Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleChrist's New Law
Bible TextJohn 13:34-35
Synopsis Christ Jesus himself says that all his disciples are under his new law of love. Listen
Article Type Sermon Notes
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Length 50 min.

Title: Christ’s New Law

Text: John 13: 34-35

Date: June 14, 2018

Place: SGBC, NJ


Something happened this week that saddened me and got me thinking on John 13.  Wherever God grants repentance there will be a broken and contrite spirit which reigns instead of flesh puffed up in knowledge. Where God creates a new spirit there will be love for brethren reigning instead of a holier than thou, legal and divisive spirit.  After Judas went out, Christ spoke to his eleven disciples. This applies to all his true disciples today.


John 13: 34: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.


Christ Jesus is not only the Savior but also the Lord of every sanctified child of God.  We are all under some law, some rule, all the time. Romans 6 is very clear on that.  Either we are slaves of sin, under the law, under the prince of the power of the air or we are servants of righteousness, under grace, under the rule of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  There is no middle ground.  All men are slaves of the devil under the law of sin and death or we are the servants of Christ under grace and truth.


Proposition: Christ Jesus himself says that all his disciples are under his new law of love.


Subject: Christ’s New Law


Divisions: 1) Why does our Lord call this “A new commandment”—John 13: 34: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; 2) The new motive of this new commandment—John 13: 34: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another 3) How our Lord says that all shall know we are his disciples—John 13: 35: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.




John 13: 34: A new commandment, I give, unto you, That ye love one another;


Why does our Lord call this a new commandment? This commandment is new because of who gave it, to whom it is given, what is given and how it is given.  The old commandments of works at Sinai were given by Moses. He was a sinner who himself was in need of salvation. But the one who gives this new commandment is Christ, the Word made flesh, God with us.


John 1:14: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth…


Moses gave the law only to Jews, to the outward flesh of man, to sinners guilty and unholy in heart, incapable of keeping the law.  Christ gives his commandment unto his friends, his disciples, Jew and Gentile, who he has reconciled unto God by his own blood and given a new spirit. We receive it from Christ.


John 1: 16: And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.


Moses only gave the letter of the law written on tablets of stone. Christ’s commandment is not law but grace and truth, which is written on the new heart.


John 1: 17: For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.


So Christ writes his new commandment of love, not on tablets of stone, but on the new heart which he gives in the new birth so that in our new spirit, we believe on Christ and we love the Lord and our brethren with unfeigned faith and love.


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. 24: And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.


1 John 3: 14: We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15: Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.


1 John 4: 7: Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8: He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.


1 John 4: 12: No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13: Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14: And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15: Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16: And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him…21: And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. 5: 1: Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.


Christ does command us to love all men. But this new commandment is concerning brotherly love—everyone that loveth him that begat loveth him also ttha is begotten of him.  We believe on Christ, and we love God and our brethren, because in the new spirit, God the Holy Spirit creates the fruit of faith and love


Galatians 5: 22:…the fruit of the Spirit is love…faith…


2 Timothy 1:7: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


Christ does not give his new command in the letter for us to obey in our flesh by our own strength. His saints are taught effectually by God in our new spirit.


1 Thessalonians 4: 9: But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.


The same as we begin so we are made to increase and abound in love by the effectual, inner working of the Lord.


1 Thessalonians 3: 12: And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:


Do you see why Christ calls this a new commandment?  It is given of Christ, given to those he reconciled and created anew inwardly and it is given in spirit and truth. This is what it is to be under grace rather than law.


Now, do you and I have a heart to obey Christ? Do we care whether or not we obey Christ?  Obedience to Christ matters greatly to every sanctified child of God for whom Christ spilled his precious blood.  Scriptures are crystal clear. It is only those who are not born of God who yet hate their brethren, who are opposed to Christ’s command, saying it does not apply to believers.  Obedience to Christ means everything to those born of God and taught of God.




John 13: 34: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another


The motive Christ gives is entirely new—“as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”  Some insist this is the same law given by Moses. But if that were so then Christ would not call it new. The motive is entirely new.  Moses gave the law which said,


Leviticus 19: 18: Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.


The new motive of Christ’s new commandment is not “love thy neighbor as thyself” it is “as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”  As I have loved you” — Christ is our pattern from whom we learn love. He is the example of loving brethren. We learn everything we need to know by looking to Christ.


The thing that makes something law or grace is the motivation of the heart.  If I am trying to save myself, earn a righteousness, earn holiness, add to Christ, indebt God, exalt self or get a better reward over others then those are all legal, mercenary, fleshly motives and God hates it.   The love of Christ for his people is the motivation under grace.


2 Corinthians 5:14: For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.


How did Christ love us? He says “as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” How did Christ love his people?


He loves us without end.


John 13: 1: Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.


Christ knew his hour was come. Think of all he must have had on his mind. When we have a huge job before us, we become self-absorbed. Our love for one another is put on the back burner. Not with our Redeemer.  The shame of the cross, the weight of being made a curse, nothing could turn Christ from loving and caring for his own in the world. Charity never fails. His people are members of his body and he is the Head.  How could he ever stop loving his own body?  Likewise, every believer is a member in particular of the body, our brethren are members of our body. How can we cease loving our own body?


1 Corinthians 12: 26: And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.


Christ loved those the Father gave unto him in divine election by laying down his life for us under the shame of our sin and the suffering of God’s unmitigated justice.


John 15: 12: This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


He illustrated it by condescending to wash the disciple’s feet.  In those days in that land they traveled in sandals in the hot sand. So washing the feet of your company was customary. But it was performed by the lowliest servant in the house because no one wanted to wash the dirty feet of weary travelers. 


In amazing love and humility the GodMan condescended that night to literally wash the feet of his apostles. But far greater is what he illustrated by it, which is his amazing love and humility to come down from glory to the lowest possible position to wash us in his blood on the cursed cross.


John 13: 4: He riseth from supper and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.


The Son of God “who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Php 2: 6-8)


John 13: 5: After that he poureth water into a bason…


He poured out his precious blood on the cross for God-hatting maggots like us.


John 13: 5…And began to wash the disciples’ feet


Christ purged his people from our sins justifying us on the cross (Rom 3: 24-26). He washes us in regeneration by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3: 4-7). God continually cleanses us of all sin because of our Advocate with the Father (1 Jn 1: 9-10; 2: 1-2).


John 13: 5: And to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded


Christ robes us in his righteousness through faith. Christ says love one another as I loved you by laying down your lives for one another. Paul said,


Philippians 2: 1: If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2: Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4: Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:


Romans 12: 10: Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;


Christ loved us and continues to love us by forbearing with us in our ignorance.  I hear men claiming that believers have to know this doctrine or that doctrine and believe every word of God or they cannot be saved.   Do you really want God to judge you by how much of his word you know and believe? Do you really? There is far more of God’s word that we do not even understand than that we do. There is far more of God’s word that we have never even learned than that we have. There were things Christ did not even teach his disciples because they could not bear them.  How slow we are to learn and how quick we are to forget what he has already taught us! He told the apostles that his kingdom was not of this world, repeatedly. Then before he ascended he told them to go to back and wait on the Spirit of God. They asked “Are you going to restore the kingdom now?” Christ loves us by forbearing with our ignorance and suffering long with us, even as believers.


Psalm 103: 13: Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. 14: For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.


I believe all of God’s word because it is God’s word but I dare not imagine I know and understand even the half.


1 Corinthians 8:2  And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.


1 Corinthians 13:12  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.


So I dare not love my brethren any less because they have trouble with some truth in God’s word. If I do the problem is my own.


1 Corinthians 8: 1: Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.



Christ loves us by keeping us united in Spirit.


 Psalm 133: 1: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!


It cost God’s his own only begotten Son to bring us from the separation of sin into the unity of the Spirit. Therefore, God hates those who divide brethren.


Proverbs 6: 16: These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18: An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19: A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.


Christ says through the apostle Paul, love as I have loved you, by endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


Ephesians 4: 1: I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,


A vocation is a lifelong work that requires absolute dedication. Every believer’s vocation is to use every gift God has given to hear, support and send forth the gospel of Christ. This is the vocation wherewith we were called.


Illustration: The church at Taylor and Ashland and Danville.


Ephesians 4: 1: I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,  2: With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3: Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace….31: Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:32: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. 5: 1: Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.




John 13: 35: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another


Is by being so dogmatic that once I think I have grown to know more than the brother who taught me the gospel, that I push him away and call him a heretic? Is it by separating mself from brethren who sacrificed to give me the gospel until I imagine I am the only one left who preaches the gospel? Is it by rejecting all who do not walk as holy as I think they should walk? No! Christ says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”


It would be comical if it were not so sad. Men who think they are really taking a stand for truth, have no idea they are making themselves naked, revealing what they really are, by their total absence of love for brethren. 


1 John 3: 10: In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 11: For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12: Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 13: Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14: We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.