The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
We have discussed this verse before … but in light of the recent tide of verses we have received in these days approaching Easter, I cannot help but believe the message here is something the Spirit wants to draw to our attention. Yesterday, our verse focused on the mercies and forgiveness granted to us through Christ Jesus. Paul explained to us that God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) In 1 John 4:8-16, the Apostle John declares, “We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.” And here the writer of the Book of Hebrews asserts that Jesus, the Son of God, is the “exact representation of God’s being.” God is love … therefore … Jesus encompasses and embodies the love of God in all of its fullness. If anyone ever wants to know how much God deeply loves them … he or she need look no farther than Jesus … who is the image of God. (Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15)
(NIV) – Jesus is speaking:
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now
remain in my love. 10 If
you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my
Father’s commands and remain in His love. 11 I
have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be
complete. 12 My command is
this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater
love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I
command. 15 I no longer call
you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I
have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have
made known to you. 16 You
did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go
and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the
Father will give you. 17 This
is my command: Love each other.
Verse 13 reveals how “great” the love of God is towards us. Jesus was willing to lay down His own life for us. And Jesus called us friends because He has made known to us the heart of the Father. As His friends, we should do what He commands. In Verse 17, Jesus said, “This is my command: Love each other.” In doing so, we bear the image of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us! In doing so, we demonstrate our gratitude and thanksgiving for His mercies upon us. In doing so, we bear fruit – fruit that will last! Oh, I pray we will somehow better grasp the radiance and power of our Lord Jesus Christ – who sustains all things by His Word. I pray we will consider how best to serve Him … how best to live worthy of Him and His calling upon our lives. (Cf. Colossians 1:10) And I believe this is a great verse to inspire us toward that goal as we revere Him in our hearts….
So Now You Know….
Have a Blessed Day!
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.
We have seen this verse in some of the
commentaries when looking at the love of God … what it truly means … and that
it is a promise to those who love God. We find the phrase “covenant of
love” used here and it is found several times in the Old Testament. If we
look at the definition of covenant, we will find the following thoughts:
A formal, solemn, and binding agreement; a written agreement or promise; an
accord; an alliance; a compact; a treaty; and so forth. From these
concepts we can better understand that the love of God is a binding
agreement He has made with us … a holy oath or promise to those who love
Him. Notice the next sentence states, “He is a faithful God.” So we
see that the concept of faithfulness is connected with the terms: binding,
oath, and promise. To be faithful means you will do what you have promised
to do. So God has vowed to love those who love Him and keep His
commandments. And this verse is quoted in Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy
5:10; and Daniel 9:4.
What is the implication or application of
this passage? Well, my first thought was the statement Jesus made in John
14:15: “If you love me, keep my commands.” You
will find similar language used in John 14:21 and John 15:10. Our
love for God is demonstrated through our obedience to His commandments.
So it makes sense that our promise in this relationship … our covenant
with Him … is to keep His commandments. In essence, the agreement between
the two parties bound by this covenant is “to love one another”. God
demonstrates His own love to us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ
died for us. (Cf. Romans 5:8) Yes, His love is the free gift of
salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ! We demonstrate our love to Him
in this: Keeping His commandments … and His commands are not burdensome. (Cf.
1 John 5:3)
From John 3:16 we know: God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son … but His “covenant of love” is with those who love Him and keep His commandments. In a similar fashion, God so loved the world … but only those who believe in Jesus will not perish. I think there is a differentiation that needs to be examined here. The love of God is unconditional … but the blessings of His love are conditional upon our responses. His love is not binding on someone who does not love Him … anymore than eternal life is given to those who do not believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. In other words, our response to Jesus determines our right to become children of God; His atonement and salvation; our eternal life; and whether God is bound by oath to grant these promises to us. Remember, a covenant (binding agreement) is between two parties. God is faithful to us. The question is whether we are faithful to Him. So I dare each of us to be faithful to God and see what happens….
So Now You Know….
Have a Blessed Evening!