Love Is Obedience
February 14, 2010
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." (1 John 5:3)
The disciple John is known as that disciple who had a special love for Jesus and vice versa. He was identified as that disciple "whom Jesus loved" (John 20:2). His writings give a clear picture of the love that God has for us, as well as the kind of love we should have in response to Him. John does not identify this type of love as an emotional or sentimental feeling. It is more than affection; it is total obedience to Him, as noted in the following sampling of verses. "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). "But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him" (1 John 2:5). "And this is love, that we walk after his commandments" (2 John 6). Such a view of love may come as a surprise to some, but it reflects total submission to His kingship. This is the proof of our love for God as seen in our text and elsewhere.
The other side of love is love toward men, and John has much to say of this matter as well. "And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also" (1 John 4:21). He elsewhere writes "that we love one another" (2 John 5); and "these things I command you, that ye love one another" (John 15:17). Paul even picks up the theme: "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law" (Romans 13:9-10). In summary, love to man is a principle that works no ill towards one's neighbor, but, in contrast, seeks his greater good. Christ's human half-brother calle d it "the royal law" (James 2:8). Love to God yields obedience to all His commandments. Both kinds of love are mandated by God. "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:40). JDM
h/t: J D Morris, Institute For Creation Research