Many have heard people quote Jesus as saying, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" But what did Jesus say next? He said "and.." That means the oft quoted "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" isn't even a quote of the full sentence Jesus spoke! Here it is with the "and" in tact:
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments AND I
will ask the Father, and He will give to you another Comforter, that He
might be with you forever the Spirit of truth. He will be in you." (John 14:15-17)
Seeing this together causes us to beg the question of who the "you" Jesus is speaking to is. It cannot refer to us today because:
1. The Spirit of Truth has already been sent/given.
2. The Spirit of Truth is already in us who know God.
3. We are not saved by keeping commandments (works) we are saved by trusting in God.
4. Salvation occurs not because we loved God but because He first loved us.
If this were to us today it would mean Jesus only sends to Holy Spirit into us after we first love Him & work to keep His commands. That is the total opposite of the gospel! By now it should be obvious that we now have no business throwing this broken sentence around trying to get people to keep commands.
But this still makes no sense because Jesus did say this to someone yet it seems to be against the gospel itself. Now let us consider the greater context. Jesus said this to His disciples shortly before He was arrested & sent to the cross. This was a short & unique time in history were
Jesus could be known before He finished redemption.
Jesus was saying
"Do you love me Peter? Do you love me John? Do you love me Matthew?...
If you love me you will keep my commandments.." Jesus had even just specified the commandments. In John 14:1 Jesus
says, "Trust in God. Trust also in Me." This was Jesus' appeal to the human relational love
they had for Him which was built in the time they were with Him so
they would trust Him through the devastating time where He goes to the
cross and even to the grave. Jesus foretold them of His death and
resurrection numerous times. John 13:1 says that everything Jesus did
this night was to love His disciples because He knew He was going to be
arrested and die soon. Jesus wanted His disciples to
trust Him so they would see Him risen & receive the Holy Spirit of
He did still love them first. They just lived in the unique time where they could love Him before they were redeemed. They were still saved by trust (faith/belief) & not works because Jesus' commands were to "Trust in (have faith in/believe in) God. Trust also in Me."
So be free my friends. God does not require us to prove our love for Him by our works. Continue to trust in Him & His love for you. When you know His love for you then you'll never doubt your love for Him.
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments † I Will Love You So You Will Trust Me
is love for God: to keep His commands" Uh oh! ...there goes grace!
Trust and Love, Everything We Need