If you love ME, you will keep my commandments?
Does this mean:
1) You love Him, so you want to keep His commandments, and strive to keep them?
2) Because you love Him, that love, results in a change, that does not violate the commandments, not as a matter of focus and personal effort, but as an inherent result of the change…..
The earliest I see it mentioned is here….
“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
This was a comment made to ONE PEOPLE chosen of ALL PEOPLE, and given a set of laws, that separated them from the rest as Holier. His Holy people, so the Holiest of Holies could be found.
Whom God was addressing here, is not a question.
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
This is the verse most commonly referenced when this thought is expressed. And it appears most in the HRM belief structure, use the KJV or NKJV as their preferred tool of choice. In those translations the “WILL” is not present.
When the “WILL” is present, the choices discussed above, are more clear. You will keep…. can clearly mean it’s a result of love, vs it’s a conscious effort you make deliberately to show your love.
The Translators of the NKJV in their notes, state point blank that the “WILL” is present in the texts they translated from.
Perhaps they left it out to avoid the “confusion” the word presents, since they presume it must mean the other?
“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
Here it’s a lot more clear that the keeping the commandments is a measurement of the love, not an effort to show your love.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
Had this read, “For this is how you love God, that you keep His commandments”, then the person who focuses on obedience, would have a stronger argument for their view being right.
But, “this IS THE love of God, keeping His commandments” seems the “keeping the commandments, is a result of the love, it’s how the love manifests, it’s not a conscious effort, but a result of that changed heart and changed mind.
“I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.
The word for MIND is literally Kidneys. It’s a reference to that inner motivation of life we all have. What makes us tick. That which Paul described in one sense as the Sinful Nature, or Sarx, or Flesh.
The message is, God searches the purity of your actions, and the inner mind, and each gets, according to how his life is lived, according to the FRUIT OF HIS DEEDS.
The picture is, the inner person is changed, and it manifests in the lifestyle. One who is consciously working at the obedience as their primary focus in their faith, I.E. the HRB by definition, no matter the pedantics used to dance around this accusation, is not working on the changing of the inner person, the growing in LOVE.
It’s a picture of putting perfume on a skunk. The sweet smell of the result of His commandments in our lives, can either be a natural aroma, or an accent on an inner, stinky, man.
And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
Christ gave a commandment. And in that commandment made it clear, the heart would be changed, not perfumed. It is either all there which results in obedience without conscious effort, or it doesn’t.
He made it clear, with all your psyche, your soul, your life’s force would love Him. If that inner part of you love’s Him, the results of your actions in life will never be disobedient, the disobedient nature is removed. (Col 2:11/Rom 8:9)
He made it clear that the mind, another aspect of that inner man would…… see above.
The change, keeps the obedience. The change comes first, then the obedience. The inner person can be stanky, with perfume on it, or it can be changed and not have to buy perfume.
“And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,
that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.
Notice the obedience comes after the change?
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Now, there are two other important aspects of this thought that must be weighed in.
One, In the Beatitudes, Christ states, blessed are the Poor in Spirit. Poor means dependent, needy, requires assistance. I.E. leaning on GOD so he may Eze 11:19, romans 8:9, Col 2:11 be changed by God to become new.
In the story of the Rich Young Ruler, Christ tells the man how to be a mature Xian. (*perfect/Teleios) That is, to give up all He has, and become a pauper, with no way to provide for Himself, and come and depend totally on Jesus. You see the connection here of NEEDY, become less independent, and more dependent.
Peter asked Jesus, “We don’t have things to sell and already follow you, How can we have eternal life!”?
Jesus answered, “Through man it’s not possible, through God all things are possible.” Again, it’s about the needy and dependence.
HRM teaches to build a stronger spirit, to be able to manage their obedience themselves. Their focus is so myopic on obedience, they argue over how to say His name, as if pedantics were important to a God WHO WANTS YOU TO CHANGE FROM A STONE, SELFISH HEART, TO A LOVING HEART OF FLESH. Sorry for caps. That teaching is antithetical to the path Christ gave us to get there.
Secondly, The word for love Agapao in those commands, demands an action, thus sometimes in the ole King Jim it was translated as Charity. It’s a strong desire that results in an action. It is NOT used only for GOD’S love, although God’s love is truly Agapao, as Matt 5:43-48 shows us. But things that are ugly, hateful and against God are described as being motivated by Agapao too. That should cause you to notice, upon research, in all instances there is either an action, or an expectation of an action involved. (Perhaps anticipation is a better word.)
In 1 John 4 (John being the Author with all the emphasis on LOVE, Obedience, and Commandments..) States that if you love, then God is in you and you are in Him.
There is no mention of obedience, nor commandments here. Simply if you love….
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
Abides is where you inherently rest. Resting means you are there of no effort. What is your focus on, holy meals and feasts, saying the right spelling for Jesus in Hebrew? Or are you focused on loving Him?
If you get the love right, HE IS IN YOU and YOU ARE IN HIM.
You don’t fear punishment, I.E. of not keeping the law, This is what Mature love or Perfect love is.There is no concern for punishment.
Your author that says if you love Him you will keep his commandments, makes it pretty clear, that WITH LOVE, you have met the Standard. Not with obedience.
Love is an action of charity to another.
Take it from Jesus, don’t trust me. The Sheep loved, did actions of service, to people, and went on with the King. The Goats, knew the King, and given the same opportunity failed to deliver.
What you do the least of those on earth, You do to Him. That is, when you love via agapao/charitable love on earth, you are loving Him.
What you didn’t do to them, you refused Him.
Do you want to love Jesus? Feed His sheep.
This is Jesus, the one you claim to love’s teaching.
In another place, matt 5, Jesus describes how to love. He gives numerous bad examples. He ends with, God loves even His enemies. In fact He provides for those enemies as a result of that love. Jesus commands you to love as completely as GOD DOES, and that is His definition of Agapao. To love to the point of providing even for your enemies. What you do to the least of these… you do to Him.
Jesus states, point blank, numerous times that to love Him, you will love others in a way that is demonstrated via action.
Obedience isn’t in the NASB’s Synoptic Gospels.
Neither is Obedient.
Paul presents the argument that it’s a matter of the heart’s
Rom 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
Jesus explains ALL of the law hinges on Love neighbor and God. The Matt 25 Parable shows us that loving God is loving neighbor with providential actions manifesting from that love. And matt 5 showed us that not just your brothers, but even yours, and God’s enemies are to be loved.
Matt 22:40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Jesus showed the Pharisees that dealing with the details of the law was one thing, but having the “heart right” in the law was the focus.
Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.
There is not one instance of Jesus, the one the Hebrew Roots people claim to love by being obedient, says that the way to love Him is being obedient.
I would have to conclude that John’s, the Apostle Jesus loved, comments about if you love Him you WILL keep His commandments, is NOT inconsistent with Jesus’ teachings that LOVE is the focus, not obedience.
Please, ask any HRM friend you have to read and correct me. 🙂