Originally posted by niceforkinmove:
I might suggest you, (Chess Fan), need to know even more about Jesus and what he requires. Here is what Jesus said:
11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I 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. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other."
John 15 9-17.
This is just one of many places where Jesus informs people what they must do in this life.
Okay, let's take a brief look at that passage of Scripture in its context.
The Lord Jesus and His disciples had finished eating the Last Supper together, and, Judas Iscariot had just left them to go out and, a little while later, to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
So now, Jesus Christ and his remaining 11 TRUE disciples are left together there in that upper room together after they have finished their Last Supper together.
The passage of Scripture that niceforkinmove has quoted above is a part of Jesus' last teachings to His disciples that goes all the way from John, Chapter 13, Verse 31 to the end of John, Chapter 17.
So, now, on to this passage of Scripture itself.
9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love."
In verse 9, Jesus is telling the disciples, (and, by extension, to all saved believers in Him), that He has loved us with the very same TOTAL and WONDERFUL love that God the Father has loved Jesus himself!
This love of Jesus for us as believers *should* motivate us to an active dependance upon, and, (in verse 10), a loving obedience to Jesus and his commands for us as believers.
11 "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
Jesus' command here to His disciples for them to "obey his commands" is for *their joy", so that they may be able to experience the fullness of the abundant life that He wants to give to them.
Indeed, Jesus came to give "abundant life", (John 10:10), to believers, not a joyless existence.
** And, as a saved believer in Jesus Christ myself, I can TRULY say that my *greatest joy* is when I am living in obedience to Jesus and to his teachings for my life! **
12 "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."
Indeed, as Christians, we are to have mutual love for one another, with the standard of that love being Jesus Christ's humble and sacrificial love for each of us.
13 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command."
Indeed, the greatest act of love that one person can do for another person is to die for them.
(And, Jesus would go on to demonstrate this for us by dying for us upon the cross.)
And, also, in Verse 14, Jesus *once again* stresses that loving obedience to Him is very important in the life of a saved believer in Him.
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."
Indeed, in real life, a servant usually does not have a close relationship with his master.
However, on the other hand, a friend of that master has usually WILL have at least a fairly close relationship with that master.
Because Jesus had opened Himself up to these disciples whom He was talking to here over the approximately three years of Earthly ministry that they had together, they DID have a close relationship together, just as friends very often do have together.
16 "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."
Here, Jesus emphasizes to the disciples, (and, by extension, to ALL saved believers in Him), that He has chosen us for a mission and a purpose, ("bearing lasting fruit"), and also that His Father would answer their prayers, ("requests"), in order so that their God-given mission of bearing lasting fruit for the Kingdom of God would be accomplished.
17 "This is my command: Love each other."
And, Jesus closes this passage with his emphasizing, once again, the importance of believers loving each other, (and, of course, ALL of mankind as well.)
Originally posted by niceforknimove:
Clearly Paul would have informed any churches he later wrote to about this commandment. Surely by believing in Jesus he meant that they must believe in this message.
Of course, a believer should believe that that message is true.
And, the more that that believer lives by that message, the more joy and effectiveness for the Kingdom of God that believer will also have!
As Jesus said if you obey his command you will remain in his love. when you are asked if you believe in Jesus it means are you willing to accept this challenge.
Yes, although as believers we *many times* fall short of obeying and living this out in our daily lives as we should, this IS something that, with our Lord's total help, we should be striving to do every day of our mortal lives here upon this Earth.
No doubt, some people obey(ed) his command but never heard of him. I know you are not going to deny what Jesus himself said. I know you are not going to deny that they will remain in his love and that their joy will be complete.
Well, there are many un-saved people who live very moral lives who also deeply care about and love other people in their lives.
However, while these un-saved people are living under Almighty God's overall general love for all of humankind, they also *can NOT experience the complete joy that ONLY the in-dwelling Holy Spirit who lives in the hearts of every saved believer can give*, because the Holy Spirit does NOT live in the hearts of un-saved people.
My point is that *perhaps* when we consider this we have to believe more than simply someone named Jesus died for our sins. Perhaps we have to know a bit about who he was and what he taught - no commanded.
Well, for salvation, we *only* need to believe the Gospel and to act upon our belief IN that Gospel, and then, from there, once a person becomes truly saved, we then go on from there to learn more and more about just WHO Jesus is and what He taught and commanded.
And yes its possible that even if some don't know who he was or why he died its possible that they will be saved anyway if they lived by his commands.
No, niceforkinmove, the Bible CLEARLY teaches that NO person will be saved ONLY by attempting to live by the commands of Jesus Christ, without their having saving faith in Him!
But its foolish business for us to try to guess where the edges of salvation lie. I know you agree.
There are NO "edges" of salvation.
IF a person is *truly* saved, then, they are a changed person, and, they are saved forever by the love and the power of Almighty God.
The bottom line is, that, a person is either truly saved forever; or, that person is still not truly saved at all.
There are NO "edges" or "gray areas" when it comes to whether or not that a person is truly saved.
This is just what I mean when I say that I am constantly asking myself what does it mean to "believe (have faith) in Jesus"
Well, niceforkinmove, I have spent a great deal of time here in this thread, *(with my very slow typing skills)*,
trying to show you, and everyone else here, just what that it means to believe, (have faith), in Jesus in the ONLY way that will really matter for eternity.