“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”” John 14:21 NLT
Will God love us more if we follow his commands?
Earlier in the book of John, Jesus told the disciples in the upper room on the night before He was crucified that he was not leaving them alone. He would send the Holy Spirit to indwell the disciples on the day of Pentecost. The key word “love” (“agapao” in Greek) appears over 20 times in John 13-17. This is a kind of love that is self-sacrificing and unselfish. It means to love another dearly and fondly. That kind of love has a divine origin and was demonstrated by Jesus dying on the cross for us.
Two types of people are mentioned in John 14:15-24 – those who love the Lord and those who do not. The first are believers, who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and who obey His commands. They love the Lord and the evidence of this is seen in their words and actions. They have a heart surrendered to God’s will for them. The others are unbelievers, who do not have the Holy Spirit and do not obey the Lord’s commands. They cannot obey them because they do not love the Author of the commands. They don’t know His heart and how much He loves them.
John 14:21 says that obeying the Lord’s commands is evidence that one is a believer. For example, the disciples were told to “love one another” and this would show others that they were followers of Christ (John 13:34-35). The believer is loved by God the Father and God the Son, and they will make Themselves known to him in a special way: “We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23-26). Of course unbelievers are also loved by God, but it’s a one-sided relationship as the love is not reciprocal: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8; John 3:16).
John 14:21-26 shows that because believers have a relationship with the Lord and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, the Son reveals Himself to them in a way that is not possible for unbelievers to understand or experience. So, increased love for God and obedience to His commands doesn’t mean that He will love us more, but it is evidence that we will experience the special intimacy of knowing Him better in response to Him loving us first.
“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
FISHERS COMMUNITY CHURCH
Pastor Joseph Doenges
WORSHIP SUNDAY 10:00 AM
301 N. 6th Street
St. Clair, MI 48079
a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization