Passover and Resurrection (5): Love Jesus, Love One Another

Date: 5/13/2012
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Community
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Passover and Resurrection (5): Love Jesus, Love One Another

John 15:9–17 - “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. . . .15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. . . .15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you. 15:17 “This I command you, that you love one another.

1) Abide in the Life of Jesus. John 15:1ff began with the imagery that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. We are to abide in the Life Jesus provides to bear fruit. We must repent of trying to be fruitful apart from Christ and disconnecting from the Vine. We can disobey through a) living by works (our own merit) rather than abiding in faith and b) neglecting the means of grace (Word, Prayer, Sacraments).

2) Abide in the Love of Jesus. In vv  9-17, Jesus explains, “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love” (v9). This is an amazing comparison. Christ loves His disciples “as the Father has loved” Him! Jesus truly loves His disciples, His friends (v14). The key to abiding in His love is in v10: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love.” We can do this through a) gratitude for Christ’s redemptive love and b) turning from all the ways you break fellowship with Christ.

3) Abide in Loving One Another. We are to keep His commandments (to love God and love neighbor), but the commandment emphasized (v10) is specific, “This is My commandment, that you love one another” (v12). The definition of this love is self-sacrificial for one’s friends and we are His (v13-14). Christ has offered His friendship to all (laying down His life). To respond as a friend to Him, He says, “You are My friends if you do what I command you” which is to love one another (v14). We can obey this through a) acting out of love rather than selfishness and b) intentionally befriending others.

4) Abide in Bearing Fruit. The apostles were chosen by Christ in order to bear fruit that would “remain” v16. The specific fruit that “remains” (“abides”) is new disciples of Christ (see 17:20). New believers come as a result of the Word in us, the reality of loving one another, and through receiving what we ask of the Father. We can grow in doing this by a) knowing and speaking His Word, b) living as a community shaped by Trinitarian love, and c) effective, faith-filled, Word-guided prayer.

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more