Paul N. F. (6 Sep 2011)


By Andrew Murray
We come to the New Testament --- Here we think at once of our blessed Lord, and the prominence He gives to obedience as the one thing for which He was come into the world. He who entered it with His ‘Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God,’ ever confessed to men, ‘I seek not My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.’

Of all He did and of all He suffered, even to the death, He said, 'This commandment have I received of My Father.’
If we turn to His teaching, we find everywhere, that the obedience He rendered is what He claims from everyone who would be His disciple.  During His whole ministry, from beginning to end, obedience is THE VERY ESSENCE OF SALVATION.
In the Sermon on the Mount He began with it: No one could enter the kingdom, but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.’  And in the farewell discourse, how wonderfully He reveals the spiritual character of true obedience as it is born of love and inspired by it, and as it also opens the way into the love of God.  Do take into your heart the wonderful words, (John 14:15, 16, 21, 23), ‘If ye love Me, ye will keep my commandments.  And the Father will send forth the Spirit.  He hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself unto him.  If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.’

No words could express more simply or more powerfully the inconceivably glorious place Christ gives to obedience, with its twofold possibility, (1) as only possible to a loving heart, (2) as making possible all that God has to give of His Holy Spirit, of His wonderful love, of His indwelling in Christ Jesus. I know of no passage in Scripture that gives a higher revelation of the spiritual life, or the power of loving obedience as its one condition. Let us pray God very earnestly that by His Holy Spirit its light may transfigure our daily obedience with its heavenly glory.
See how all this is confirmed in the next chapter. How well we know the parable of the vine! How often and how earnestly we have asked how to be able to abide continually in Christ We have thought of more study of the Word, more faith, more prayer, more communion with God, and we have overlooked the simple truth that Jesus teaches so clearly, If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love,’ with its divine sanction, ‘Even as I kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.’
For Him as for us, the only way under heaven to abide in divine love is to keep the commandments. Do let me ask, have you known it, have you heard it preached, have you believed it and proved it true in your experience: obedience on earth is the key to a place in God’s love in heaven? Unless there be some correspondence between God’s whole-hearted love in heaven, and our whole-hearted, loving obedience on earth, Christ cannot manifest Himself to us, God cannot abide in us, we cannot abide in His love.
Yours in Christ,
Paul N. F.