainly be more susceptible to cave to pressure to conform and to unite with the world to save our own necks.
So, just know that, although people will try to convince you that Jesus was a man of peace (the kind the world gives), and so they will try to talk you into uniting with them in order to maintain peace, that kind of peace is not what Jesus is offering. The kind he offers is peace with God in our hearts, and freedom from our slavery to sin, and unity with him and his righteousness.
So, don’t follow the gods of this world, and don’t compromise your faith, but follow Jesus Christ in obedience, even if it does cost you your life in this world, for your life will be saved for eternity. And, that is what matters.
An Original Work / November 21, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.
Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.
Living Water satisfies.
The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.
Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.
Living Water glorifies.
Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.
My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?
Living Water sanctifies.
Sunday, December 30, 2018