John 14:15 John 20:31

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1 As Christians we talk a lot about loving God; we talk about our love for Jesus. Even I do and I m not a particularly emotional bloke. I don t get gooey and teary eyed over very much. But even I say I love God. I m very happy to admit that I love Jesus. But, that is a very easy thing to say and feel. But how do I really know that I love Jesus? Is it just down to what I feel? Or, is there any way of quantifying this love? Perhaps it s down to how we worship God? Maybe it s down to how we care for God s world? Or whether we give God gifts of time and money to express our love? Maybe it s shown by how much we talk about our love for God to other people? How can we truly know that I love Jesus? Well, it s actually very simple to know whether we love Jesus. Look at verse 15 and listen to what Jesus says; John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. This is a simple statement but it has massive implications. Loving Jesus isn t an emotion, it s not a state of mind, it s not a feeling. Loving Jesus is shown by action. If you love Jesus you will obey what he commands. So, the question this throws up for each and every one of us who claims to be a Christian. By Christian I mean someone who claims to love Jesus. The simple question is this: am I obeying what Jesus has commanded? We re going to spend a good chunk of our time thinking about exactly that and looking to see what God the Father has done to help us to love and obey the Lord Jesus Christ. We re back in John s Gospel having had a break for a couple of months over the summer. John told us why he wrote this wonderful account of Jesus life in John 20:31 These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. This whole book is written so that we will believe and that we ll have life in Jesus name. We ve been looking at this book since January and we got up to the middle of chapter 14. We stopped half way through a supper party. This wasn t just any supper party, this was the Last Supper. Jesus is just moments from being arrested. We re just a few hours from his brutal crucifixion. And at this most amazing supper party we ve been listening to Jesus explain, in glorious detail, that he was going away to prepare a place for us in God s house. And in John 14:6 Jesus said we could have our own room in this amazing house if we trusted him, the Way, the Truth and the Life. We can have access to God through Jesus. 1

2 And now we rejoin this supper party in John 14:15. Jesus explains to us what it looks like to love him. He tells us how he ll help us to do that. And he tells us how we can be confident that what we have written down, in the Bible, is a true record of all he came to say and do so we can trust what it says. If you love Jesus you will obey his commands (15-24) Verse 15 is very clear and very challenging. How do I know if I really love Jesus? It s a clear and simple statement. But hugely challenging because it forces us to ask if I m doing this. Does my life match what Jesus says? Loving Jesus is an action not an emotion. If you love Jesus, you will obey what he commands. But, let s just go back a stage and ask, why would I love Jesus? Well the Bible makes it clear that Jesus is God made flesh to live the perfect life and then be God s perfect, once for all time, sacrifice to pay the price we owe for our sin, our rejection of God. And if we trust in him as the way, the truth and the life, we can have access to God the Father. We can be in an eternal, wonderful relationship with God in His house. With that in mind, what s not to love! So, if we love Jesus we will obey what he commands. To obey is to follow, it s to keep in mind, it s to do what he says, it s to submit to him. To obey is a strong word of complete humble dedication to someone else. But, this isn t an onerous thing to do. Jesus isn t a tyrannical bully who makes up oppressive rules for us to obey. Jesus is our creator God who knows us better than we know ourselves; he knows what s best for us. He knows how we can live the best, most glorious life in a perfect relationship with God. So, to obey him is actually the most logically sensible thing to do. So, if we love Jesus we will obey what he commands. But, what does he command? Well firstly, it s to listen and obey all that Jesus said. Some of you will have those red letter bibles. Those Bible put everything that is recorded that Jesus actually said and puts it in red type. But I find those actually quite unhelpful and distracting. They make out that somehow those recorded words of Jesus are somehow more God s word to us than the rest of the Bible. So, yes, what Jesus says are his commands and therefore if we love Jesus we should obey them. But, don t limit Jesus commands to just those bits. 2

3 Look at the end of John 14:24 These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. So Jesus words are God the Father s words. So loving Jesus and obey what he commands also includes everything that God the Father commands. But, again it s wider than that. As Jesus says in verse 26, and we ll think about this a bit more in a few minutes. God the Holy Spirit taught the eyewitness disciples, the apostles, all things and reminded them of everything that Jesus said to them. Why did he do that? He did this so that when they wrote the New Testament they were writing exactly what God wanted them to write. They were writing what Jesus commanded. Basically, when Jesus said If you love me, you will obey what I command. That means everything that God has said to us in his entire word, the Bible. If we love Jesus we will obey what the Bible says. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. He is the clearest revelation of God to the world, and we know about this through the revealed word of God, the Bible. If we love Jesus we will obey what the Bible commands. Well that has massive implications for us. Do we know what the Bible says? Do we look at it to see how we should be obeying Jesus? When we see something in it that doesn t match what we do or think what do we do? Do you ignore it and just carry on as you were? Do you try and manipulate it to try and make it fit with what you think and do? Or do you try and change your thinking, to change what you do so that you obey it? Does your approach to God s word show that you love Jesus or not. That are the 2 options that Jesus tells us in John 14:23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. And the implication from Jesus is clear if you don t love Jesus, which is shown by not obeying his teaching, then God the Father wont love you, won t be with you and you won t belong in His home. If you love Jesus, you will obey what he commands. But, this isn t a works based salvation. Please don t hear me to say that if we obey what Jesus commands then we ll earn our way into heaven. Look at what Jesus says. The obeying flows out from the love. It s a result of our loving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ that will produce our obedience. God s love for us isn t dependent on our obedience. Our obedience just gives us the evidence that we do love Jesus. It s the actions that flow out from our relationship with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. And, wonderfully; 3

4 - We re not left on our own to do this (16-21) This loving relationship with God is a two way thing. We obey, but we re not left alone to do that. Look at the action, the support, the help that we get from our glorious Trinitarian God. To help us love Jesus and obey him God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are working to help us. In fact on our own we couldn t do this. We are utterly dependent on what God does for us, in us and to us to be able to love Jesus. Jesus, God the Son, will ask God the Father to send God the Holy Spirit to live in us. He is another counsellor, the word counsellor means an encourager, someone who is alongside us. It also means someone like a lawyer to help us know what to do and what not to do; a legal advisor. And this counsellor, the Holy Spirit, isn t just alongside, he is living in us. Look at John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. The Holy Spirit is a person. We either have him living in us or we don t. All Christians have the Holy Spirit living in them. You can t have more or less of him. You either have him or you don t. It s like if I came to stay at your house, you get all of me or none of me. I can t leave bits of me behind. Likewise, and so much better than me coming to stay, you either have the Holy Spirit living in you or you don t. And having God live in us through the Holy Spirit is glorious, wonderful and secures our relationship with God. So that s the 2 sides of the relationship. We love Jesus by obeying him, and God loves us, by living in us, loving us, guiding us, supporting us. These verses describe a glorious, beautiful, active, loving relationship between us and Almighty God. The Bible has much, much more to say on this wonderful relationship and on what God does for us, in us and to us. But, just looking at these verses isn t it amazing what God has done for us. Verse 16, He gives us the Holy Spirit to be with us forever. Verse 17, God lives in us through the Holy Spirit. Verse 18, we are not orphans, have God as our Father and he is with us. Verse 19, we live because Jesus lives. Verse 20, we are united with God the Father, because we are united with God the Son and he is in the Father. We belong with God! Verse 21 is a wonderful summary of our relationship with God; Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. 4

5 If you love Jesus you will obey what he commands. But, that leaves us with another question. How can we be confident that we read in the Bible is in fact what God wanted to say? - We can trust the Bible to do this (25-31) This whole supper party is Jesus with his disciples. We weren t there. He wasn t speaking directly to us. But, in verses 15-24, what Jesus says is for all Christians for all time. You can see that in verse 21 it s whoever has my commands, in verse 23 If anyone loves me. Jesus is talking about anyone from anytime who loves him. But, from verse 25 it s not about us at all. He is speaking just to those in front of him. And that s obvious when you look at what Jesus says. John 14:25, All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. We weren t there, we were not with Jesus, he s never spoken directly to us that we need to be reminded of it. At this point Jesus is just speaking to those actually in front of him and not to us. With that in mind, why has John recorded this for us? Well it s actually really important. Remember why John wrote this account of Jesus life. He wrote this book so that we would believe in Jesus and have eternal life. And John 14:25-31 are really important to help him achieve this goal. These verses help us know that he didn t make it up. These verses help us know that what he wrote, and indeed what is written in the whole New Testament. It s reliable, accurate and actually God s word to us. The Holy Spirit will teach them all things and remind them of everything that Jesus said to them. Why is this so vitally important? Well Jesus told them in verse John 14:31. The world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. Why must the world learn about Jesus? Because if these guys weren t faithful in recording what Jesus said and did we would have no hope. We would be dead in our sins. But, because they did record what God wanted them to, we have hope, we have life. We know the truth and we know the way to God. Jesus knew this would be a tough job. Jesus knew that most of those in front of him would be killed for being his eyewitness. So he reassured them in verse 27 to have courage because they are at peace with God. And in verse he prepares them for what is about to happen in the 5

6 next 3 days. Jesus does all this because he knows that the message about him needs to be heard for anyone to have any hope of eternal life. And we are the direct recipients of what God did through the Holy Spirit in teaching these apostles all things and reminding them of everything Jesus said to them. Because they had the God inspired courage to be faithful witnesses we have the New Testament. We have the Bible so we can know what Jesus commands us. And that means we can know what it looks like to love Jesus. As God says to us in 2 Timothy 3:15-17 The Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. So, scripture, the Bible, the Word of God, tells us how we can have salvation and how we can live a life thoroughly equipped for every good work. We can rely on what the Bible says because God the Holy Spirit has ensured that what was recorded was exactly what he wanted to say. And we re not left alone to try and obey what God commands because he lives in us, and works in us to equip us to love Jesus. If you love Jesus, you will obey what he commands. In light of that the question each of us must face is this: Do you love Jesus? Let s pray! 6

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