A conditional response to an unconditional love is an acquaintanceship not a relationship.
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21 NIV)
A crippling delusion that has swept Christianity in our modern time is one that paints the picture that many know God, but the sobering reality is that we only know about God and even that is a twisted truth bias to the experiences or opinions of other people. Many of us pretend to have a relationship with someone we only have an acquaintanceship with. We’ve prayed prayers of acceptance, but have left our acceptance of Christ at the altar of our church services. The proof…? We have a conditional response to His commands when Jesus said that the proof of your love for me is in your obedience to me.
We live in a culture and society where lawlessness is growing and the idea of obedience is enslavement. This mentality is clearly an anti-Christ philosophy many of us who claim to be Christians have embraced and is evidence that we understand very little to the motive of Christ in making this statement. We obey Christ out of the convenience of our circumstance rather than the sacrifice of our love. We have a conditional acquaintanceship rather than a faithful relationship.
Jesus gave this charge to us who follow Him because of His desire to see us live to the full potential we where created to be. He died so we would no longer have to live under the control of our sinful nature, but we could live freely and abundantly in our Divine nature. Jesus came for the purpose of pursuing relationship with us, and stopped at nothing to gain that relationship even to the point of death on a cross. The problem is that our relationship with Him is conditioned on our living in our Divine nature not our sinful nature. He loves us unconditionally, but He can’t unconditionally relate to us. He made it clear that if we really love Him then we would live obediently to His commands that teach us how to live in our Divine nature that exists in Him. The commands of Christ are not meant to be instructions to live by, but are instructions to live life.
If we have purchased an item that requires assembly we are often quick to follow the instructions so that we may enjoy the item we purchased. Those instructions provided in the instruction manual are commands that must be followed to possess the full benefit of our purchased item. If we choose not to follow the commands given to us then we will not have the benefit of whatever we bought. Everything that Christ commands of us are instructions to build a relationship first with the Father and then with each other. Without following those commands we deny ourselves the benefits of those relationships.
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:13-14 NAS)
“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36 NAS)
“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba ! Father!”” (Romans 8:14-15 NAS)
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches ; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing … “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”” (John 15:1-5, 7-10 NAS)