When We Obey
5-9-21 “When We Obey” John 15:9-17
The Video card on the computer went out and we couldn’t record our sermons for May 9th and 16th, but because there was some interest we will post my sermon notes. I’ve edited them somewhat to improve readability and hope they are of some benefit as you follow the Lord.
I suggest you click on the PDF but the sermon text is also shown below.
Petersburg Cumberland Presbyterian Church “When We Obey” 5-9-21
Call to Worship: Psalm 139:1-17 Sermon Scripture: John 15:9-17
In our text Jesus is speaking to the eleven faithful disciples. These men will be the original apostles who will go
on to establish the Church. Two weeks ago we considered if our church is bearing the fruit God demands. Then
last week we took an even closer look at how important fruitfulness is to God. It is so important that God
removes and prunes even churches for fruitfulness. Jesus said everything depended on abiding in Him.
Today in our text Jesus teaches us how to abide.
? READ text: John 15:9-17
There are so many remarkable revelations and instructions in these eight verses!
Vs 9 “As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you.”
? We could stop right there for 10,000 years and not unpack it all!
? Jesus loves you. Really, Jesus cares for you.
? Jesus loves you, just as God the Father loves Him. Jesus loves you just as wholeheartedly and
unconditionally as God the Father loves God the Son.
? It’s unfathomable really, but the love that God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit had before Creation—
perfect in communion, joy, honor and affection—that is how Jesus loves you.
And Jesus wants these 11 (and us also) to abide in His love.
Love has never been something the world grasps very well, therefore Jesus explains how to love: Keep my
My paraphrase of verse 10 is “When you keep My commandments, you will be abiding in My love, just as I
have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”
? Again, our relationship with God is linked with the relationship between Jesus and God the Father
? Jesus obeyed the directions of His Father. He submitted to His direction and just as importantly Jesus
depended on His care.
How is your submission? Do you seek Christ’s input for your life? When that direction comes, do you obey?
? When there is a clash between what you want and God’s will, are you like Jesus and give up your life?
But what about trusting dependence? I suspect that many of us have a harder time with this than the submission.
We just don’t leave God much room to do anything.
? In perfect trust, Jesus accepted the events and circumstances that God the Father allowed in His life.
o Jesus depended on the Father to live life
o The daily, hourly, moment by moment reliance on God is just as much part of obedience as
doing what God specifically tells us.
And what does Jesus say is the result of keeping His commands? Jesus says His joy will be in His disciples.
God delights in those who do His will. And why shouldn’t God have joy in that?
? Obedience to God produces no harm and it never fails to bring about good.
? God wants you to have a good life. But that is not wealth or fame—those only have value in this
world—The good life God wants for us are those moments when the earthly and eternal overlap
Another result is that our joy will be full or complete or perfect.
? You cannot live a better, more fulfilling, joyful life than by living in unison with Jesus Christ.
? Jesus is my best friend.
o He listens to me even though I never tell Him anything He doesn’t already know.
? And He listens without condemnation or judgement
o He never turns me away or forgets me
o There is nothing in my life, good, bad or in-between that Jesus will not live out with me.
o He doesn’t always do what I expect or what I want, but He’s never been unloving, indifferent or
unkind to me
o Polycarp, a bishop in the early church, was threatened with immediate execution unless he
denounced Christ. His reply, “Fourscore and six years have I served Him, and He has never done
me injury; how then can I now blaspheme my King and Savior?”
o Anyone who has ever been befriended by Jesus knows He is the most faithful and kind friend.
Jesus tells these original eleven apostles that they are His friends. Friendship with Jesus is available to anyone
who accepts His forgiveness and abides in His love.
? We are a friend to Him when we obey His commands
He befriends us by sharing everything He has with us
? (You know that love we mentioned earlier? The love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit—that love
that Jesus knows and deserves and enjoys? He shares that with us! Through Christ we have access to the
fullness of God)
? God is dismantling everything between our hearts and His. Sin, death, hell. All will be done away with.
? Already we as believers are sharing in fullness of God’s love
? And He wants us to share that love with one another.
Jesus isn’t finished giving His last instructions, but He does summarize some things here:
? “I chose you.” We don’t pick God. God intentionally, knowingly, graciously, chose them and us
? “I appointed you for a purpose”
o Bearing fruit is that purpose
? You can ask God the Father for anything toward that purpose and He will grant it
When we obey, everything changes:
? First our love for other people grows strong and real
? Secondly, we partner with God on God’s greatest priority which is saving human beings for eternity
? Thirdly, we witness, experience and benefit from God’s presence and work in the world (we call that
? Mostly importantly, when we obey we abide in, enjoy, and share with one another the unfathomable
love of God.