Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Love One Another

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 NASU)

[This is My commandment, that you love one another]

This is the “new commandment” (John 13:34-35) that is to govern the relationship of the disciples of our Lord. We are to love each other with the love of Christ as He loved us with the love of the Father even to death on the cross.

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 NASU)

[Greater love has no man than this,]

No higher expression of love can be given. Life is the most valuable object we possess; and when a man is willing to lie that down for his friends, it shows the utmost extent of love. When he considers the life of a friend greater than his own then he has loved with the love of Christ; there is no greater love. To lay down one’s life may not mean in death always, but that he consider the welfare of others above his own.

“You are My friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:14 NASU)

[If you do what I command you]

Friends love their Master and friend and obey Him from that love.

“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15 NASU)

[No longer do I call you slaves,]

A slave receives the command of his master without knowing the reason why it is ordered. It is one of the conditions of slavery not to be let into the counsels and plans of the master. It is the privilege of friendship to be made acquainted with the plans wishes, and wants of the friend. This instance of friendship Jesus had given to His disciples by making them acquainted with the reasons why He was about to leave them, and with His desires in regard to them. As He had given them this proof of friendship, it was proper that he should not withhold from them the title of friends.

Our friendship with Christ is evidenced by each revelation we receive of His word. It is His desire that His friends know all mysteries as they seek to know them from a heart of love.

“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” (John 15:16 NASU)

[You did not choose me]

Our Lord had chosen these to be His Apostles; they did not choose Him to be their teacher but He chose and commissioned them that they bear much fruit and that their fruit remain.

We are God’s elect through Christ our Lord; chosen and called to serve and to bear the fruit of righteousness to the glory of the Father. Those who remain steadfast in their calling bear much fruit and their fruit remains. We have the Apostles as witnesses of this fact. They were steadfast in their faith even unto death and their fruit remains to this day as evidenced by their writings that we are privileged to study.

[so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.]

Our Lord has made covenant with His disciples as He did with His first disciples; and if we remain faithful to that covenant then whatever we ask of the Father in our Lord’s name our Father will give it to us.

We are reminded that, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19 NASU)

“This I command you, that you love one another” (John 15:17 NASU).

[that you love one another]

This is the third time our Lord speaks this command to us; this is, no doubt, to emphasize the importance of our obedience.

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:1-3 NASU).


James C Sanford

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