Is God’s love for us conditional?




We are continuing this series on the so-called “conditional love of God”. We covered the issue of whether God’s love was conditional here:

We  are looking at a further part of that article today. For the full article:

For today however, let us look at this portion of the article.

John 14:21 NIV “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

This is very important. The only way to demonstrate our love for Jesus is by obedience. This is the only way to be loved by the Father. It is the only way to be loved by Jesus. We see that in the New Testament the love of God is conditional not unconditional.

The second concept being taught which distorts the truth of salvation by grace is that all sins, past, present and future are already forgiven. This is not stated anywhere in the New Testament. In fact there are several conditions given. I will quote only two:

(a) 1 John 1:9 NIV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
(b) Matthew 6:14-15 NIV For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (15) But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

This means that sins are not forgiven unless we first of all forgive others and demonstrates that Jesus had no concept of future sins already being forgiven.”

Let us look at John 14:21 into context shall we?

John 14.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

15 “If you love me, keep my commands16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”

Notice something. The command here is to believe! Not the 10 commandments. The teaching here is to believe.

Now let us move to John 13 for context purposes.

John 13:34

New International Version (NIV)

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

The command Jesus issued here is to love one another as Jesus loves us.

Now take a look at this:

John 15:8-10

8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

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.

John 17:23

23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

Contrary to many who think the commandments the Father wanted Jesus to keep was the Law, the commandments Jesus kept was loving the disciples the Father loved him and thus he ask his disciples to love another as Jesus loved them. That is how we remain in his love.

John the apostle commenting on John 13 and 14 thereafter sums it up this way:

1 John 3:21-24

21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God,[a] and God[b] in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given to us.

Dear friends,

You may argue but it is depended on our love for one another. Well, while you may be able to love, but you are called to love not with your love but his and this overflowing and none of your own effort.

Romans 5:5

New International Version (NIV)

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Notice how the love of Christ is given to you. It is through the Holy Spirit and next it is poured out. Not in drops but poured. In overflowing abundance.

So it is not your obedience that the Father loves you, it is the fact that He loves you unconditionally but you must believe in that. If you don’t believe God loves you, how are you going to feel love or remain in this love? You are the one that runs away. Not him.

1 John 1:9 is not written for the believers. I have dealt with this in a previous article:

With regards Matthew 6 Jesus was throwing the Law at the Jews, after he died forgiveness was unconditional. Look at what Paul says in Ephesians 4:32

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Also in Colossians 3: 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Notice the difference, you forgive now because you have been forgiven, it’s a choice. Before, it was a condition to be forgiven.

When Jesus died, the Father nailed the law to the cross. Think about it, when did the Father send Jesus, while you were a terrible sinner or when you are a saint? If the Father can love you so much when you are sinner, does that love change when you are now a saint who sins?

Be at peace.

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