I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. (2 John 1:4-6)
Love And Commandment Keeping
There is a feeling among many religious people that God is a God of love, and as long as a person loves God, eternal life is guaranteed. Commandment keeping is frowned upon as salvation by works. The idea is that if a person loves God, he can live in accord with his own desires, and God accepts this because the person loves God. Salvation is only measured by God’s love and the person’s love. To keep rules and regulations is inhibiting the grace of God. The result becomes people feeling good about their religion because they ‘love’ God but never do anything expected of them.
John is considered the apostle of love. His final three epistles abound with the story of love, with more than forty references to the attribute of love. Four times in the second epistle, John speaks of love, and three times, he connects commandment keeping with love. It was a joy for John to write about those walking in the truth. Suggesting a person is walking in truth shows the necessity of works on the part of the disciple. The Christians were walking in truth according to the commandment from God. Love and law keeping go hand in hand. John admonished his readers to follow the new commandment to love one another. Loving one another is commandment keeping. If a man is not saved by works (commandment keeping), then he cannot love others.
During the ministry of Jesus, the people asked Jesus what they must do to work the works of God. The Son of God told them that God’s work is to believe He was the Son of God. If a man cannot be saved by works, he cannot be saved by belief. Commandment keeping is showing the love of man toward God. John declares that love is walking according to the commandments of God. James discussed in his letter how that faith without works is dead. It is also true that if a man says he loves God and does not follow the commandments of God, he is a liar (John established this in his first epistle).
Love and commandment keeping cannot be separated. Obeying the will of the Father is a demonstration of the love one has for God. Refusing to do what God says demonstrates the heart lacks love for God. Jesus loved His Father and obeyed His Father’s command to die on the cross. Without commandment keeping, Jesus would have never saved mankind. He expects the same measure from His disciples, who say they love Him. Loving Jesus is where the heart begins to know the love of God. Keeping the commandments of God shows how much a man loves God. Do you love God? Check your commandment keeping.