Because this verse of scripture is seldom if ever taught correctly, many believers find themselves placed back into the yoke of bondage rather than being yoked with Christ.
Within this short study of God's word we will attempt to set the record straight so that we can all enter into the rest and peace of our Lord.
The first thing that is critical to note is that within it's proper context Jesus is not speaking about the 10 commandments ("the commandments" of "my Father's commandments" or of "the commandment of God") He is plainly speaking of His two commandments which lay down the foundation for the doctrine of love.
The second thing that we must come to understand is that there is a distinct linguistic difference between keeping and obeying and that Jesus Himself only used the word "obey" one time within all of His sayings, and then with only regard to faith, the sycamore tree, and it's being uprooted and cast into the sea (Luke 17:6).
Context, Context, Context
When Jesus is speaking as the Son of Man, even as the Son of God, He is speaking as the second person of God. Subsequently when He uses the word "my", He means His, and in the case of John 14:15, He is speaking of His commandments.
Now to "keep" (τηρέω - tēreō) literally means to to keep an eye upon for the purpose of guarding something, or someone, from suffering injury or loss. It does not mean to obey or to do.
To "obey" (ὑπακούω - hupakouō) means to hear under authority, as a subordinate, to listen attentively, by implication to heed or conform to a command or authority: - hearken, be obedient to, obey.
To "do" (ποιέω - poieō) means to make or do (in a very wide application, more or less direct).
Therefore, to keep means to guard, to obey means to listen attentively as a student, with the idea of conforming to a command or an authority, and to do means, to do what you have heard as a subordinate.
Now albeit doing and obeying are relatively close to each other in their literal meanings, to keep is not even close to either in it's meaning, yet it is more often than not taught that to "keep" means to obey or to do.
This is an linguistic error which leads to and causes doctrinal error!
What is a "commandment"?
A commandment (ἐντολή - entolē) is an injunction, that is, an authoritative prescription, to be taken as prescribed by the Word. One might also call it a precept.
The Commandments of Christ
As you know, our Lord gave only two of His own commandments:
(Mat 22:37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
(Mat 22:38) This is the first and great commandment.
(Mat 22:39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
(Mat 22:40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
These are the commandments He is speaking of in John 14. These are His (My) commandments.
There are many who teach that Jesus is speaking of the Father's commandments or ALL of His sayings.
This is not true!
The ministry of our Lord is VERY simple. It is ALL about the doctrine of love. When we love our Father with all of our hearts and minds, and love our neighbors, we are in complete alignment with His commandments and with the laws of our Father.
People love to make things more complicated than they really are!
Why did Jesus not say to "obey" His commandments?
Because one can not love on demand!
But if we "keep" them, if we stay focused on them, if we guard them in our hearts and minds, we will ask the Father to give us that love, and He will do so, liberally!
You see brothers and sisters, it's all about Him!
He is the one who manifests love within us. He is the one who puts the fruit of the Spirit in us. He is the one who causes us to walk in His statutes, keep His judgments and do them (Eze 36:26).
We can not do any of these things in and of ourselves. They can only come to fruition if He puts them within us and we allow them to come out of us. He is the Potter, we are simply the clay, and the clay does nothing but let the Potter do His work.
The end product is His doing and all of the glory belongs to Him, that no man should boast!
Keeping and Obeying