If you love Christ, then you've got to keep His commandments.
John 14: 15-17
Now I want you to note that this text: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments," is a great rebuke to the antinomianism of our day. That is a theological term which means one is against the nomas, the law. In some fundamental circles, there are people who say, "Well, the law is not for us. The law is gone now. We don't need to have anything to do with the law. We live under grace and therefore we can do as we please.
I once was talking to the dean at a big Bible institute, where there were several hundred students. Thinking in terms of a sermon I was preparing, I said to him, "Do you have moral problems with your Bible institute students?" And he said, "Oh yes, all the time, and increasingly so." The number of cases of fornication among Bible institute students is very great. And every Bible institute in the country knows it. It's possible for Christian young people to come to church saying, "I love him," "I love her," and then go out and commit sin. This antinomianism is a cursed thing.
We must understand that if we love Christ, we've got to keep His commandments. The Lord that gave the Law to Moses is the same Lord who died for us on the cross. Mt. Sinai and Mt. Calvary are in the same range of mountains, spiritually speaking. You cannot divorce Mt. Sinai from Mt. Calvary. In the Old Testament, in Exodus 20:6, after saying that God visits the iniquities of the fathers upon children of the third and fourth generations of those who hate Him, it says that He shows mercy "unto thousands of them that love [Him] and that keep [His] commandments." So in the Ten Commandments, He says, "Love Me and keep My commandments," and in the upper room He says, "Love Me and keep My commandments."
Now what are the commandments? "The commandments" is the whole of the divine revelation-the Old Testament and the New Testament. Now this doesn't mean that you are to kill a lamb for the remission of sin, or that you must observe Saturday, or that you are to go around observing the legal prescription of the Old Testament that says you can't make a suit of clothes out of two different kinds of cloth. If you can't mix linen and wool-why, who knows what you're wearing these days? Dacron, nylon, orlon, pine tree root, cold tar products, sour milk-today chemistry has given us so much that nobody in the world knows what we have on our backs. If you were a good Jew living in an orthodox manner, you couldn't wear most of the clothes you wear, because it would be a violation of the kosher elements concerning dressing. You couldn't have bacon with your breakfast or ham with your lunch if you were keeping the Old Testament commandments.
When it says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments," this is referring to the whole of the divine revelation. We must understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is living in our lives and leading us on moment by moment into a life of holiness according to the principles set forth in the whole of His Word. Who was it that was with the children of Israel for forty years in the wilderness? It was Jesus Christ.
"Oh," someone says, "is that in the Old Testament? Christ?" In 1 Corinthians 10:9 it says, "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, [in the wilderness] and were destroyed of serpents." Back in verse 4 of that same chapter, it says, "And they did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ!" So we see very definitely then, that the Lord God Almighty has given us the expression of His will, which He calls "His commandments," and that we are not to take them in the servile sense of slaves, but in the joyful sense of sons who find out the will of the Father and seek to put into practice that which would be pleasing to Him. "If you love me, keep my commandments."
Now notice verse 16, "If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter." Back in verse 15, He asks love and obedience from us. In verse 16, you see that His love "through the Comforter," gives us the power to obey. How are you going to obey Him? You can't obey Him by yourself. "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). But in Romans 5:5 it says, "Hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us."
So you can see just the logic of this thing. First, the Holy Spirit comes-Romans 5:5. He brings the love of God. This love is shed abroad in our hearts. And if we have this love of God, we keep His commandments. It's all interrelated in an interlocking direction-the Holy Spirit brings love, love enables us to keep the commandment, and following the Lord Jesus Christ takes us on to daily power and life. "I will send you another Comforter."
- Why is antinomianism an issue? What does it fundamentally confuse?
- What place does the law of God have in the life of the believer?