A Question I Was Asked:

Can We Truly Love Jesus and Obey His Commandments Without the Help of the Holy Spirit?

My question is... can we as Christians truly love Jesus and obey His Commandments without the help of the Holy Spirit. Scripture Reference John 14:15.

We are after all the children of disobedience and us loving God in spirit and in truth is questionable.

UK Apologetics Reply:

Your Scripture reference is this:

If you love me, keep my commands. (John 14:15).

One might say that this is clear enough but actually this is far too brief a reference to get the real sense of any passage, so let us widen it out a bit:

13. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. 15. "If you love me, keep my commands. 16. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.. (John 14: 13-16).

Okay, I think we now start to get a fuller sense of the meaning here. Jesus was teaching and instructing His disciples. Of course, when Jesus said,"keep my commands," He was not talking specifically about the Ten Commandments, He was talking about His teachings, including the sermon on the mount, and the law of Christ, which go beyond any ten points of the law. In this verse, the Greek for commands, or (in some translations), commandments is 'entole' - not 'nomos' (law). This does not point to the old covenant code of the ten commandments but looks beyond it. 'Entole' means: injunction, prescription, correct teachings, precept, received teachings or instructions etc.

So, in answer to the question, no, we cannot obey the law of Christ without the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We can do so much under our own steam but we need God to be as close to us as possible in order to be faithful and obedient servants.

Robin A. Brace. November 16th, 2016.