Second, notice that in John 14:21, Jesus puts this truth in the opposite direction: “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.” In other words, our obedience to Jesus is one of the characteristics that marks us out as those who truly love Him. As Jesus says in another place, “The tree is known by its fruit” (Matt. 12:33).
Third, notice that this obedience we render to Jesus is not accomplished through our own power. In the very next verse, Jesus tells us that He will ask the Father to send us another Helper, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16), and Paul later tells us that it is He who gives us the power to put to death the deeds of the flesh and who stands with us in the struggle, crying out that we are children of God (Rom. 8:13–17).
All this makes it clear that any charge against Christianity as being antinomian—that is, “against law”—is false and unfounded. Paul himself asked: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” And he answered, quite rightly, “By no means!” (6:1–2). Our salvation is based, fully and completely, on the righteousness of Christ, both in His life and His death, imputed to us. That righteousness alone is the basis of justification. But there is evident spiritual fruit in those who have been justified—an acknowledgment of Jesus as the King, and a gratitude-filled love for Him that issues in a Spirit-filled desire to follow Him and obey His commandments.