John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
Biblical love is one of the defining traits of the saved. We are talking of “agape’” love. Jesus describes this love as the willingness to lay down ones life for a friend. Traditional wedding vows talk of the importance of loving the spouse through sickness and health, in poverty or wealth. Jesus Christ was willing to lay down His life for the sheep even though the sheep did not care to know Him. That is the sacrificial love that we are to have for one another.
Christians are commanded to love one another. They are willing to help one another to know God’s truth. They also help one another in practical matters. We see that in the book of Acts.
Jesus tells us in verse 13 that the greatest love a person can express for another person is to lay down their life for their friend. As we look at our current situation in Canada, we see great opportunity to express this love for one another. As we come into this fall, the food shortages may become a problem. We may need to be pooling our resources more to get by. We may also need to tighten our belts a bit to get by. We will see what we will need to go through yet before the Lord returns.
In verse 14 Jesus defines who His friends are. We have already seen the command of true saints to keep Jesus’ commandment. Jesus reminds us that we cannot be a friend of Jesus Christ if we are not willing to obey Him. A true friend listens to and trusts his or her master. Jesus is the Lord and He is the friend of every true believer. We do not tell Him what to do. We need to listen to Him and follow Him. In doing so, we demonstrate that we are His friends.
Saved people have been given the power to become sons of God. They have the power to keep God’s commandments. The Bible teaches us that we do not need to fear Jesus’ commandments. I remember years ago listening to a professing Christian woman who said she would do many things for the Lord, but she would not go to a foreign land where there were snakes and other dangers. Christians cannot put conditions on God. If God calls you to some place that you think is particularly dangerous, He will prepare you for that and He will make a way for you to go there. It is true that some evangelists have been in harms way and have died shortly after arriving in the place they believe they were called to.
If they were listening to God, then their families need to trust God. He knew all about it and He will use all things for His glory. It is important to be a friend of Jesus Christ. That friendship begins with the gift of salvation that He provides for us.
In verse 15 we see that Jesus is promoting His disciples from the realm of servant, to that of friend. Jesus stated that a servant does not know what his lord is doing. A servant has no investment in the work. He is simply called to serve. However, a friend is privileged with knowing what is going on. Jesus spent much time teaching the disciples of what was ahead for Him. They had difficulty comprehending what He was telling them. They would understand it much better after His resurrection, and still better after His ascension.
It is a blessing to be given the privilege of knowing what is going on. It is good to be able to be shown how decisions are made. Jesus had already told the disciples that they were in a spiritual battle. He told them that the false teachers were being led by their father the devil. He also washed their feet, showing the importance of humility and not being high minded toward other true saints. He taught them of the trouble that was ahead for Him and for them.
In verse 16 Jesus reminded the disciples that they did not choose Him. We read in the Gospel accounts that Jesus saw each one of the disciples busy with their secular dealings. He called each one to follow Him. They were not looking for the Messiah. They did not know what to make of the false teaching that was so prevalent, but they were not looking for Jesus Christ. The Pharisees taught that when the Messiah would come, He would overthrow the Roman government and give Israel back the “glory days” they had under king David’s rule.
Romans 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
It is by God’s mercy that we are saved. This choosing does not in any way support the heresy of Calvinism. God has not predetermined that some people cannot be saved and must go to hell. Calvinism is a fatalistic false religion. It behaves as if we as people have no choice and if we are “lucky” we will be chosen to be part of God’s family. If a person is not “lucky”, they will miss out on salvation. It does not matter if the person prays and attends a good church and is taught and believes what he or she is being taught. If God does not choose them, they have no hope.
There is no such thing as luck. The Bible is very clear that God wants all to be saved. Jesus Christ spent most of His time dealing with Jews during His first coming. He spoke openly to the false teachers and to the common people. It was their rejection of Him that was the problem. He invited all to come to Him. He does not force Himself upon anyone. He commanded the disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel.
Not only are the saints chosen, but they are also ordained to bring forth fruit. The word translated as “ordained” means “to be appointed”. We see again that people are not saved just to have “fire insurance”. We are saved to serve God. We know what His will is for us and for the lost. Five times the New Testament issues the command to go and preach the Gospel. It is a great privilege and it is also a great responsibility.
You notice that Jesus’ desire is for the fruit we produce, to remain. This is another reason why we need to be careful not to rush ahead of God and try to get a person to make a prayer without the convicting work of the Holy Spirit convincing them of their sin. We need to let Him lead and we need to be willing to be that vessel that He can work through.
You notice as well that if the true saint follows God’s design for him or her, they will have the confidence that they can ask whatsoever they will of the Father in Jesus’ name, and He will give it to us. You see here again that all prayer is directed to God the Father in Jesus’ name. We do not pray to Jesus. We do not pray to the Holy Spirit. We do not pray to God without coming through the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Mediator.
Jesus reminds us here that His promise is for those who are following Him obediently. Carnal Christians miss out. They do not have that confidence. Lost people also do not have that confidence. The Charismatics claim that God hears them, but they are wrong. They try to manufacture results, but they cannot support their deception from the Bible.
God wants to give His children good gifts. God is not short on blessings. Our country and many others are coming closer and closer to financial ruin. A country can only print money for so long. Eventually the country that is backing up the debt wants payment. It seems that we are seeing China calling in some of their debt at this time. Joe Biden sent millions of barrels of oil that was in the U.S. reserves to China just recently. Canada is also beholden to the Chinese government.
God cannot be blackmailed. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He has all the resources at His disposal. He is the Creator! Thus, when one of His children asks Him for something according to His will, He is able to meet every request.
In verse 17 we are again reminded of the necessity of true saints to love one another. If God’s people cannot love one another, how can the love of God dwell in them? God’s people do not condone sin amongst the saints. The love of God working in them guides them to help other saints to see the blessing of confessing sin and forsaking it. That is what true love is all about. That is the example we see over and over again in the Bible.