Thoughts on 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 may be full.
We (Jesus’ disciples) are commanded to “abide in his love”, the love that He has shown for us, from the Father. We are to do this by keeping His commandments (v 10). But what does abiding in Christ’s (and the Father’s) love mean? I find it easy to just read these sort of statements in the scriptures without really thinking about their meaning: “abide in my love” sounds nice; a reward for keeping the commandments – lovely. Read on…. But then I realise I don’t really understand it, and hearing it as a nice phrase isn’t enough. So here’s a little analysis.
God’s commandments come of His love; keeping them will save us – make us like Him and able to access His saving power (grace). We abide in God’s love as we do this, because we abide in His saving power – meaning, His saving power, or grace, continually works for/in us. It covers us. That’s how His joy remains in us and how our joy becomes full (v11 – notice it says becomes; grace works with us over time, and finally, gradually, we are perfected). Not keeping His commandments removes us from His saving power – which is His love, manifested – so we abide not in His love, neither does his joy remain in us.