John is second to Paul in the number of books contributed to the New Testament. This is the same John who wrote the Gospel, three letters, and the book of Revelation. Like Peter, he was among the first disciples Jesus chose, and he also had a special relationship with Jesus. Because of his closeness to Jesus, he is often referred to as John the Beloved. Judging from the ending of his Gospel (John 21:25), John knew a lot of personal information about Jesus. Surely one who was as close to Jesus as John would have known if Jesus had set aside God’s law.
Toward the end of His earthly life, Jesus could testify to His disciples that He had been faithful to His Father’s commandments, and, as a result, had remained in His Father’s love (John 15:10). Jesus did not see the commandments as negative obstacles to be dismissed or discarded; rather, He saw them as guidelines for a loving relationship with Him and with other people. When John, the beloved disciple, reminds Christians of their obligation to God, he uses the same language of love and unity that Jesus does in the Gospel. In fact, John understood that love has always been the essence of the law (for example, 2 John 6). A person cannot claim to be keeping the law if he or she is not involved in loving relationships with God and other people.
The law of God requires that we love our fellow men as we love ourselves. Then every power and action of the mind must be put forth to that end-to do the greatest amount of good. . . . How pleasing to the Giver for man to hold the royal gifts of the soul so that they shall tell with power upon others! They are the connecting link between God and man, and reveal the Spirit of Christ and the attributes of heaven. The power of holiness, seen but not boasted of, speaks more eloquently than the most able sermons. It speaks of God, and opens to men their duty more powerfully than mere words can do.-Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, p. 138.
What is your own experience with the link between law and love? That is, on a personal practical level, how is love expressed by obedience to God’s law?