John 15:9-11 – As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
So many Christians fail to understand the interaction between the grace of God and His expectations. Upon receiving new life from the Holy Spirit the newborn child of God can see the spiritual kingdom of God and mourns for their inadequacy to meet God’s Holy commandments (John 3:3, Matthew 5:3-4). By grace we are saved not simply to enjoy deliverance from eternal damnation, we are given the Spirit to wage war upon the sin our lives, mortifying the “deeds of the flesh” to the glory of God.
For example, when the adulterous woman was brought to Jesus, He did not just pat her on the shoulder and tell her she was forgiven. No, after nullifying the self-righteousness of her accusers, Jesus tells her that He did not accuse her either. However, He sent her away saying “Go, and sin no more” (John 8:1-11). His forgiveness leads out of sin, not to it.
In the very next verses in John 8, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). His expectation is obedience to the light of His love. If we love Him, we obey Him. Notice that in John 15, the Savior says that if we keep His commandments then we will abide (live) in His love. His love is always present, but sadly when we quench the Spirit and sin, we do not stay near to that love as we ought. We do abide in it. For this reason, Christ commends to us obedience that our joy may be full.
Choose obedience. Choose love.