KEY THOT: Jesus taught his disciples that if they kept his commandments, they would abide in His love (experiencing His loving presence, provision and protection) just as He abided in his Father’s love by keeping His commandments. Despite the fact that Jesus himself was a man of the Spirit (regenerated at birth and renewed at His baptism by the Spirit), nevertheless he insisted that it was His obedience to the Father’s commandments that kept him close to God. The ultimate fruit of this abiding is joy.
The Spirit is not against the Law, but the Spirit is against the flesh—the carnal attitude of pride, rebellion and self-gratification. Life in the Spirit is walking in obedience to Jesus’ commandments as taught in the Gospels. To reject the teachings of Christ in the Gospel is to risk the abiding relationship with Christ—and losing the joy of the Lord which is my strength.
If I want to stay close to Jesus to experience His loving presence, provision and protection, then I must take his instructions seriously as found in the Gospels. The Gospel is “gospel”, not “law”. Beware of preachers who tell you that Jesus’ teaching is no longer relevant to believers because we are under grace. This is contrary to sound doctrine.
Father, thank You that obedience to Jesus’ instructions as taught in the Gospels is such a joy because it helps us stay close to You to experience Your love. Amen.