Spirit Filled

“The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.” John 14v21

I was struck last night by how much emphasis Jesus puts on doing what he says. John 14 is the passage about him sending the Spirit to his followers after he leaves them to go to the cross and then to heaven. It’s a great passage of encouragement and comfort but also extremely challenging. I think those of us who go to church can be so obsessed with getting it right theologically that we forget that the Lord Jesus expects those who follow him to put into practice what he says. Or sometimes we are so convinced that the Spirit filled life is all about signs or exuberant worship that we forget this strong connection that Jesus makes between Spirit filling and obedience. Of course it’s not an either or; we need the Spirit’s work to make us obedience and we want to be passionate in our worship and witness but all of that will ring hollow if we don’t actually do what he says, and probably worst of all we run the risk of not being one of his people at all, after all it is those who obey him that the Father loves, which is the reverse way round to how we often think about it in the reformed community.
Saved by grace yes, saved to do good works yes, able to live as we like and ignore Jesus’ words … no.

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