Generally, while people in society today wish to call themselves law-abiding citizens, these same people often will downplay the biblical obligation to keep the commandments of God.
Some even argue that God’s grace does away with God’s commandments. But that is not the biblical teaching: “Keeping the commandments is not a condition for knowing God but a sign that we know God/Jesus and love Him. Therefore, knowledge of God is not just theoretical knowledge but leads to action.” – Ekkehardt Mueller, The Letters of John (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press, 2009), p. 39. Jesus Himself emphasized: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (John 14:15, John 14:21, NKJV). “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2-3, NKJV).
Read John 13:34-35. What new commandment did Jesus give His disciples, and how does this relate to the idea of unity among Jesus’ followers?
The command to love one’s neighbor was not new in itself; it can be found in the instructions God gave Moses (Lev. 19:18). What is new is Jesus’ command for His disciples to love one another as He has loved them. Jesus’ example of self-sacrificial love is the new ethic for the Christian community.
What a wonderful standard has been set before us! Jesus’ life had been a practical demonstration of love in action. The whole work of grace is one continual service of love, of self-denying, self-sacrificing effort. We can imagine that Christ’s life was an unceasing manifestation of love and self-sacrifice for the good of others. The principle that actuated Christ should actuate His people in all their dealing with one another. What a powerful witness such love would be to the world. And what a powerful force for unity among us such love would provide, as well.
|How can we learn to reveal the kind of self-sacrificing love for others that Jesus had revealed?|