I'm introducing a new topic known as abiding in the love of Christ. To remain in the love of Christ is to live the life of faith which is stirred up by God's grace. The love of Christ signifies the free kindness and favour of God that position us to bear the fruit of righteousness and empower us to experience true success in all our endeavours and also qualify us for the inheritance of the saints in the light.
Reference: John 15:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
"If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and remain in His love."
These are the very words of Jesus, and personally, I agree with His testimony that He kept His heavenly Father's commandments and has remained in His love. Just as He kept His Father's commands and has remained in His love, He wants us to function in the same manner. In other words, Jesus is saying, "follow my example, because I have shown you how to do so by fulfilling my heavenly Father's will on earth, thereby abiding in His love."
Notice that Jesus is exceedingly mindful to magnify the love of God, which means that the love that is in Him, is the love of the Father. It is the grace of God that is resident in Christ; and so Jesus attributes all to God, and as we live in Him by exercising faith in His Word, we practise and remain in His love.
What is the love of Christ? The Bible says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8 NIV). Christ is the object of God's love. By Christ dying for us, God demonstrated His gracious love for us. Got it? So Christ's love was immensely defined on the cross, where He bore the curse of sin, which was meant for mankind, as a result of God's wrath. Christ paid for our sins in full through the sufferings of severe pain in His body; He felt agony in His soul, and undeserved sorrow that led to His death on the cross.
As we keep His commandments and obey His teaching, we open our hearts to the reception of His quickening and rewarding love and live with the consciousness of that love. Now this is how we know that there is sincere love of Christ in our hearts: there will be continual obedience to His Word. Pauline epistolary expression plainly stated in 2nd Corinthians 5:14, "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died" (NASB).
This implies that a sincere love of Christ is a ruling and constraining principle. This is why we are required to obey the Word and live by it, so that the love can manifest fully in our lives as our ruler. Where there is genuine submission to the love of Christ, duty follows from the standpoint of obedience. And God Himself does not only love obedient born again Christians, He takes pleasure or delight in blessing and favouring them, as they rest in His love. Stay tuned for part 2. Shalom!