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Love Each Other, as Jesus Loved You

(John 15:12-17)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
This morning, Jesus was showing us
How we might be filled with His joy.
He wasnt focusing so much
On the subjective kind of joy we have
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit
The kind that comes simply
By His being present in our souls
But on that joy that comes
From fulfilling our hearts desire.

When you can please the one


You love most of all,
It fills your heart with joy.
The joy Jesus had came from obeying His Father
It was the delight of His soul
To please Him through His service
Because He loves Him so much.
Ours will come in the same way
When we can please the One we love: Jesus.

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To do this,
Jesus said we must abide in Him
We must be connected to Him by faith;
We must have the Holy Spirit
Working in our souls through that connection.
If we do, we will bear much fruit
And have the joy and satisfaction that brings.

B. Preview.
This evening, we see another way
That we can be filled with joy
Which isnt really another
Because its one of the fruits we are to bear
That shows Jesus we love Him
And thats by loving each other
As Jesus has loved us.

Jesus earlier commanded His disciples


To this kind of love.
He says in John 13:34, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one
another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
That we are to love our neighbor
Really isnt a new commandment
The Lord required this from the beginning.
It was something He wrote

On Adams heart by His Holy Spirit.


It was something He required of His people
When He brought them out of Egypt.
The Lord said to Moses, You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge
against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I
am the LORD (Lev. 19:18).

On the other hand, it is a new commandment


Because no one has ever loved His neighbor like Jesus.
Instead of loving one another as we love ourselves,
We are to love each other, as Jesus loves us.

II. Sermon.
A. Jesus says, This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have
loved you (v. 12).
What is the standard the Lord has given us
As to how we are to love our neighbor?
The Ten Commandments
Particularly, the last six.
Paul writes, Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves
his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT
ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL,
YOU SHALL NOT COVET, and if there is any other commandment, it is
summed up in this saying, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS
YOURSELF. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the
fulfillment of the law (Rom. 13:8-10).

The first four commandments teach us how to love God


Jesus says they can be summarized as follows:

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YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART,
AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND
WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH (Mark 12:30).

But Jesus doesnt point to the Law


As to how we should love one another
He points to Himself.
Why?
Because He is the embodiment of the Law
Because He lived by this standard,
It was the rule He kept to save us:
He loved His Father perfectly;
He loved His neighbor as Himself;
And He appears to have gone even farther
In His love for His disciples.

A living example is better than a written standard.


Now that Jesus has given us one,
He calls us to follow it

To follow it:
1. Because it is the best possible example
Of how to do this.

2. Because its how the Father intended


That man should live in the first place.

3. And because its the witness He wants to give to the world


Of what God wants them to be
And how this standard of love is possible
Through the life-transforming power of the Gospel.

Jesus says, This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have
loved you (v. 12).
Jesus also says, If you love Me, you will keep My commandments (14:15).

B. How far are we to go in our love for each other?

Jesus isnt speaking here


About our love for mankind in general,
But more specifically about our love
For one another as members of His body.
We are to love our neighbor as ourselves;
But we are to love one another as Jesus loves us.

So how far are we to take this?


Jesus says, Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his
friends (v. 13).
We are to take it as far as Jesus did.

Jesus gave up the riches of heaven,


He became a man,
Loved His Father and His neighbor perfectly,

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And then laid down His life for His friends.

Jesus is kind to all,


And offers His Gospel to all mankind;
But He has a particular love
For those who are His.

Who are His friends?


As we saw this morning,
They are those who trust Him,
Because they love Him,
And show that they do
By their obedience.
Jesus said to His disciples,
You are My friends if you do what I command you (v. 14).
Jesus laid down His life
So that He might make them His friends.
Paul says that while we were still sinners
Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8).

Application:

If we love Him,
If we trust, and are obeying Him
Then we are also His friends

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He laid down His life for us.
But if thats true of us,
Then we are to love each other
As He loved us:
We are to lay down our lives for one another.

What does that kind of love look like?


We cant die for each others sins
As Jesus died for ours
We dont need to:
He did that once and for all
But we can lay down our lives in other ways:

We can certainly do so literally


To save one another,
If the situation requires it
And the Lord gives us the opportunity.

We can also do what we can to protect one another


As He did for us.

But we can also do so


By setting ourselves aside
Our own wants and desires,
Our own leisure and comfort,

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Sometimes even our responsibilities,
If the need is greater
In order to help a brother or sister
With their needs
Whether they are physical, material or spiritual.
John writes, Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed
and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our
heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our
heart and knows all things (1 John 3:18-20).
Isnt this what Jesus did?
And now He tells us, This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as
I have loved you (v. 12).

C. Another thing Jesus did


Was to make the disciples His friends
By taking them into His confidence:
He says in verse 15, No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know
what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have
heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Jesus had called them slaves
And rightly so,
Because thats what they were
He said to them in Matthew 10:24-25, A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a
slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his
teacher, and the slave like his master.
Thats also what they would remain
He will call them slaves again in John 15:20, Remember the word that I said to
you, A slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also
persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

Paul called himself the bond-servant or slave of Christ.


He writes in Romans 1:1, Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an
apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.
In each case, the same word is used.

The same is true of us:


We also are the slaves or bond-servants of Christ.

So what is the difference Jesus speaks of here?


We are not enslaved against our will
We love Him,
We obey voluntarily
We are not enslaved,
But are slaves of the heart.
Remember what Jesus said,
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments (John 14:15).
We obey Him because we love Him.

But, were more than slaves


We are His friends
Just as Jesus just told His disciples
That they were more than slaves
Because He had taken them into His confidence:

He had told them

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What He was about to do:

He would lay down His life


To save them from their sins.

What would happen to Him after death


He would be in the tomb for three days
And then rise again.

What He wanted them to do


Make disciples of all the nations

What they could expect to happen next


He would come again in judgment against Israel

What would happen in the near future


The Gospel would be preached to all nations.

And what would happen in the distant future


He would come again to raise the dead,
And gather everyone still living to the final judgment,
And then bring them and all His children
Into the New Heavens and Earth.

Application:

They were more than slaves

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They were His friends
And so are we:
He has taken us into His confidence as well.
He had them write these things down
So that we would also know these things.

Not only has He given us His Word


The blueprint of what He is doing and will do
He has given us His Spirit
So that we can understand what He said.

There is an application here as well


In the way we are to love one another.
If Jesus who is so far above us
Was willing to condescend to our level to call us friends
How much more should we be friends to each other,
Take each other into our confidence,
And work together to do what the Lord has called us to do?

D. Finally, Jesus willingly chose to enter into this relationship with His disciples.
He says in verse 16, "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you
that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever
you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
He chose them to be His apostles
He received them as those
His Father had chosen

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To give Him in eternity.

He chose to use them to do His work


To bear fruit
To do something He would establish forever
They would lay the foundation of the church.
He also chose to give them the promise of answered prayer
Because it was His work He called them to do.

The same is true of us


We didnt choose to be Christians,
The Lord chose us.
John writes, We love, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
We believed when we heard the Gospel
In a certain sense, we chose Him
But it was only because the Father first chose us
And determined to give us to His Son
As the reward for His work.

He chose the work He has given us to do


And whatever fruit weve produced or ever will produce.

He chose to establish
Whatever the work weve done
As something He has and will use to advance His kingdom,

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And as something for which He will reward us.

And, as weve already seen,


Hes chosen to give us the promise of answered prayer,
Since the work Hes given us to do is His work.

Application:

If the Lord has so loved us and received us,


We also ought to love and receive one another.

Jesus didnt choose us


Because we were so lovely or desirable.
He chose us while we were His enemies.
He did so purely because He wanted to.
He loved us when we were unlovely.

Thankfully, were not going to have the same problem


At least not in following this command;
We will with the command to love our enemies
Who are outside the church
Gods choice changes us into Jesus image and likeness,
So that we may now love and receive one another
For what we see of Jesus in each other.

We dont really have a choice to make

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As Jesus did
If He has chosen someone,
We simply need to receive and love them,
Because He has received and loves them.

Jesus closes with this repetition:


This I command you, that you love one another (v. 17).

May the Lord give us more of His Spirit


So that we might love each other,
And all His children, as He does. Amen.

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