Friday, June 19, 2009

Motivation for Obedience

John Stott in an appendix with the title, “Reflections of an Octogenarian, 27 April 2001”:

. . . Let me share with you a conviction about obedience. John 14:21 is one of my favorite verses. Here are the words of Jesus: “Whoever has my commandments and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

The verse ends with a particularly precious promise: “I will show myself to him (or her)”, or “I will manifest myself to him.” Is this just what we are longing for, namely a clearer vision of Christ? . . .

But this promise of Jesus is conditional. He reveals himself only to his lovers. And who are his lovers? Not those who make loud protestations of love, and then go out like Peter to deny him. Not those who sing rather sentimental songs “Jesus, I love you.” (It is all right to sing them too, but they do not prove anything.) No, those who truly love the Lord Jesus are those who obey his commandments.

To sum up, the test of love is obedience, and the reward of love is a self-manifestation of Christ.

- John Stott , The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor

(HT: Chris Brauns)

1 comment:

elventryst said...

I don't mean to pick bones here, but it rubs me the wrong way when John Stott uses Peter as his example of people who are not his lover. It's true, people who make loud protestations of love, but deny Him in their heart, are not true lovers of Christ, but Peter is not such a person. Peter is a lover of and beloved by the Christ. Jesus tells him that upon him he will build his church.

Frankly, I find the example of Peter to be comforting, as it is a relief to see a saint such as Peter deny Christ and still be loved and forgiven for it. The fact is, I know if I have denied Christ once, I've denied him a million times, and I am so thankful that His grace is sufficient for me.