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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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Thankfully, misunderstanding being reborn cannot detract anything salvific from the believer in Christ, but it will most definitely delay spiritual growth in learning to “walk in the Spirit” and in being “conformed to the image of Christ.” I say “delay” and not hinder because everyone reborn is undergoing the same “work” of God within that instills the saint with the “desire” and “ability” for His “good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).


In this passage, there are no given restrictions to those reborn (i.e. includes all reborn) concerning God’s “work in you.” This means there will always be within the believer the desire and ability for His pleasure! Hence, if one professing faith manifests the opposite lifestyle of this “work,” there can only be one explanation—God was not within, because He works this in all who are reborn. To refute this conclusion would be to admit that one could overcome God in His work to impart these elements.


By the believer God can be “quenched” (1 Thes 5:19) and “grieved” (Eph 4:30), but never “resisted” (Act 7:51), otherwise this “work” of God would never be received by any man, due to the sinful nature, which has to be offset by the new nature, via the Spirit (Gal 5:17; Eph 3:16).


This answers to the reason why there cannot be found any teachings among Bible commentators that support opposition to the permanency of faith and salvation!


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