Text: John 15:9-13 (HCSB) 9 As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love. 10 If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. 11 “I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. 12 This is My command: love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”
“Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 (KJV)
Application: What kind of friend are you?
Intro: We are a people who have to have examples; someone has to prove to us something before we can believe it, or follow it. The scriptures set before us the greatest example one could ever expect. God says no greater love than this!
Every year when February comes around the focus is Love, messages are centered on this topic and all that can come with the joy of really loving someone. There is a love that can truly change your present and future and the way you treat others if only you will get out of the way. For you see, you will never be able to really love someone else until you first get out of your own way. With your own strength or ability you will never accomplish this great task until you let go and let God do it. Put God first and then and only then can you learn to love others the way God intended you to!
The message today revolves around love, a love that remains. If the love of Christ is really in you it will remain. This 15th chapter of John shows how love remains by looking at the example that Jesus left, it explains the charge He gives His disciples and the purpose for Love.
Jesus has a very special relationship with believers, a relationship that delivers them from an existence that is barren, empty, lonely, unmeaningful, and sad. Christ gives us an example:
1. His Example: Christ has loved believers Vs. 9
“As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love.”
He has loved us with a very special love, the very same love with which God has loved Him. Why would we expect the fathers love for Jesus to be any different then the love a father in this world would have for his own son? God loves Christ because of a natural love. God naturally loves His Son just as most fathers naturally love their children.
God loves Christ with an obedient love, it is a perfect love, but it is a very special love based on the perfect obedience of Christ. This is also a supreme love. Christ paid the supreme price of obedience. He died and sacrificed Himself in obedience to God's will. Therefore, God's love for His Son is very, very special in that it is a supreme love. Because of this the Bible tells us by His example we must walk in love. “And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” Ephesians 5:2 (HCSB)
Christ said that He loves believers with the same kind of love, the very same love God has for Him. Christ loves us with a natural love, we are His children and if we believe in Him He loves us with an obedient love! I don’t want to sound like a salesman when I make this statement but there is a ketch! The Christian must obey His Commandments. We must display the same supreme love by being obedient and taking up our cross daily!
"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me" Luke 9:23 KJV
Now this might be difficult for the man who doesn’t like to follow directions or read the instructions to assemble something. But if we want to experience a Love that abides you must follow the example of Christ! It’s that simple, really!
Christ gives us an example but also presents a charge:
2. His Charge: He has one great charge for believers: continue – abide in His love Vs. 9-10
9 As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love. 10 If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love.
Interestingly enough this is up to the believer. Think about what you do for someone when you love them. How you act, what you’re willing to do for them, what you sacrifice for them … If you love someone you want to draw near to them right? You try to do good and please them. The charge is for us to follow His commandments!
Remain or Abiding is conditional: a believer can break fellowship, cease to keep his thoughts upon Christ, walk out of the love of Christ, get away from the love of Christ. Turn back to the way of the world which means you allow the desires of the flesh to control you and not the spirit.
Christ always loves; His love is always there. But it is up to man to walk in that love. A man can never know and experience the Lord's love unless he walks in it.
“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him,” Colossians 2:6 (HCSB)
“The one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.” 1 John 2:6 (HCSB)
There is an action here! Read His word study it don’t just look at the pictures don’t just leave it on the table top because the preacher is stopping by … A person cannot keep a commandment unless he knows the commandment. The bible reminds us:
Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in
Christ gives us an example, presents a charge and shows us His purpose:
3. His Purpose: He as one great purpose for believers: the completion of their Joy. Vs. 11
“I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete”
His purpose is simple; so that we can have Joy. A joy that one can have deep down in His heart. “Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:2 (HCSB)
The joy of believers is the joy of Christ Himself reigning within their hearts. The joy of believers is fulfilled as believers study His Word, the promises and commandments which He made.
Vs. 17 “This is what I command you: love one another.”
Can you do that? Does your love for Christ remain? Are you following His example, have you accepted the charge and understand His purpose? What kind of Friend are you?
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