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JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 3 - Light Shines in the Circle of the Apostles (John 11:55 - 17:26)
D - The Farewell on the way to Gethsemane (John 15:1 - 16:33)

2. Our abiding in the Father's fellowship appears in mutual love (John 15:9-17)

JOHN 15:9
9 Even as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love.

The Father so loved the Son that he divided the heavens during his baptism at Jordan. The Holy spirit descended in the form of a dove, and a voice was heard, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased." This announcement of the Holy Trinity was Jesus was baptized and was the starting point of the Lamb of God on his path to sacrifice. The Son carried out his Father’s will, emptying himself for our redemption. That love is not limited to Father and Son, but they are together united in love for this wicked world, preparing for the grand redemption.

Jesus loves us in the measure of his Father’s love. Whereas he was obedient, we are not. Not one of us was begotten from eternity before the ages. What took place is that the Son chose us sinners and cleansed us. He gave us a second birth of the Spirit and sanctified us. We are not seen as toys in his hand to be thrown down at will. He thinks of us all day long, caring for us with divine concern. He intercedes for us and writes letters of love to us in the gospel. He exhorts us to faith, love and hope. If we were to gather all the love poured out by fathers and mothers on earth at all times and purified that love of all impurities and human corruption, all that would seem small compared to Jesus’ love towards us that never fails.

JOHN 15:10
10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and remain in his love.

Jesus warns you, "Do not separate yourself from my love. I love you and look forward to evidence of your love for me. Where are your prayers, are they like a telephonic link with heaven? Where are your contributions to the needy responding to my saving work? I am exhorting you to do what is good and lovely, to be kind and holy. Abide in my love. The Holy Spirit will impel you to do good, just as God does good constantly."

It is sin not to love as God loves. Christ wishes to lift us up to the level of God’s mercy, "Be merciful as I and the Father am merciful". You may feel this is impossible. You are right, if the matter lay within the range of human thinking. But you do not know what Christ wants, what he can work in you. He pours his Spirit in you, so that you may love as he loves. In this spirit Paul says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Jesus bore witness to the fact that he never crossed the limits from what was in harmony with his Father’s will, rather he was abiding in God’s love always. Christ brings about the Peace of God in us, prayer in the Spirit, and loving service.

JOHN 15:11
11 I have spoken these things to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be made full.

Thirst knows man’s heart that it is in distress so long as he is far from God. Christ who was abiding in his Father’s love was full of joy and bliss. In his inner being there was singing and praise without ceasing. He wishes to give us, along with his salvation, an ocean of inner love. God is the God of happiness.

Love is followed by joy as the second fruit in the list of the Spirit’s fruit. Where sin is negated, rejoicing pervades. Christ wishes to strengthen in us salvation’s joy so that it may overflow to others. The joyful person cannot keep the joy to himself, but wishes to rescue others to the bliss of pardon and the happiness of assurance in God. Then our joy will be full as many are saved. As the apostle said, "God wants all to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth." Evangelism is the spring of joy amidst conflict and suffering.

JOHN 15:12-13
12 This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus loves us, knows our names, characters and our past. He feels for our afflictions and problems. He has a plan and help for our future. He is ever ready to converse with us in prayer, he pardons our sins and draws us into holy living in truth and purity.

As Jesus loves us he desires that we love one another. We become more aware of our kin and friends, and feel for their conditions and their afflictions. We begin to grasp their motives and personalities. We find solutions for their problems, and offer them palpable assistance, spending time with them. If they make mistakes, we pardon them and bear with them, not mentioning their failings and mistakes.

Jesus portrayed the peak of love in his life. He did not merely speak and help, but sacrificed himself for sinners. He did not just live for us but died in our stead. The cross is the crown of love, explaining to us God’s love. He wishes us to pass on the message of salvation and to make sacrifices in time and money. If he calls us to share the Gospel with others, and to act out before them what Jesus did for us, he will expect us to give of ourselves, our possessions and energies. He prays for those who do him ill, and treats them as friends. He prayed for his enemies, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do". He did not just call them brothers or God’s children, but beloved. For those who do not deserve his love, he died to ransom such.

JOHN 15:14-15
14 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.

God calls you "beloved". He does this personally to each one. You may be isolated, with no one to turn to. Look to Jesus who died for you and lives for you. He is your best friend, always ready to help. He knows your thoughts, and awaits a response from you. The condition of abiding in his friendship is that we love all as he loved them. Two cannot remain at odds with each other while they describe themselves as loving Christ. His friendship demands that we love one another. He called us his beloved. We belong to him because he created us, and he has the right to treat us as slaves. He has freed us from the yoke of bondage and raised us up. He informs us of his divine works. He does not leave us ignorant but teaches us the Father’s name, the power of the cross and the love of the Holy Spirit. By showing us the mystery of the Holy Trinity he revealed to us the hidden truths of the eternal. The Father committed these matters into his hands to reveal them to us. His friendship is great to the extent that he allows us participate in his work, favor, honor, power and life. He does not even hold on to the right of adoption or sonship, but draws us to himself to become God’s children.

JOHN 15:16-17
16 You didn’t choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 I command these things to you, that you may love one another.

Your relationship with Jesus does not rest primarily on your will, desire or experience, but on his love, election and call. You were a slave to your sin, in Satan’s grasp and in the domain of death. You were unable to move out of prison, but Jesus chose you from eternity and freed you by his precious blood. He made you his friend, and appointed you heir to the rights of sonship. His election is wholly by grace. Yours is either to choose him or not. Jesus chose all men when he atoned for your sins on the cross. Not all hear his call, but prefer to remain in the swamp of sin. They do not know the freedom of God’s children. Christ has called you to freedom from sin and to divine fellowship. Train yourself in love. Your freedom has one aim, serving your Lord and mankind voluntarily. There is no compulsion as with slaves. Jesus became a voluntary servant for love’s sake. He is our pattern, not caring for himself, but his concern was for his dear ones.

He therefore longs that you show concern for your friends, as a shepherd to his sheep. Since our abilities are limited, man cannot free another from the slavery of sin. Jesus encourages us to pray in his name. For if we pray to Jesus that he would guide the liberated and build them morally and spiritually, and provide them with all they need for body, soul and spirit, the Lord will answer according to his good pleasure. The secret of answered prayer is love. If you pray for your friends in this spirit, Jesus will show you your casual sins, and lead you to a wise and useful life and to true prayer and to brokenness and humility. The Lord will answer if you asked for salvation and holiness to reach your friends. We call you to persist in prayer. Jesus does not promise you fading results but fruit that shall remain. He who believes through your prayers and witness, will live forever, passing from death to life.

Over and above faith, prayers and witness, Jesus commands you to love your friends, a hearty and pure love. Bear with them patiently, despite their difficult characters. Be gentle with them, as God is gentle with you. Illumine with the radiance of God’s love the world that is debauched and ugly. Train yourself in service, sacrifice, listening and responding. May Christ’s love shine out from you.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we thank you, because you have freed us from the bondage of sin and made us your loved ones. May we learn to love all as you loved us. We worship you, and place ourselves at your disposal. Teach us obedience, so that we may bring forth fruits of love in abundance.


  1. How did Jesus make those who were slaves of sin become his beloved?


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