Love One Another part 4


LOVE ONE ANOTHER BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN LOVED BY JESUS

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:13-15) 

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.” Jesus uttered these words prior to the cross, but He did so with the cross in view. He knew it was coming.

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-- and I lay down my life for the sheep." (John 10:14-15)

We cannot help but read these words with the cross in mind. They remind us that we are the recipients of the greatest love imaginable. Jesus lay down His life for us, His friends.

Next, Jesus links our reception of His love with our expression of love. “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” In other words, we are the recipients of Jesus’ sacrificial death if we love one another. The one who has been loved will love. The one who does not love, has not been loved.

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:10-11)
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Jesus is not saying that we earn His friendship by our obedience, but that obedience is the characteristic of a friend of Jesus. The person who has truly experienced being loved by Jesus cannot help reciprocating that love to others.

In the Old Testament, only two people were called friends of God; Abraham (2 Chron 20:7; Isa 41:8) and Moses (although Moses only indirectly. See Ex 33:11). Now all Christians have that special honour. The distinguishing mark of friendship is knowledge. ‘The servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.’ As His friends, Jesus takes us into His confidence. He shares with us His plans and purposes. Unlike slaves, we have the joy of serving out of knowledge rather than ignorance. Consider 1 Peter 1:10-12 for a sense of the privilege we have in the fullness of the revelation we have been given.

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. (1 Peter 1:10-12)

Jesus’ friends are the recipients of great love. That experience of being loved produces love. We are Jesus’ friends if we love one another. This is a warning. The test of whether you are a friend of Jesus is whether you love Jesus’ friends. So test yourself. Is your life characterized by sacrificial love for your brothers and sisters? Let us pray for God to make our love for one another abound more and more.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”


Part 5

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