John 14:21, 23, 24; John 15:10, 11
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 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.
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 might be full.
JAMES DURHAM (1622-1658): Although the Lord loves the elect, and the believer always, yet there are special times or occasions upon which, or ways by which, He manifests His love to them. There is an inseparable and peremptory connection betwixt holiness in a believer’s walk, and Christ’s manifesting of His favour thus unto them.
WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): It is holiness, and that maintained in its power, that capacitates us for communion with God in this life…The Spirit of God gives the lie to that man who saith he hath any acquaintance with God while he keeps his acquaintance with any unrighteousness: “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie,” I John 1:6. The apostle is willing to pass for a loud liar himself, if he walks in darkness, and pretends to have fellowship with God…Communion is founded on union, and union upon likeness. And how alike are God and the devil, holiness and unholiness.
JOSEPH CARYL (1602-1673): They who separate themselves from whatsoever is unholy, have Him nearest them, who is altogether holy.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” Matthew 6:13. Evil here includes not only Satan, but evil in every shape and form―there is an evil also in our hearts, so we need to be delivered from that, and from the evil in the world as well. Why should we ask that we may be kept from evil? For the great and wonderful reason that our fellowship with God may never be broken…Our supreme desire should be to have a right relationship with God, to know Him, to have uninterrupted fellowship and communion with Him. That is why we pray this prayer, that nothing may come between us and the brightness and radiance and the glory of our Father which is in heaven.
THOMAS HALYBURTON (1674-1712): The joy of the Lord is only to be retained when we walk tenderly and circumspectly; it is inconsistent, not only with the entertainment of any gross sin, but with a careless walk.
JAMES DURHAM: There is nothing a believer should watch more against―as that which mars fellowship with Christ―than taking excessive contentment in created things. Often a condition which abounds in worldly contentments and delights, is very scarce of Christ’s company.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Now, if the soul has come to look at the mere trifles of this world as all-important, is it any marvel that it should be unable to perceive the exceeding preciousness of Christ Jesus? Who will care for the wheat when he dotes on the chaff?
WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): If a man prayed to be heavenly minded, would he go and wait in a theatre for the answer?
C. H. SPURGEON: Was Jesus found at the theatre?
JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): The theatres are fountains and means of vice.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: The same is true of books, especially novels, radio programs, television and also the cinema…These things are generally a source of temptation.
JOHN ANGELL JAMES (1785-1869): Although some of these entertainments may not be demoralizing, yet they abate seriousness and spirituality, promote levity and frivolity of mind, are a great waste of time, and are a part of that conformity to the world in which Christians are forbidden to indulge. It is a sad proof of little or no true vital piety, when people feel it a hardship to be debarred by their profession from such engagements.
R. C. CHAPMAN: The so-called innocent amusements of the world are only contrivances to forget God.
C. H. SPURGEON: This is the age of excessive amusement. Everybody craves for it, like a babe for its rattle…Was Jesus seen, think you, in any of the amusements of the Herodian court? Not He.
DAVID DICKSON (1583-1662): There is more joy in God’s felt presence.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Let every one then bear in mind, that as he is called to this fellowship he is to throw off all hindrances.
R. C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): Communion with Christ can only be kept up by constant watchfulness. Where there is much love between friends, a cold look is matter of complaint. Let us be very jealous over ourselves for the Lord; watching against the least shyness between the soul and Christ.
THOMAS WILCOX (1622-1687): Treasure up manifestations of Christ’s love.
C. H. SPURGEON: I am afraid that the visits of Christ to our souls have been disesteemed, and the loss of those visits has not caused us corresponding sorrow. We did not sufficiently delight in the beauty of the Bridegroom when He did come to us; when our hearts were somewhat lifted up with His love, we grew cold and idle, and then He withdrew His conscious presence; but, alas! we were not grieved, but we wickedly tried to live without him…now you are carnal and worldly, and careless, and quite content to have it so, [and] Jesus hides His face.
IRENÆUS (130-202): To those who abide in His love, He gives communion with Himself…On those who stand aloof from Him, He inflicts the separation which they have chosen for themselves.
R. C. CHAPMAN: Another may take away my substance, or my life, but cannot spoil me of my communion with God; if I lack this, I am myself the thief and the robber.
A. W. PINK (1886-1952): The felt presence of the Lord is the stay, the strength, the consolation of the believer; the lifting up of the light of His countenance upon us, is what sustains and cheers us in this dark world. But when that is withheld, when we no longer have the joy of His presence with us, drab indeed is the prospect.
C. H. SPURGEON: If you want the blessing of God, keep in constant communion with God. When may a Christian be safely out of communion with God? Never―if we are weak in communion with God we are weak everywhere…I must add here, if we are to enjoy the power of God, we must manifest great holiness of life.
R. C. CHAPMAN: It is impossible for God to meet His saints in the way of fellowship, except in the path of obedience.
DAVID BRAINERD (1718-1747): The way to enjoy the Divine presence, and be fitted for distinguishing service for God, is to live a life of great devotion and constant self-dedication to Him.