Keeping His Word

By J. L. Leifeste

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.’ ” – Jn. 14:23-24

People tend to retain things they consider special. Children often enjoy keeping things like flowers, beads, strings, buttons, pretty rocks, and shiny objects. Such things give them a sense of wonderment, and they consider such things precious. Most people have special or sentimental items that they treasure. Nearly everyone has people whom he or she loves. Actually, we should have a noble love toward all people (Matt. 22:37-40). Jesus gave us many precious things that people overlook. One of His most precious gifts is His word.

His Word Gives Us Life. From the above quoted scriptures, Jesus referred to His communication with us as both “word” and “words.” Everyone needs Jesus (Jn. 14:6). He came to bring us life (Jn. 10:10). We find His words in the New Testament (Jn. 14:26; 1 Cor. 2:9-13; 2 Pet. 1:3; 3:2). They show us the way to eternal life (Jn. 5:24; 6:68-69; Rom. 1:16; 2 Tim. 1:10). We must believe that He is the Son of God (Jn. 3:16). We must repent of sin (Acts 17:30). We must confess our belief (faith) (Rom. 10:9-10). We must be baptized, immersed, in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins (Matt. 28:18-20; Col. 2:11-15). We also need to continue in faith (Gal. 5:22). Jesus’ word is the revelation of His life, His gospel (good news), including all commands and instructions. Since His word has the power to give us life, we should study it carefully, teach it accurately, and live it faithfully.

His Word is Eternal. We keep the word of Jesus because it does more than introduce us to spiritual life. It helps us to grow in Christ and practice godliness (1 Tim. 2:1-4; 4:6-8; 6:3-6; Titus 2:12). His word is so important that it will last forever. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24:35). His word was not just for the time when Jesus was on the earth. It does not change with time. It is the same now and forever (Jude 3). We must allow the words of Jesus to measure and correct us, because they will one day judge us (Jn. 12:48-50; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:16; Eph. 5:6; Heb. 2:2-3). We should value and keep His word, because it is powerful and eternal.

His Word is Retainable. When things are very precious to us, we keep them foremost in our minds and hearts. Since the word of Jesus is so valuable, we should retain it and practice it as a very precious item. We are told to keep His words, His commandments, so that we will never see spiritual death (Jn. 8:51). Keeping His words means continual observance and obedience to the words of Christ and the apostles (Jn. 14:23-24; 16:12-13; 2 Pet. 1:20-21). His word is the sword of the Holy Spirit (Heb. 4:12-16; Eph. 6:17). We must “hold fast our confession” (Heb. 4:14), which means being faithful, or keeping His word. We must be doers of the word and not hearers only, because doing His word is an inseparable part of remaining faithful (Jas. 1:21-25). The basic truths of His word are easy for normal people to understand (Matt. 11:25; Mk. 12:37; 1 Cor. 1:18; Jn. 8:31-32). When His word is important to us, we keep it prominent in our thoughts. Then our daily actions show its influence in our lives (Eccl. 12:13; Matt. 7:21, 24-27; Mk. 12:29-31; Acts 5:29; 2 Pet. 3:10-11; 1 Jn. 2:5). 

The word of Christ is very precious because it gives spiritual life, which everyone needs. His word is timeless and eternal. His word is understandable and is able to transform our lives.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death” (Jn. 8:51).