NOW BEFORE THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER, WHEN JESUS KNEW THAT HIS HOUR WAS COME THAT HE SHOULD DEPART OUT OF THIS WORLD UNTO THE FATHER, HAVING LOVED HIS OWN WHICH WERE IN THE WORLD, HE LOVED THEM UNTO THE END.
Every characteristic which the LORD intends to perfect in HIS elect children, HE demonstrated when HE walked upon the earth. From a fervent prayer life to an unwavering faith, HE left us an example that we should follow in HIS steps. (see I Pet.2:21-
Our LORD never expects more from us than HE has given us nor does HE require more than HE has already done in our behalf. HE has accomplished our sanctification before almighty GOD as well as our justification. (see I Cor.1:30; II Thes.2:13) HE has called us by HIS grace and is presently fitting us for our eternal abode with HIM in the heavens. We are indeed a blessed people. “Happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.” (Ps.144:15)
Of all the glorious characteristics of the sons of GOD which the LORD demonstrated, none is any more important than that of HIS commitment to HIS people. Our text says, “HE loved them to the end.” Partial commitment is no commitment at all. Marriage, as it is given in the scripture is an illustration of the LORD’s love for and dedication to HIS bride. As we survey the state of marriage in our society, we almost have to wonder if such can really be the case. The concept of commitment is by and large lost on a society that considers divorce as an escape clause even while the marriage vows are being spoken. It has become a very viable option which one almost expects to use, as is witnessed by pre-
As we listen to most modern day preaching we are led to believe that, those who are followers of CHRIST can do so on their own terms or at least without any sort of absolute commitment to HIM and HIS way. Men are urged to “believe” in order to be “saved” and then offered an upgrade to first class accommodations by “making HIM lord of their lives”. In addition to having no scriptural foundation, this sort of doctrine makes a mockery of true commitment to CHRIST. The LORD said, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62) HE told the rich young ruler to sell all that HE had and come and follow HIM. HE told the woman taken in adultery “Go and sin no more.” HE said to the multitude, who followed HIM temporarily, “whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33) The way of CHRIST is a radical path which in reality is not appealing to any but those who have been awakened to their desperate need of HIM. It is impossible that any man could convince another to go in that way. And it is equally as ludicrous to think that soft music and emotional appeals should do the deed either.
Paul gives us a description of CHRIST’s commitment to HIS elect: “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-
We often hear those who lean towards legalism admonishing GOD’s people with, a recitation of duties, to be committed to HIM as though the law can somehow compel men to obedience. Then we hear the conditionalists warning them of the dire consequences of failing to be devoted to HIM as though fear can do what the law can’t. But ultimately, what is the true impetus for our commitment? Plain and simply, HIS example. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. “ (Heb 12:2-
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” (Phil 3:20)