THE COMFORTER SENT TO THOSE WHO LOVE CHRIST AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS #700
If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. (JOH 14:15-16).
In this Paschal Discourse, we see Jesus comforting His disciples concerning His departure, which was soon to take place. Jesus said, I will send you another Comforter, the Holy Spirit. They would no longer know Christ in His bodily presence, but the Spirit of Christ would remain to dwell with them.
He says in verses 12 to 14, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." The Lord Jesus would do whatever they asked in His name by the authority the Father gave Him as His reward for His unconditional, self-sacrificial love.
PHI 2:9-11 says, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Now the Sons chief end is that the Father might be glorified in the obedience of the church. You and I must be imitators of Christ. Our self-sacrificial love will be evidenced by our obedience to the commands of Christ.
We cannot ask God to give us the Holy Spirit with a heart filled with rebellion against His perfect will. We cannot expect the intercessory prayers of Christ while we walk in open rebellion against Him. It brings the wrath of the Father when we willfully sin against the commands of His Son.
How often we overlook the ingredients of successful prayer. Does the Lord seem to not hear your prayers? Maybe we were slighting one of His commandments. 1JO 3:22 says, "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight."
So what takes place when the Holy Spirit works grace in the heart? We read that in EPH 4:22-24, "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
Watch what commandments we must obey. Watch what He says is the evidence of being renewed in the spirit of our minds. In verses 25 to 32 we read, "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christs sake hath forgiven you."
The intercessory prayers of Christ for us are contingent on our holy reverence for His commands. We cannot ask for the intercessory prayers of Christ and trample on His commands of love. We cannot ask anything of the Father in the name of His Son while we are slighting the least of His commandments.
Our Saviour teaches us how our love for Him is not shown by wearing black clothes and disfiguring our faces. It is not shown in legalistic religion. ISA 58:5 says, "Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?" The fast the Lord is delighted with is obedience to His law of love. Look at ISA 58:6-8, "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward." An acceptable fast in the eyes of the Lord is when we keep His commandments of love and show love to our fellowman, when the bitterness of our hearts has been removed, when we start showing that we have been renewed in the spirit of our minds.
Our love for Christ is expressed by keeping His commandments of love toward all who are His. ISA 58:9 says, "Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity."
There is a terrific difference between the conviction of the holy law and the convincing of the Holy Spirit. The law convicts, but it drives us away from God. However, the Holy Spirit reproves (convinces) the world of sin. When we become truly convinced of sin, sin becomes hateful, and we turn from it. People talk of the love of the Father and of the love of the Son, but it is only vain unless by Gods grace there is evidence of that the Divine influence on the heart revealed in our attitudes and walk of life.
The same blessed Person of the adorable Trinity who wrote with His finger in stone is none other than the One who died on Calvarys cross. When the Lord Jesus says, Keep my commandments, we need to understand that He is the Word. He spoke from Mount Sinai and He spoke the world into being. He wrote the Ten Commandments in stone with His finger. None will ever be altered. They remain because the first four teach loving God with our heart, our soul and our mind, and the other six teach how we love our neighbor as ourselves. It is the law of love.
What are Christs commandments? In MAT 22:37-39 we read, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Are His commandments confined to these two commandments? See what the Lord Jesus said about this in MAT 22:40, "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." All inspired teaching and all the commandments of the entire Word of God hang on these two.
Can we say that the sabbath has been abolished? No. It is written in stone. It was established in the creation before the fall of man. It has not been abolished, and it is connected with the Lords name: Therefore the Lord blessed and hallowed the sabbath day, because He rested on that day. That day will never be set aside. It is the emblem of eternal rest. Can we say that we love God with our heart, our soul and our mind and not feel pleasure and the highest delight to have one day a week that we can have total repose from all secular avocations, to have it set aside for the sole worship of the Lord. If that is something that is not our highest joy, how would we ever want to spend eternity with Him in heaven? What would we do in heaven if it would not be our highest joy to be there in constant worship of God?
Who led Israel out of Egypt and gave them the law? It was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as we read in 1CO 10:9, "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents." The remedy was that a brass serpent, which was a type of Christ, had to be lifted up, and they had to look away from their present circumstances, and they had to look unto Christ.
Who was it that satisfied their cravings in the wilderness? 1CO 10:4 says, "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
Who was it that nourished the children of Israel throughout their wilderness journey? JOH 6:32-33 says, "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world." The manna they ate was none other than the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, who says to you and me in JOH 6:35, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
It was through rebellion against our Saviours commands that the Israelites perished. Can experience save us? The Israelites saw the cloud between them and the Egyptians, and the Lord saved them. They saw the Egyptians lying on the shore after the Lord had divided the waters and brought them through. They saw Moses strike a rock, and the waters gushed out. Rich experiences? Yes, like you and I have never known. Did that save them? No. It only counted against them because the Lord was so angry with them because they rebelled against them.
NUM 14:22-23 says, "Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it." They tempted the Lord by refusing to obey even after they had such rich experiences. They still would not bow to the authority of God. These are solemn truths. They are the things that you and I should be concerned about. Are we walking in the ways that are pleasing to the Lord. Are our hearts reconciled with Gods will? Is our will unconditionally dissolved in the will of God?
Obedience to Christs commands is our test of love to Him. We can have rich experiences as Balaam had and still love the wages of unrighteousness as he did and perished in the gainsaying of Core. We need to understand that true conversion is a change of heart, a change of attitude. True repentance is that our heart, our soul and our mind are totally dissolved in knowing and doing the will of God.
Certain qualities of obedience in every true believer are not found in any unbeliever. A believer has a heart, soul and mind that desires to know and do the will of God. Now we all offend in many things. We come short in many areas. But that quality of obedience is not found in an unbeliever. The believer does what he does out of reverence for the authority the Father has given His Son as the reward for His humble obedience.
If you understand that first table of the law and you understand the rigid command the Father gave His own Son and if you understand the humble obedience that the Son gave to the Father in the way of purchasing our salvation, then you start having a right understanding of what it means to love Him with your heart, your soul and your mind. That is the first and the great commandment. When the authority of the Lawgiver is what motivates our reverent respect for His commandments, then we do not just pick and choose which commands to observe. If we love Christ we will delight to do His will.
1JO 5:3 says, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." We must delight in doing His will. We do not do His will grudgingly. That type of service does not please the Lord. We cannot consider His commandments grievous and then think we are obeying God and pleasing Him with our obedience.
In MIC 6:8 we read, "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" It all comes back to the law of love.
When I was being plagued by a man who told me, You have to experience this, and you have to experience this, and you have to experience this, the Lord brought to my mind PSA 112:1, "Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments." And I replied, "I do not know anything about your checklist, but one thing I know, the Scriptures say, The Lord loves me."
When the Lord Jesus can see our love for Him evidenced before the world-by our attitudes and actions-then we will experience His love for us as He asks the Father to send another Comforter. Then He sends us the gift of the Holy Spirit as ROM 5:5 says, "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." And as HEB 12:28 says, "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear."
In LUK 11:13 Jesus told His disciples, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" The Holy Spirit will be given to those who ask, even though we being evil still know how to give good gifts.
In our text it is not a man who is sinful by nature who is asking, but the holy, spotless, beloved Son of the Father, Jehovah, the Great I Am, Who has said in JOH 14:15-16: "If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever."
These promises are yea and amen in Christ. They are not for those who remain unregenerate, but for those spoken of in ROM 8:13-16, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
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