When we first come to Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ] as our Lord and Saviour, we have a strong awareness of abiding in our heavenly Father’s love. This keen awareness of abiding in Father’s love is indeed a wonderful part of a Believer’s experience!
The phrase ‘abiding in His love’ brings to mind an image of a little child surrounded by the loving arms of the father. This scene perfectly pictures the sense of security a little child has.
But for an adult, this image may not adequately convey the full meaning of abiding in our Father’s love. As we grow and mature as Believers, Father begins to relate to us in a different way, based on our greater understanding, and greater responsibilities within His family.
As Believers, our desire is to ‘abide’ in Father’s love, but with a sense of approval, affirmation, and support from Father. As we mature, we come to see that Father’s desire for us is no longer a passive reclining in His arms, but is now in the form of His charge to us, that we are responsible for how we abide in His love:
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love…” (John 15:10a)
Notice the word ‘if’ in the above passage. It is as though He is telling us, that it is our responsibility to see that we abide in His love! From our growth and maturity, we soon find that there is much more to ‘abiding’ in Father’s love than we first thought, when we were as babes.
The phrase ‘abide in my love’ or ‘abide in me’ or ‘abide in him’ can be seen in John 15:4,5,7,10 and 1John 2:6,27,28; 3:6. This ‘abiding’ seems mysterious, in a way. How can we ‘abide in’ someone?
Remaining in His Love
The word translated as ‘abide’ is the Greek word ‘meno,’ and is Strong’s number <3306>. The Greek word meno basically means “to stay, or to abide, or to continue, or to remain.” Knowing these additional meanings is a great help in understanding the verses using this Greek word ‘meno.’
We gain a better understanding of John 15:10a, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love,” with these additional meanings:
If we keep His commandments, we shall remain in His love.
If we keep His commandments, we shall continue in His love.
If we keep His commandments, we shall stay in His love.
These additional meanings of the word abide give us a more definite understanding of what happens when we keep His commandments. They also tell us the conditions we must meet, if we desire to abide, that is, if we desire to ‘remain’ or ‘continue’ in His love!
But, there is a problem! In order to know how to remain in His love, we must keep His commandments. And in order to keep His commandments, we must know what they are, and where to find them!
When Yahushua Messiah spoke these words in John 15:10a, what did He mean?
It is commonly thought and taught today, that Yahushua was referring to the two commandments seen in Luke 10:27, “Love the Lord thy God…” and “Love thy neighbour as thyself….” This understanding, however, is held by those who do not fully realize who Messiah is!
Many today are beginning to have their eyes opened more fully, to see Messiah’s true identity! Father is revealing to His children, that the One who appeared to Abraham and to all the prophets, the One who spoke all the commandments given to Moses, was the WORD of Yahuwah [the LORD] (Genesis 15:1; Numbers 3:16, 3:51, 4:45; 15:31; Isaiah 38:4; Jeremiah 1:4; Ezekiel 3:16; Jonah 1:1; Zep 1:1; Hag 1:1) .
We are then told that the WORD of Yahuwah [the One who spoke the commandments to Moses] is none other than Messiah Himself! The WORD was made flesh! (John 1:1; John 1:14).
When we understand that it is Messiah Himself, who spoke the ‘Old’ Testament commandments, we then realize that Messiah’s commandments are Father’s [Yahuwah’s] commandments. Thus Yahushua’s Words begin to take on new meaning: “If ye love me, keep MY Commandments…” (John 14:15; John 15:10)
Those who are coming to know Yahuwah more fully, are those who are learning to keep all of Messiah’s commandments, those found from Genesis through Malachi, as well as His commandments found from Matthew through Revelation! They are learning that the seventh-day Sabbath instructions, the dietary laws, the Biblical feasts instructions, and many other guidelines in the ‘Old’ Testament, apply to all of Yahuwah’s children, throughout all generations!
When we begin to learn and keep all of Messiah’s commandments found in the Scriptures, our faith is strengthened, and our hope becomes more confident! This is Father’s intent and delight. That we would know His strength and hope, as we walk according to His ways revealed to us within ‘The Torah.’
As we see in John 15:10, Messiah was referring to the ‘Old’ Testament commandments, and specifically, the written Torah, which is Father’s instructions and guidelines for His children.
But we might ask, “How can we confirm that ‘MY’ commandments, in John 15:10, refer to the Old Testament commandments?”
A Scripture Confirmation
First, we know that at the time Yahushua spoke these words, there were no ‘New’ Testament writings in existence. All they had were the ‘Old’ Testament writings. Any elementary Hebrew student at that time would have thus understood the phrase ‘keeping the commandments’ referred to keeping the existing commandments, teachings, and instructions written in the Scriptures. These Scriptures, also known as the Tanakh, is commonly known today as the ‘Old’ Testament writings [which are not really ‘old’ Scriptures].
The TaNaKh is an acronym consisting of the first Hebrew letters of the names of the three subdivisions of the Hebrew Bible:
- Torah (“Teachings”);
- Nevi’im (“Prophets”);
- Ketuvim (“Writings”).
Next, we must understand that we are told in Deuteronomy 13:1-5, that if a prophet should arise in our midst, who would speak any words that would contradict Torah, or speak words that advocate anything other than following Torah, we should not hearken to that prophet, and that prophet is to be put to death.
Had Yahushua advocated anything other than following Torah, He Himself would have broken that command in Deuteronomy 13:1-5. He would then have transgressed or disobeyed Torah! And let us recall that Scripture defines transgression of Torah as ‘sin’ (1John 3:4). Therefore Yahushua would have deserved to die, if He promoted any disobedience to the Torah. He would have been disqualified from being the true Messiah, and He would not have been the perfect sacrifice required for our redemption and forgiveness.
But we know Yahushua did not sin (Hebrews 4:15), so He never violated the Torah! We also know that He was the perfect sacrifice, one without blemish (Exodus 12:5; 1Peter 1:19). And, because of the precious Blood of His sacrifice, we have forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14).
From this we may confirm that Yahushua advocated, and spoke of, our obedience to the Torah —our obedience to the ‘Old’ Testament commandments.
But let’s look further at the Greek word meno, as we look from the beginning.
From the Beginning
A good example of the multiple meanings of this Greek word ‘meno’ can be seen in 1John 2:24. In this verse, the Greek word meno, Strong’s number <3306>, is used 3 times, revealing the multiple meanings:
Let that therefore abide<3306> in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain<3306> in you, ye also shall continue<3306> in the Son, and in the Father. (1John 2:24)
In this verse, the apostle John was speaking to the followers of Yahushua. They were ‘New’ Testament Believers. They understood immediately what John was referring to when he used the phrase ‘from the beginning.’ The phrase ‘the beginning’ is the first few Hebrew words in the book of Genesis, and is the Hebrew title of the book of Genesis.
The phrase ‘from the beginning’ used in the Scriptures, most often refers to the Book of Genesis, and is, in general, used as a reference to the Torah.
In the above passage in 1John 2:24, John was urging the Believers to continue studying, and following [obeying], the Scriptures written in the Torah, beginning in Genesis [the beginning], and onward.
And so we see that John is telling the disciples that “if” they desire to ‘abide’ [remain] in the love of the Son, and in the love of the Father, they are exhorted to continue following and obeying, the teachings and instructions they had heard from the beginning — the teachings and instructions of the TaNaKh, the ‘Old’ Testament commandments!
This understanding is so important if we desire to walk in the fullness of Yahuwah’s plans and purposes for His family. His children will know His blessings and approval when they are walking according to His guidleines, or in other words, the ‘house-rules’ for His family.
But wait! I thought all we must do is ‘believe’ on the name of the Son, Yahushua [‘Jesus’]. How does this figure in?
Believe on the Name of His Son
The apostle John, when he tells the disciples to continue studying and obeying the Scriptures ‘from the beginning,’ is telling us Yahuwah’s intention for us. John is not diminishing the importance of the teachings and purposes of Yahushua Messiah, but is telling us what we must understand, if we are to grow and mature spiritually, beyond being a ‘babe.’
When we first come to Messiah, we are abiding IN Messiah, and He is abiding IN us. John emphasises our need for Yahushua in the previous verse by saying, “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father” (1John 2:23a).
The apostle John again re-emphasises our eternal need for Messiah Yahushua in the next chapter:
And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ], and love one another, as He gave us commandment. (1John 3:23)
Here, John reveals to us the all-important first step of being birthed into Father’s kingdom, when we first believe on the name of His Son. The apostle James gives us further insight into what it truly means to believe — that a ‘Believer’ is one who is a ‘DO-er’ of the WORD (James 1:22-25; 2:19).
Demonstrating Our Love
A Believer is a DO-er of the WORD. Being a DO-er of Yah’s Word includes learning His Words from the beginning.
The importance of obeying Yahuwah’s commandments from the beginning is a significant and vital on-going part of Father’s plans and purposes for His children. Knowing what Father’s plans are for His family begins in the ‘Old’ Testament, and specifically in the Torah. Therefore the ‘Old’ Testament [which is not really ‘old’], is foundational for understanding all of Scripture.
Our obedience to the Torah can not earn redemption, forgiveness, or salvation. These come only through our faith in Yahushua’s sacrificial death!
Yet we demonstrate our love for Yahuwah, and for His Son Yahushua, by keeping His commandments (John 14:15), and by following His instructions — including those He gave to Moses, given from the beginning of the Scriptures. Our obedience is the evidence of our love for Messiah!
Let us begin to demonstrate of our love for Messiah more fully. Let us begin to adjust our lifestyle wherever necessary, so that we may be more ‘in-line’ with all of Messiah’s guidelines and instructions. When we do, we can expect to know more fully the blessings promised in Psalms 119:
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law [the Torah] of Yahuwah. Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in His ways. (Psalms 119:1-3)
So let us remember that word “if” at the start of John 15:10.
For it is “if” we are keeping Messiah’s commandments, that we are remaining in, continuing in, and abiding in His love.
- Under His Wings I Shall Trust
- My Path to Torah
- Receiving Our Full Reward
- The Word – or The Spirit?
- What Is The Purpose of The Torah?
- 10 Paradigm-Shifting New Testament Verses
- Messiah’s Bride-The King’s Daughter
- Why Should We Obey the Master
- Thy Torah Is My Delight