Obedience to God’s Word: The Best Proof of True Love for Christ

John 14:21, 23; John 15:10; John 14:24; Luke 6:46
       He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me…If a man love me, he will keep my words.
       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.
       He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
       Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): For some reason or other we tend to think of love as being a mere matter of sentiment and feeling; we tend to regard it as simply an emotion. And we tend to carry this over into our thinking concerning the New Testament’s great gospel of love, and the announcement of the love of God to offending sinners. Yet think for a moment of John’s Gospel and his first Epistle in which so much is said about love, and also of I Corinthians 13. You will see that their whole emphasis is upon the fact that love is something which is very practical. How often does our Lord say in various ways, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.”

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): When a man has true love to Christ, it is sure to lead him to dedication. There is a natural desire to give something to the person whom we love, and true love to Jesus compels us to give ourselves to Him. One of the earliest acts of the Christian’s life is to take ourselves, and lay body, soul and spirit upon the altar of consecration, saying, “Here I am; I give myself to thee.”

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Where there is a true love to Christ there is a value for His favour, a veneration for His authority, and an entire surrender of the whole man to His direction and authority.

C. H. SPURGEON: True love next shows itself in obedience. If I love Jesus, I shall do as He bids me. He is my husband, my Lord—I call Him “Master.” “If ye love me,” saith He, “keep my commandments.” This is His chosen proof of my love, and I am sure, if I love Him, I shall keep His commandments.

MATTHEW HENRY: Love is the root, obedience is the fruit. Where a sincere love to Christ is in the heart, there will be obedience.

WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): As obedience is the best evidence of love, so love is the best spring of obedience. It is love that makes it pleasant to ourselves.

MATTHEW HENRY: All obedience begins in the affections, and nothing in religion is done right, that is not done there first…Where love is, duty follows of course, is easy and natural, and flows from a principle of gratitude.

C. H. SPURGEON: Love is the spring of true obedience. “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments,” I John 5:3. Now a man who is not obedient to God’s commandments is evidently not a true believer; for, although the keeping of the commandments does not make me a child of God, yet, being a child of God, I shall be obedient to my heavenly Father. But this I cannot be unless I love God. A mere external obedience, a decent formal recognition of the laws of God, is not obedience in God’s sight. He abhors the sacrifice where not the heart is found. I must obey because I love, or else I have not in spirit and in truth obeyed at all.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): No man will actually obey God but he who loves Him.

WILLIAM JAY: Jesus would have this known, not to His disciples only, but to others, and to all: “But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do,” John 14:31.

THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): Christ subjects Himself to the moral law, and did apply the precepts to Himself, no less than to us; and so is a pattern of obedience to us, that we ought to direct and order all our actions according to the law and word of God.

C. H. SPURGEON: And yet there are some who profess to love Christ who very seldom think of keeping some of His commandments.

MARY WINSLOW (1774-1854): “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Not one nor two only, but all. It is not given us to choose which we shall keep, and which we shall break.

WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): If any one duty be willingly neglected, the golden chain of obedience is broke. And nothing is really good that is not so in all its parts.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): There is no such thing as a saving faith in Christ where there is no real love for Him, and by “real love” we mean a love which is evidenced by obedience. Christ acknowledges none to be His friends save those who do whatsoever He commands them, John 15:14. As unbelief is a species of rebellion, so saving faith is a complete subjection to God: hence we read of “the obedience of faith,” Romans 16:26.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Our Lord says it is useless to talk about loving Him unless we keep His commandments. “He that loveth me truly,” He seems to say, “does what I tell him to do.” Nothing is so fallacious as to substitute feelings and sensibilities for definite obedience.

BROWNLOW NORTH (1810-1875): Love is a conduct, not a feeling; and the evidence of love is not emotion, but obedience.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): Others may talk of loving Christ, but this is the man that truly does love Him; for his observance of Christ’s commands is a proof and evidence that he loves Him not in word only, but in deed and in truth.

A. W. PINK:And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments,” I John 2:3. Is that not plain enough? A godly life is the first proof that I am a child of God. But let us observe the solemn declaration that immediately follows. “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him,” verse 4. Do these words anger you? We trust not: they are God’s, not ours.

JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): Obedience is the best test…The best mark to judge, and which He has given us for that purpose, is to inquire if His Word and will have a prevailing, governing influence upon our lives and temper. If we love Him, we do endeavour to keep His commandments. If your love and dependence are not fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ, if your tempers and practice are not governed by His commands, you are not of God.


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