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John 15:13 Please explain.

What does Jesus mean by no greater love than laying down one's life.

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(All quotations from the New King James translation unless stated otherwise).

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

The whole of Christ’s life was that of a living sacrifice. He submitted the whole of his will to God’s will and committed no sin. Because he did no sin God demonstrated his righteousness in raising him from the dead to eternal life. This perfect life was voluntarily given to make atonement for his fellowmen who are not able to live the sinless life that God requires. He could not have been put to death in the way that he was unless he had permitted it to happen. He allowed it to happen because he loved us.

John 10:18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.

Matthew 26:53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 "How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?

His perfect life and sacrifice was necessary to save us from sin and death. We die because we sin (break God’s commandments) for which the punishment is death.

Ezekiel 18:4...The soul who sins shall die.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death...

We are subject to sin and death because Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Romans 5:12... through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned

In Jesus Christ, God provided a ‘second Adam’. Those who are ‘naturally born’ in Adam can be ‘spiritually reborn’ in Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, the first man Adam became a living being,the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

By his death he made reconciliation for those who will believe.

Romans 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

By believing on him we can have our sins forgiven and his righteousness imputed to us.

Romans 5:19 For as by one man‘s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

His death is only efficacious for those who will believe and obey his commandments.

John 15:13 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.

Those who believe are to be baptised into him for the remission of their sins.

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

After baptism we are to model our lives on his life and live by his commandments.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

In this life we are to love others as Christ loved us.

John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

1 John 3:23 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.

This love is to extend also to our enemies.

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

In his life and death Christ left us the example of real love both for his Father and for us. If we follow him he will give us eternal life. The eternal life will be ours by resurrection from the dead when Jesus returns. Paul explains what is going to happen.

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

This is the eternal life promised through the love of Christ; that God will dwell in us forever.

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

We shall live in the love of God forever and be the glory with which he will fill the earth.

Numbers 14:21 but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD

If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free online Bible study course available on our website, www.thisisyourbible.com? This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort... You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.

I hope this helps.
Glenn Smith
 
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