When someone you love gives a promise, you can count on it. This is especially true if that one is Jesus. Jesus promised, “If a man love me, he will keep my words” (John 14:23). What a powerful promise!
Jesus is both the source and goal of life. When you love Jesus—in relationship, not ritual—you will trust His personal leadership in your life. As you trust Him, He enables, empowering you with His divine life. Thus you will keep His words. When you love Jesus, you live Jesus.
Jesus explained that the one who is having His commandments (faith) and is keeping them (faith accessing grace) is the one who is loving Him (John 14:21). The order of things for a believer begins with love, leads to trust, and concludes with accessing grace to obey. Then Jesus promises that the one who loves will experience more of the Lord: “I will manifest myself to him” (John 14:21).
Love, trust, obey. Love produces trust. Trust accesses enablement. Enablement empowers obedience. This paradigm is freedom. In contrast, trying to obey in order to prove your love leads to the bondage of a performance-based acceptance.
The freedom mode of operation focuses on Jesus. The focus of a bondage mode is a mere system. One mode is relational; the other is ritual. The former relies on a divine person, but the latter depends on human performance. True, biblical Christianity is a relationship not a religion, and thus real Christian growth in grace is realized through relationship and not religiousness.
Jesus assures us, “If a man love me, he will keep my words.” It’s a promise! Take hold of this wonderful promise and experience Jesus today!
John Van Gelderen