By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. (1 John 5:2-4)
Love, Commandments And Faith
Defining love is not just expressing a feeling with words. We can say we love God but not have a true love for God. Often the people of God have struggled with offering sacrifices out of duty without any love for the Father because their faith in Him is lacking. Love alone will not make us pleasing to God no more than just keeping a set number of rules. Having faith in God does not save by itself because James tells us faith without works is dead. True love is given in the words we express to God as we follow His will because of the faith that motivates our love and obedience. Love is the imperative and keeping the commandments of God is necessary for salvation. Faith is the heart of why we keep the commandments of God because the Lord requires obedience.
Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that salvation comes from doing the will of the Father. There is a right and wrong that we must follow and our faith comes from hearing the word of God or the commandments of the Lord. The Bible is the full revelation of God’s will. Spending time with the pages of Holy Writ will increase our love for God when we see how merciful the Lord is to sinful man. Love comes from having a relationship with someone. Our love for God does not come because we are children of God. When a child is born into the world, he learns love from the relationship he develops with his parents. They show him love and he responds to that love. Being a Christian alone does not make us love God. We love Him more and more because the more time we spend reading His word they more we come to know how much the Lord loves us. Having a personal relationship with the Father is where our love for Him begins.
As we spend time in the word and our love grows, the desire to please God becomes so much greater. We show our love to Him when we keep His commandments. There is nothing the Father will ask of us that we cannot do. None of His commands are hard. All that God wants us to do can be done because He loves us and we love Him and we can do anything He asks of us. Commandment keeping is an integral part of our lives as Christians. Remember that commandment keeping does not save us alone if we do not have the love for God. We obey His will because we love Him and the more we love Him the more we want to please Him. God knows we love Him when we obey Him.
Faith is the fruit of our love for God and our love for God to obey Him. The Bible is the written word for all men to understand the will of God. Like any relationship, love grows more over time as we learn more about the grace of God. Throughout the history of man, God has shown His love and His severity so that we can come to love a Father who is filled with justice, mercy, grace, and love and longsuffering. The more we love Him and obey His word the greater our faith grows. It becomes deeper. The roots of faith grow deep in our life because we love God more and we mold our lives more perfectly to the image of His Son.
Faith, love and keeping the commandments of God: one cannot exist without the other. As each part grows – the greater the other part becomes. We overcome the world because our faith in God grows daily from His love as we keep His commandments. Spend time in the word of God. Let your faith soar to the throne of God telling Him how much you love Him more today than ever before.
What gives faith its movement towards God, makes it vital and infectious, and carries people away, is love. (Adrienne von Speyr, Meditations on the Gospel of John, 1961)