“Continue in my love” John 15:9
It is in John’s Gospel that we read some of the most beautiful last words of Christ to His disciples. Jesus had just been telling them about His deep love for them: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” – Indescribable, unimaginable love! Perhaps even surprising. Then Jesus tells them to continue in that love.
Many of the New Testament writers also repeatedly urged Christians to “continue…” St. Paul writing to the Colossians: “…..continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel” (Col.1:23). In Acts, Paul urged the converts to “continue in the faith”, to “continue in the grace of God” and “in the doctrine” they had been taught. According to Paul, the doctrine is the truth of the Gospel.
Last week Christians everywhere celebrated Easter – The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – The proof that He was the Messiah who gave His life for all people so that they could have a new God driven life now, and an eternal life. This was the proof of the Love about which Jesus spoke to the disciples, and which He extends to all people. Another miraculous thing happened at Christ’s Resurrection. Paul writes: “Buried with Him in Baptism, wherein also you are risen with Him through faith in the work of God…” Now Jesus would certainly say to us “Continue…..”
So we too are risen! – To a new life! Now we have to continue to live this new victorious life by holding on, by faith, to the truth of the Gospel; by practicing what we learn from it; by being receptive and obedient to God’s Word. We have to “set our affections on things above…” since we are risen with Christ. This is what Paul urged the Colossians to do.
To the Corinthians he wrote: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” And again: “Be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.”