For God so loved the world that he GAVE his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him will not perish but live eternally (John 3:16).
Love languages are ways in which someone is best able to interpret/feel loved when these ways are demonstrated. The five ways to express and experience love are: receiving/giving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch (Dr. Gary Chapman).
The general principle of a love language, according to Dr Gary Chapman, is that persons normally give love in the way they would feel loved. For example, I give you a gift for being my friend, because I feel loved when I get gifts for simple reasons. This does not mean that you feel loved when I give you the gift. You may like it but not see the point in getting a gift. In like manner, John 3:16 says that because God loves us, he GAVE Jesus to die for us. Jesus, because he loved us, GAVE his life for us to be reconciled with Jehovah.
The theme is focused on identifying Jesus’ love language. In other words, we will be looking at what Jesus uses to tell if we love him. Jesus’ love towards us is unconditional and pure. It has no hidden agendas. He does not need us to love him in order to show us his love. But just as how we love others and seek to feel loved in return, Jesus also asks us to show that we love him.
If you love me, keep my commands. St John 14:15 NIV
“If” is a conditional word. It usually indicates that a conditional clause will follow. For example, “if you are late, I will leave you”. If the condition (being late) is not met, then the conditional clause will not be necessary. Meaning, if the person arrives on time, I will have no reason to leave them. Therefore, Jesus was saying that if we meet the condition, which is to love him, then it must be evident in our keeping the commandments.
“Love” is derived from a Greek word which signifies making a deliberate decision to treat affectionately as a matter of duty, principle, and propriety (the condition of being right, appropriate, or fitting – Dictionary.com) (Strong’s Concordance G25). Simply put, Jesus was saying, if you intentionally decide to treat me affectionately because it’s the right thing to do, then you should keep my commandments. Loving Jesus should not be based on mere feelings/emotions, but on a conscious decision because you have realised that it is the appropriate response to someone who died for your sins.
Jesus asks us to demonstrate our love for him through the Acts of Service love language. Acts of Service demands that actions speak louder than words. Basically, if you are not willing to show your appreciation by physically/manually doing something, you are saying you do not value the person who receives love this way (SheKnows). In John 14, we see Jesus repeatedly telling us to do something.
- John 14:15 says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
- John 14:21 says, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.”
- John 14:23 states, “If anyone loves me, he will keep My word.”
Yes, I agree that obeying the Ten Commandments do not prove that you love Jesus. However, bible scholars believe that Jesus was not referring to the Ten Commandments, which were given under the law. It is believed that he was addressing all the commandments he issued in the Gospels, under grace. (Read 50 Commands of Christ – Summary List). Some of them are listed below:
- Repent—Matthew 4:17, Luke 13:3
- Let your light shine—Matthew 5:16
- Keep your word—Matthew 5:33-37
- Go the second mile—Matthew 5:38-42
- Love your enemies—Matthew 5:44
- Practice secret disciplines (giving, praying, fasting)—Matthew 6:1-18
- Seek first the kingdom of God—Matthew 6:33
- Do unto others—Matthew 7:12
- Listen to God’s voice—Matthew 11:15, 13:9,13:43, Mark 4:23, Luke 14:35, 1 Kings 19:11-13
- Deny yourself—Luke 9:23 (Also Matthew 10:38
and Mark 8:34)
- Forgive offenders—Matthew 18:21-22 (Also Proverbs 19:11)
- Lead by being a servant—Matthew 20:26-28
- Love the Lord—Matthew 22:37-38
- Love your neighbor—Matthew 22:39
If we take a second look at the above list, we will see that anyone who does not love Jesus will not keep all his commands. Deny self? Forgive offenders? Go the second mile? These are not easy tasks to do, even for us Christians, because the flesh wants to do the opposite. However, we do (keep) them because we love Jesus. When we follow through with acts of service to Jesus, we will end up spending quality time with Jehovah when we practice the spiritual disciplines (fast, pray, and study the bible), we will use words of affirmation when we witness to others telling them of the goodness of Jehovah, we will touch him when we touch his people, and we will also give him gifts by us sacrificing ourselves and our resources for his glory. Keeping the commandments, showing our love through various ‘acts’, is like saying “I love you” to Jehovah.
In John 14:24 Jesus clearly states that “whoever does not love me does not keep my words.” You cannot say you love Jesus when you do not keep his commandments.
Are you keeping his commands?