Jesus said that to love the Lord our God fully, devotedly, with all that is in us, is the greatest commandment.
Do you love God? The Bible gives a very simple test to see if you do. Please come take the test.
To repeat, the question is: do you love God? The answer is: are you keeping his commands?
If you preached that message in some churches today, some of the hearers would be thinking, “That preacher is trying to get us into a ‘works trip’.” Well, that preacher was the apostle John, who was one of the very closest disciples of Jesus.
More importantly, this is holy Scripture, inspired by the Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16). The infallible Word of God gives us this simple self-test: if we truly love God, we will be obeying Him by keeping His commands. Loving God is not simply saying that we love Him. That’s easy; anybody can say that. No, rather, loving God is proven by a believer’s searching out God’s instructions in the Bible and dedicating himself to obeying those divine commands, instructions, and teachings. In sum, our love for God is proven not by our words or our emotions, but by our actions, by our obedience, by how we live our lives in God’s sight.
Jesus Christ Himself made this obedience issue central to His Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). To pastors, to Sunday school teachers, to church elders and other Christian leaders I say: If you are not teaching God’s people to be disciples dedicated to obedience to the teachings of the Lord in Scripture, then you are failing the Great Commission!
A true follower of Jesus, one who genuinely loves our Savior, will obey and keep the Lord’s commands. In the Scriptures above, Jesus said that keeping His commands is the proof, the evidence, that we truly love Him.
I don’t wish to belabor this point. Very clearly, the Bible tells us that there is a simple test to determine whether or not we love God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son. And that test is: are we keeping the commands, the teachings, the instructions they have given us in Scripture? James in his epistle stated this same principle concerning faith: “I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18, ESV). In the same way, we show God our love by our obedience in keeping His commands.
I suspect that every one of us, myself included, feels a sense of Holy Spirit conviction if we take this teaching seriously. I want each of us to love the Lord with 100% purity and devotion. So my takeaway from the Scriptures we have looked at is the threefold importance of:
©2017, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.