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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Personal Righteousness

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I believe those reborn learn the holiness of God and the sinfulness of our nature at the same time and at the same level so as not to be overwhelmed as He gradually gives us their comprehension. Therefore I do not think understanding more of His holiness will increase beyond the understanding of our human nature (old man). Regardless of our understanding here, grace ever abounds over our sin nature, but our “confidence toward God” (in our conscience and walk – 1 John 3:20) will be commensurate with the understanding of these truths.


My conception of humility is not contemplation of unworthiness in view of our sin nature, but in accepting God’s favor in Christ—despite that nature! There is a level of acceptability upon our initial learning here, but a continued unworthiness in mind and heart not only evinces a lack of clarity concerning His grace, but also evinces that of a lessor manifestation by the walk of the believer concerning the glory of Christ’s reparation and the Father’s forgiveness (though inadvertently so).


God give us to know the completeness of not only our favor in Christ, but also that of its unchanging principle, so that “our heart condemn us not” (1 John 3:21), and our fellowship with Them exist less unimpeded!






Personal Righteousness


We are not to be as Peter, when he said, “Depart from me, I am a sinful man, O Lord (Luke 5:8). There may be good desires, and tenderness of conscience, but it will run into legality, because of not resting in the favor of the Father. These experiences may be all very useful in their place, but they are not peace. We have peace made and divine righteousness wrought out. I can now look upon my Father without hiding my sin. The way I come to the sense of the immensity of sin is with the immensity of the grace that has met it all.


The reality of the presence of the Holy Spirit, who has come down to dwell in us, is most important. He is given as a seal. The Lord Jesus said, “If I go away, I will send Him unto you.” The Comforter brings to me the fullness of His grace, being the witness of accepted righteousness to our hearts (Rom 8:16). He convicts, or demonstrates, of righteousness and that righteousness is mine in the Lord Jesus. He “is made unto us righteousness” (imputed not imparted* - 1 Cor 1:30—NC), and I stand in it because I stand in Him.


The Spirit convicts the world of sin, of unbelief; but His demonstration to me is of righteousness—righteousness wrought out for me, which my Father has accepted. Now He is perfectly free to bless. My thought now is not, I am so full of sin that He cannot bless me; but rather, my Father has accepted the righteousness of His Son and I stand in that. We are born again of God, and as such need something to bring to Him. It is all furnished in the One who is my Christian life (Col 3:4).


There is not only peace as to the past, but I have the Lord Jesus’ standing in the presence of the Father now (Eph 2:13). We stand in the Last Adam, and have that Second Man’s position in virtue of our eternal redemption. So sure as I had the first Adam’s place as totally rejected because a sinner (Rom 5:17), so I have the Last Adam’s place as totally accepted according to the counsel of the Father in the Son (1 Cor 15:45; Eph 1:11).


At the end of John 17 we have the Lord Jesus’ righteous title (one with the Father in the son-ship of Jesus, v 22—NC) and of His personal title spoken (v 24). He is bound to bless. “I in them.” He could not bless sin, but now righteousness being perfected, all the purposes of His heart in love can flow out to us, because we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:21). Whatever the love of God—the righteousness of God—all that by which He stands in the presence of the Father, because of His work and Person, we have, and are blessed in virtue of it all.


- G V Wigram




Poster’s Opinion:


* “imputed not imparted”: faith and salvation is imparted but righteousness, holiness, justification and sanctification are imputed, i.e. recipients of the benefits from the essences of God but not receiving these essences, which would be to become divine. Hence these are “made unto us” (1 Cor 1:30). We stand in them vicariously in Christ as they are not derived from us but are manifest through us by God’s Spirit using the life of Christ (Col 3:4)—via the “new man” (new nature from Christ – Col 3:10).


Gill comments that “the nature, perfections, and glory of God, are incommunicable to creatures; not hypostatically nor personally, such as is the human nature of Christ, in union with the Son of God, is a partaker of the divine nature in Him. But by way of resemblance and likeness the new man or principle of grace, being formed in the heart in regeneration after the image of God and bearing a likeness to the image of His Son.”



MJS devotional for October 30:


“It is during the time of our being broken that we learn that His promises concerning us cannot be broken.” - MJS


“It is more than comforting to realize that it is those who have plumbed the depths of failure to whom the Father invariably gives the call to shepherd others. This is not a call to the gifted, the highly trained, or the polished as such. Without a bitter realization of their own inadequacy and poverty they are quite unfitted to bear the burdens of spiritual ministry.” – J C M


Edited by NetChaplain

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This is just a note of correction on the prologue to “Personal Righteousness,” that the word “unimpeded” should be impeded, as some probably noticed. Thanks.

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