The Grandverbalizer19, a Muslim, quoted John 15:13 and tried to denigrate it; and accused the NT of making Jesus a liar. (no longer available - his web-site got hacked.)
"Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
“Actually there is a greater love than this. A greater love than this is that a man lay down his life for his enemies. It is not something difficult to ask one to lay down their life for their friends and beloved ones; however it takes more self sacrifice and love to lay down one's life for their enemy.” The Grandverbalizer19
What he didn’t realize is that other passages in the Bible say just that: Romans 5:6-11
Romans 5:6-11 (New American Standard Bible)
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
10 For if while 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 this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
The Bible teaches this “greater love” that the Muslim longs for in his heart, – Romans 5:6-11 – Jesus died for His enemies – rebel sinners. Dying for sinners, enemies, rebels, helpless, ungodly and then changes them into His friends. Since both is true, Jesus died for sinners that are enemies and changes them from enemies to friends, then both are true and you are wrong on this. The Bible is vindicated from your attacks.
This Muslim directly admitted that dying for enemies is greater love. Since Christ also died for His enemies (Romans 5:6-10); then by principle, he has admitted that Christ dying for His enemies is greater love.
The Qur'an only says "Allah loves those who love him; Allah does not love his enemies or unbelievers." (see below)
Later on, when I pointed out what Romans 5:6-10 teaches, this Muslim admitted, “It was clever I'll have to admit.”
The GV19 was just clearly wrong in his judgment on John 15:13. God changes us from enemies into new creatures ( 2 Cor. 5:17) from death to life (Ephesians 2:1-9) from children of wrath to children of God, from enemies to friends. It still stands. John 15:14-17 - Again, read the verses around it. Jesus no longer calls us "slaves", but "friends"; because He changes our sinful rebellious hearts by grace. He pours out His grace first on us. He loved us when we were enemies and changes us and makes us His friends. We have a loving friendship with Christ. We are no longer slaves - we are not just slaves in a cold, unfriendly, unloving way, "Do what I say!"; "submit!", like a Darth Varder or the way Allah acts in Islam; rather we are voluntarily servants of God ( we want to serve and obey God) because we have been changed from rebels to friends and sons/daughters. (Many seeds, much fruit)
14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
It is very interesting that this Muslim admits that Christ dying for His enemies is greater love. We have this in the Bible - Romans 5:6-10 - Christ died for us, sinners, ungodly, enemies, helpless. By fighting against John 15:13, the GV19 has caused a problem for himself in his own Islamic Scriptures, since in the Qur'an it only says "Allah loves those who love him; Allah does not love his enemies or unbelievers." (see Qur’an Surah 3:31-32 and other references at the end of this article.)
"God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
Romans 5:10 God calls us enemies; Christ died for us, His enemies, and changed us into His friends. (John 15:13)
But the Qur'an never says that; it only says, "Allah does not love sinners; Allah only loves those who love Him". (see Qur’anic references at the end.) The Bible says the opposite, "we love, because God first loved us." I John 4:10, 19
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:10
GV19 reveals something of the image of God within him, a heart longing for that connection and relationship with a pure loving God, who loves sinners, enemies (which he has admitted is a greater love). Romans 5:6-10 clearly teaches this. Jesus illustrated it on the cross: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23:34
GV19 has indirectly admitted that Christianity is true because it has greater love; and Islam is false, because it does not have that at all; because in the Qur'an and Hadith, Allah does not love His enemies, (see Qur’an references at the end of this article). He makes war against them and will do qatal (fight to the death) and jihad (strive against the unbelievers) and make harb (war) against them all. (as in Surah 9:5; 9:29; 8:39)
But we must go deeper into John 15:13-17. Obedience is the result of being changed and being a true friend of Christ. Jesus does not mean that one must obey first in order to become a friend of His, (as if one could by the strength of the flesh), but rather that obedience proves and demonstrates that one is a true friend, it shows that one has been changed by the grace of God first; it shows that true faith is there first. This the same argument of James 2:14-26; professed faith without good works and change and fruit is dead and not real faith. Good works and obedience prove that that faith has justified that person.
We are slaves of Christ, servants of God, because our hearts have been changed first, by His grace. It is voluntary now because our wills have been changed. This is before our wills were freed - John 8:34 - "Every one who commits sin is the slave of sin." Genesis 6:5 ". . . every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart is only evil continually."
See Ezekiel 36:26-27
"I will take away your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh and cause you to walk in My statutes."
But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Is John 15:13 a condition before one is regenerated / changed/converted/born again, or is he describing the results of true conversion, the results of true faith?. A consistent hermeneutic with Galatians and Romans and the rest of the NT requires that Jesus means that obedience proves you are His friend, not conditions in order to be His friend, as if someone was working for his acceptance by obedience.
All are slaves of sin (John 8:34) and dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1-3) and no one truly seeks after God. (Romans 3:9-23)
Only when our wills are changed do we then truly want God to be ruler and king over our hearts and lives. Then, Christians are voluntary servants of Christ and God the Father - Romans 6:22. See all of chapter 6 for larger context.
Contrast this with Islam, who says not to take enemies for friends and do not love them. Where is the “greater love” in Islam that the Grandverbalizer19 longs for?
Do not love the enemies, in fact Allah says "My enemies" - The Qur’an, Surah al-Mumtahanah 60:1
“The concept of loving one's enemy is quite hard for a Muslim to understand. In Muslim teaching, loving an infidel (kafir) is seen as going against God since God does not love the infidel. “
See www.answering-islam.org/Index/index.html (look under L and Love)
Most of the remainder of the information in this article is take from this article on love in the index to Islam, under L; at www.answering-islam.org
But Jesus said:
"But I tell you : Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.'' (Matthew 5:44-48)
• Allah loves those who are pure and clean al-Baqarah 2:222 (specifically taking about women being clean from their menstruation period).
• Allah loves those who do good al-Baqarah 2:195; Âl 'Imran 3:134
• Allah loves those who keep faith and act rightly Âl 'Imran 3:76
“In all the examples above, the love of God is conditional upon the believer being good or clean. If the believer should turn back from God, Allah does not love him any more (Âl 'Imran 3:32).”
If you love Allah, then Allah will love you. Qur’an Al Imran 3:31
Allah does not forgive those that ascribe partners to Allah; Allah only forgives who he wants to forgive. Surah 4:48
Allah does not love those who reject Faith, Âl 'Imran 3:32
Allah does not love the arrogant, the vainglorious, an-Nisa' “Women” 4:36
Allah does not love the ungrateful or wicked, al-Baqarah 2:276
Allah does not love transgressors, al-Baqarah 2:190
Allah does not love wrongdoers, Âl 'Imran 3:57,140