We Have Had It Backwards
By Edward Kurath
We have had the cart before the horse.
“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 15:10 NKJV).
This is a typical English translation. It implies that if we keep God’
s commandments, we will abide in His love.
If this is correct, then this implies that God loves Jesus because
Jesus keeps His commandments. After all, Jesus is here making
a parallel between His relationship with the Father and our
relationship with the Father (“just as?).
So then God’s love of Jesus is conditional.
What an affront to God!
Fortunately, this translation of the Greek is in error. It is
backwards. What the Greek really says is that if we abide in God’
s love, we will keep His commandments. Keeping His
commandments is the result, not the cause. In the Greek, keeping
God’s commands is in the “accusative” case, what in English is
referred to as the direct object. The direct object (the effect)
receives the action of the subject (the cause).
In the typical English translation, the cause and effect are
What Jesus is really saying is that the reason He keeps God’s
commandments is because of the presence of God’s love in Him.
He has a “good root” in Him which impels Him to live a Godly life.
Likewise (“just as”), if we have a “good root” (Jesus in us), then
we will keep God’s commandments.
Not the other way around.
The horse is supposed to pull the cart.
Tragically, the typical English translation impels believers to
strive to keep God’s commandments so that God will love them.
They are doomed to failure, because we can’t love God by trying
hard. If we could do it, Jesus died in vain.
How do we get Jesus “in us?”
That is what my book “I Will Give You Rest” explains.
Start with Chapter 2 on the left.
Copyright Edward Kurath 2007
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