John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 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.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Verse 7 begins with a very important word. The word “if” is found several times with regard to God’s promises to His children. It is important to understand that God does not hand out blank cheques. He saves all who come to Him in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. God does expect those who are saved to learn obedience to Him. That is not, as some people like to suggest, works salvation. It is also not legalism. That word has been thrown around so loosely by nay-sayers. The Pharisees were legalists. They tried to force people to follow their moral code as the means of “salvation”. They could not follow it themselves, but they demanded obedience from their followers. A sure way of getting rich off of others is to set a man-made bar so high that it cannot be met, and then set penalties for failure. Most people want some type of a works salvation. They want some bragging rights.
True Christians have no bragging rights. True Christians do not follow some man-made way of salvation. True Christians are saved by God’s grace through faith in His way of salvation. True Christians then get baptized and join a good church where they can serve the Lord. A true church will have Godly standards and will teach people the importance of glorifying God in their lives. It is interesting how people will try to impress certain secular officials, yet they will buck at glorifying God.
We need to keep in mind that Jesus is speaking of fruit bearing in chapter 15. Abiding has to do with continuing to walk with the Lord. It has to do with producing fruit that glorifies God.
Jesus promised that those who will abide in Him and have His words abiding in them, will have access to the throne of grace to find grace to help in all things. Jesus is not teaching the false Charismatic doctrines of prayer. The key here is “my words abide in you”. God’s Word governs the thinking and the actions of the true child of God. Jesus had all things at His disposal, and yet He did not take advantage of that fact. When He needed a room for the last supper, it was there for Him and the disciples. When He needed a donkey to ride on it was there for Him. He did not need to concern Himself with a will to pass on His earthly possessions. At the cross the Roman soldiers gambled for his garments. He had no house or camel or anything earthly. He had great spiritual riches and He taught the importance of knowing Him and following Him.
Isaiah 53:6 does not guarantee physical healing for those who are saved. Paul left Trophimus sick at Miletum (II Timothy 4:20). Paul had the power to heal people. He was an apostle. He did heal people at times. However, he did not heal all that were sick. God can still heal today, but He does not always do so.
Jesus was encouraging the disciples here with the blessing of abiding in Him. He promised that God would hear their prayers. It is a blessing to have that vital and close relationship with the God of Creation. Verse 8 helps us to understand this verse.
In verse 8 we see that God the Father is glorified when His children bear much fruit. Fruit bearing involves many aspects of the Christian life. Some accentuate the winning of souls over other fruit. In doing so, they distort soul winning and they get people to pray a prayer without yielding to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. Soul winning is important. Saving souls is God’s Work. Those who are abiding in Him need to be faithful in witnessing, however, the results are in God’s hands. We pray and we work and we pray and we work. We trust God’s Word to bear fruit in the sinner’s heart and life. We need to be carful not to get in the way of the Holy Spirit and interfere in the work that must be done to break the lost sinner’s heart to bring them to repentance and salvation.
Jesus’ disciples are identifiable by producing fruit. That is by growing in the Lord and becoming more Christ-like and glorifying Him.
In verse 9 the disciples were encouraged with the fact that they were under God’s love. They were also challenged to continue in Jesus’ love. The Greek word translated as “continue” here is the same Greek word that is translated “abide” in the previous verses. The child of God is challenged to continue in Jesus’ love. That is how we function. The love of Christ is what guides us.
In verse 10 Jesus continued that same truth. Notice here again that word “if”. God’s people need to keep Jesus’ commandments. This is a product of salvation. If is the evidence of abiding in Him. The true Christian is different from the ritualistic “christian’. He or she is different from the secular “christian”. The love of God and of Christ is evident in their life. They speak the truth and they seek to help people to know God’s peace. They are not “yes men” who go with the flow. They are saved individuals who follow the commandments of the loving Father.
Jesus Christ declared that He kept His Father’s commandments. We can look at the Gospels and we can get an understanding of what the commandments of God look like. They are not overbearing. They are not grievous. They are achievable for those who are saved. They are also a blessing to those who are saved. Jesus stated that He was abiding in His Father’s love because He kept His commandments. Jesus was certainly not trying to secure His salvation. He was demonstrating His close relationship with His Father by keeping His commandments.
Notice in verse 11 the blessing that is in store for those who heed Jesus’ words. Jesus Christ faced many challenges. He was harassed by false teachers time and time again. The devil was behind the attacks. Jesus did not get discouraged. He had a joy in His heart and life. He knew why He came and He knew the results of His coming sacrifice. Hebrews 12:1-2 helps us to understand this joy.
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
There is a blessing that God provides for His children that the world will not understand. Jesus wanted His disciples to know the fullness of His joy. Notice that He wanted that joy to remain in them. The Christian life is not a roller-coaster ride. It is a steady moving forward by the grace of God. Our flesh will get in the way at times. God directed the apostle Paul to teach on that several times. When the flesh gets in the way, the true child of God confesses that as sin and gets back into walking in the Spirit and not fulfilling the lust of the flesh.
God does not want His children to be wasting their time worrying or wondering if they have lost their salvation. He does not want them to go through life wondering if they have done enough for the Lord. He wants His children to abide in the Lord Jesus Christ and to keep His commandments and enjoy His blessings on a daily basis.
Today is the Lord’s Day. Those who are abiding in Jesus Christ will attend a true local church where they can be blessed by fellowshipping with God the Father and with God the Son and with other saints. For those that are saved, be sure not to set a stumblingblock before others. Abide in Jesus Christ and know His joy.