If you love me keep my commandments 

If you love me keep my commandments. I’m sure most Christians are aware of these words spoken by Jesus.  They are found in John 14-15 

John 14-15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

These words are often used by those that proclaim we remain under the law today as evidence that we are indeed under the law. 

They will also often use Revelation 14-12 as further support for their claim

Revelation 14-12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Both these verses most certainly would seem to support the claim regarding the keeping of the commandments, if we simply take these 2 verses alone without any context or understanding.

However when we look at these 2 verses we will see that they are not as good support for the claims as might first appear.

Let’s start with John 14-15 

Most  law advocate will assert that the commandments in reference in this verse are either the 10 commandments or some will assert they are the entire law given through  Moses. 

We will see that which assertion is made, dependent on the individual law advocate’s understanding of commandments, makes a fundamental difference to the meaning of this verse. 



The Greek word Commandments is ἐντολή entolé and means order or command. It does not mean the entire Mosaic law.

Therefore if we must keep the commands and the commands are the 10 commandments then the law advocate who asserts we must keep the entire law given through Moses cannot use this verse as support for keeping the entire law, only the 10 commandments. The same Greek word for commandments is also used in Revelation 14-12 which we will get to in a bit.  

Now anyone that asserts that we must keep all the law and claims that all the commandments of God are to be kept and includes the rest of the law given through Moses in the commandments, as although they are called laws they are still a command from God and so are also commandments, faces another problem. They are now picking and choosing which commandments are included amongst the commandments. There are MANY commandments that God gave throughout the Old testament that are not included in the 10 but are still commandments. Such as Gods command to Adam NOT to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 

Now this is a commandment of God. So we must ask why this command is not included by the complete law advocate in the commandments. What makes this command different than any other of the commandments of God?

 

A very important question we must ask when it comes to these commandments is WHOSE commandments are being referred to in John 14-15 ?

What we will see is that this is JESUS speaking not the father. Jesus states if you love ME (Jesus) keep MY commandments (the commandments of Jesus).

Now we know this is Jesus and not the father because in the very next verse after these words are spoken Jesus states he will pray to the father. 

John 14- 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

So the commandments that Jesus states to keep if you love him are the commandments of Jesus. Jesus does not say to keep the father’s commandments but HIS. 

Jesus specifically distinguishes between HIS commandments and his father’s commandments.

John 15-10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

Jesus asks us to keep HIS commandments even as (just like) Jesus has kept the father’s commandments. 

Jesus does not say to keep the father’s commandments  like he did.

John states in his first epistle that we know HIM if we keep HIS commandments 

1 John 2-3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

Also that if we say we know HIM and keep not HIS commandments we are a liar.

 

1 John 2-4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

So who is the HIM in these verses?

The Him is Jesus and the commandments are HIS.

John starts by telling us we have an advocate with the father who is Jesus.


1 John 2- 1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 

John then continues that HE( Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins and for the sins of the whole world.



2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Jesus is the subject and so the his and him in verses 3 and 4 are a reference to Jesus. 

We are to keep the commandments of Jesus and by doing this we will know him. 

As we already saw Jesus distinguishes between his and the fathers commandments. 

So the next important question to ask is what are the commandments of Jesus?

Jesus states that a NEW command he gives us. To love one another as he has loved you (Jesus was talking to the disciples at the time).

John 13-34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Again Jesus reiterates that command that he gave 

John 15-12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.


John 15-17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

The command of Jesus then is to love one another. This is the command of Jesus. 

Love is the command. 

Paul states that the law is fulfilled with love

Romans 8- 8Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 

All the Old covenant commandments, of which Paul specifically named 5  are encompassed by this single command. 

9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 

And again Paul reiterates that it is love that fulfills the law.

10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 

This is the law of Christ not the law given through Moses. Now as Paul states a person that loves another will not do those things that were prohibited under the Old covenant commandments.  They do not do them because they are not loving, not because they are in a written law.

So Paul while specifying that to love one another fulfills the law (of Christ) uses the Old covenant commandments to demonstrate things that a person who loves another will not do.  Remember the law was a shadow of Christ and was to lead to Christ.

Those under Christ, love, and so the only command required under Christ and the only command given is to love. (for love fulfills the law.)

A person who loves others does not need a law to tell them not to kill or not to steal.   

Now we also know that the command that was given by Jesus was actually given to him by the father 

John 12-49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

The new command was given to Jesus by the father just as the command of the father was given to Moses in the wilderness. 

Moses was the mediator of the first covenant 

Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant 

Hebrews 9-15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Now when we look at the verse in Revelation we will notice that it actually states those that keep the commandments of God.

Revelation 14-12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

So of course the law advocate can assert that here the verse does specifically state the commandments of God are so are a reference to the 10 commandments or the law. As stated already the same Greek word is used in this verse for commandments as in John 14-15 and so we have the same problems as I pointed out already. 

However if we go to 1 John chapter 3 we will see that John, who was the one who wrote Revelation where the commandments of God are referenced, tells us exactly what the commandments of God that he made reference to in Revelation are.

John states in verse 21 we have confidence in God.

1 John 3- 21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 

The referent of John is God. John then states whatever we ask him (God) we receive because we keep HIS (Gods) commandments. 

22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

BUT John in the very next verse tells us what the command of God is. This is HIS (Gods) commandment

1 John 3- 23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 

John states that Gods commandments are to believe on the name of his son, Jesus, and to love one another as he (Jesus) gave us commandment to do.

Quite simply believing on Jesus and doing the commandment given by Jesus, loving one another are the commandments of God that John himself spoke of later in Revelation. This simply is not a reference to the 10 commandments or the entire law given through Moses.