Jesus invites His followers to abide in His love. He says, “Just as the Father has loved Me, so I also have loved you, abide in My love.” (Jn 15:9) Ultimately, Jesus is calling His followers to love one another. But I want to suggest to you that if we are going to love one another as Jesus loved us, the concept of “Abiding in Christ’s love” will become much deeper and multifaceted. Through His last evening with His followers, Jesus talks a lot about love. To abide in Christ’s love is to:

• Be recipients of the Father’s and Jesus’ love,
• Love Jesus and obey His commands, and
• Love one another, just as Jesus loved his followers.

To abide in Christ’s love is to be a recipient of the Father’s and His love in an experiential way. Three times Jesus makes mention of the model and motivation for loving one another as He unfolds His thoughts about abiding in His love:

• “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you.” (Jn 15:10)
• “Just as I kept My Father’s commands and abide in His love.” (Jn 15:11)
• “That you love one another, just as I have loved you.” (Jn 15:12)

The love Jesus is talking about originated with the Father’s love for the Son. As the Son experienced the Father’s love, He showed it to His followers. And now Jesus is asking His followers who are recipients of His love to show it to one another.

To abide in Christ’s love is to love Jesus and obey His commands. Jesus says it very plainly, "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.” (Jn 15:11) Keeping the commands of Jesus is the key to abiding in His love. However, within the context of the entire evening’s discussion, even the obedience to Jesus’ commands is motivated by love. Three times during the Passover meal, Jesus said to His followers if you love Me you will keep My commands:

• "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Jn 14:15
• "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me.” Jn 14:21
• "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.” Jn 14:23

Our obedience to Jesus’ commands is motivated by our love for Him. So there is a reciprocal effect. Jesus loves His followers, His followers love Him and obey His commands, and in so doing, they will abide in His love. As we abide in Christ and He in us, the Spirit shows us what Jesus is saying and doing. When we respond in love and obedience to Jesus’ word to us, we abide in His love and so we love one another.

The end result is that we love each other as Christ loved us. The standard for our expressions of love towards one another is the way Jesus loved us. Jesus explained this by saying,

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn 15:13)

The bar has been set very high. Jesus gave His life for His followers. And that is why we need to abide in Christ’s love. We don’t have the power to do this. It is as we abide in the love the Father and Son have for us and we respond by loving Jesus and obeying His commands to us, we will be able to love one another just as Jesus loved us. When we do, all men will know that we are Christ’s disciples.

This notion of abiding in Christ’s love was very important to Jesus. In the last few words of the Son’s prayer to the Father, Jesus expresses His desire that we abide in His love and in Him:

“And I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." Jn 17:26
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