In John’s account of Jesus’ last night before the cross, we encounter some of the most tender words in all the Scriptures. In the Upper Room, Jesus poured out His heart to His disciples, teaching them (and through them, us) how to live in the love of God, because living in the love of God is everything.
John 14:15-31 is notoriously difficult to outline, because Jesus keeps circling back time and again to the same central theme as He invites us to live deeply in the love of God. Pastor Philip approached the passage from three angles:
- Our Love of God: What does it mean to really love God? Our love of Jesus naturally and necessarily flows into an obedience to His law. This fundamentally boils down to loving God and loving people. So if you really love Jesus, you’ll grow in love for one another. But that’s not always an easy thing to do. We desperately need direction, wholeness, and courage from Jesus to do that well. We cannot do it on our own, which brings us to the next point.
- God’s Love of Us: The only way we’ll ever be able to obey Christ’s law of love is through the enabling work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit enables through us what the Son commands of us so that Father delights in us. You want to know how hard love is? It takes all three persons of the Triune God to form us into people of love.
- The Life of Love: There’s an important progression here: Love God -> Obey God -> Love People -> God’s Presence. Here’s the logic: to love Jesus is to obey Jesus; to obey Jesus is to love one another; as we live in loving obedience, Jesus asks the Father to send the Spirit; God’s indwelling Spirit is His presence in us. Perichoresis is the Divine dance of eternal loving embrace, each person of the Triune Godhead lovingly self-giving unto the others, and welcoming and receiving one another into themselves with unrestrained, overflowing intimacy, delight, and everlasting joy! Do you realize what this means? To be united to Jesus by faith is to be “in Christ” and to have “Christ in us.” And if we share a perichoretic relationship with Jesus, and Jesus has a perichoretic relationship with the Father and the Spirit, then to be in Christ means we also have the Spirit and the Father in Him. The Triune God is inviting us to share in the Dance.
Takeaway: will you have this Dance?