Summary: Jesus reminds us: 1. Of His commandment for Christians to love one another (vs. 17). 2. Of the cost of following Him (vs. 18-27). 3. Of His comfort for us (vs. 26).
Fundamentals of Following Jesus Christ
The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - September 27, 2017
(Revised March 23, 2020)
*Please open your Bibles to John 15. It never ceases to amaze me that God devoted over a fourth of John's Gospel to one night in the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was the night before the cross, and John talks about this night all the way from John 13:1 to John 18:27. The amount of time God's Word devotes to this night highlights how important it is to know and live by the things our Savior said.
*When time is short, godly wisdom compels us to focus on the most important issues of life. And that's what Jesus did in the hours before He died on the cross. He focused on the most important things. And in tonight's Scripture, Jesus focused some fundamentals of following the Lord. Please think about that as we read vs. 17-27.
*Fundamentals are important in life. About two weeks after I got my driver’s license, I was driving on the Upper River Road in Macon, Georgia. It was a very hilly, curvy, dangerous, country road. My girlfriend’s father had been killed in a wreck on that same road.
*Coming home one day, my back, right wheel went off the edge of the road. It was a drop-off of about six inches. And I didn’t know enough to slow down before I got back on the road, so I overcorrected.
*I wound up on the wrong side of the road, and a lady was coming right at me, head on. She was so close that I could see her 5-year-old grandson standing on the front seat beside her. (It was 1967.) She was so close I could see the terrified look on her face. Then, at the last possible second, I jerked the wheel, and I missed her. But I flipped over into the ditch, with the window open, and no seatbelt on.
*By God's grace, I walked away with only a scratch on my arm. But it could have been the worst for us all, and many young drivers have died making the same mistake. Fundamentals are important in life. But the most important of all are the fundamentals that come from God. And in tonight's Scripture Jesus focused on three fundamentals of following the Lord.
1. THE FIRST IS HIS COMMANDMENT FOR CHRISTIANS TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
*Jesus repeated this commandment in vs. 17 where He said, "These things I command you, that you love one another."
 NOTICE THAT THIS LOVE COMMANDMENT IS CRUCIAL.
*Closing in on the cross, there was nothing the Lord stressed more than His commandment for Christians to love one another. It was amazing for me to find out how many times God's Word tells us to love one another, not 2 or 3 times, but 16 different times in the New Testament.
*Jesus began on this same night and in John 13:34-35 He said:
34. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
35. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.''
*Then in John 15:12-14, Jesus said:
12. "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
14. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you."
*For a few more examples, in Romans 13:8, Paul said, "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law."
*In 1 John 3:11, the Apostle John said: "For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another."
*In 1 John 3:22-23, John said:
22. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
23. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
*And in 1 John 4:7-12, John said:
7. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
10. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.