The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.1 John 3:24(NASB)
How important that the Bible is interpreted literally and in context. How vital that the Word of truth is rightly divided and that none of us shrink from declaring the whole purpose and council of God. And in the previous verse, John summarises Christ's command to New Testament believers: this is His commandment, John writes: that 1) we believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and 2) love one another, just as He commanded us - to love one another as Christ has loved us.
This sublime commandment to love as Christ loved us, is given to those in the body of Christ, for only by believing on Christ are we placed in union with Him - and only as we abide in Him and He in us can we fulfil His sublime instructions to the Church as recorded in John's gospels:- this is my will that You believe on ME - this is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.
There are many that seek to impose the Mosaic Law and legalistic liturgy; church-age codes and charters or self-imposed rules and regulation back onto Christians in this Church age, but the superlative commands of Christ to the Church by comparison with any legalistic requirements are of the highest possible standard and unattainable by human effort - for both the perfect Law of God and petty man-made regulation too frequently place believers back under some form of legal bondage - for we cannot love as Christ loved - unless He loves others through us.. unless it is His love and not our love that loves others - as His love pours through us and out to other people.
It is by abiding in Christ that we are enabled to keep His commands to love as He loved. We can never love in our own strength or by means of our own human effort. The fleshly, carnal self-life can never fulfil this sublime command of Christ unless self remains in the place of death and continues to be nailed to the cross.. so that the life of Christ Himself may be manifested in our bodies - so that His resurrected life can live in us and work through us.. until it is not I but Christ that lives in me, to His praise and glory.
As believers we are not only given the new resurrected life of Christ at rebirth, which must learn to abide in Christ, depend on Him, grow in grace and mature in the faith.. but we also have been given the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit of God to help us in our weaknesses. He has been given as a gift of God to guide us into all truth through the written word of God. He is given to all believers as a pledge of our relationship to the Father; and as a guarantee of our position in Christ and a down-payment of the blessed hope we have in Him.
The one who abides in Christ and does not rely on the self-life is able to rest in the love of Christ and He in him. The one who walks in spirit and truth is the one that knows that his body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.. Who was given to us by the Father as our indwelling Helper and Comforter - our Advocate and Teacher, and He it is Who bears witness with our human spirit that we are children of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Praise His holy name.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus and for the new life that I have received at salvation. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit and I pray that in His strength I may learn to abide in You day by day. I pray that I may grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus.. so that the life of Christ may be manifested in me - and His love flow through me and out to others. This I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.
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