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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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William

What is Divine Revelation?

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by Gordon R. Lewis

 

Revelation is an activity of the invisible, living God making known to finite and sinful people His creative power, moral standards, and gracious redemptive plan. First, God discloses Himself and His power to everyone by the marvels of His creation-- the amazing life support system of planet earth. We can discover some things about painters from their painting. Similarly, in the magnificence of creation, with its microscopic, complexities, and cosmic expanse, we realize our dependence upon the Creator’s powerful existence and intelligent design (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:19-20).

 

Second, God makes plain His moral nature and ethical principles for our wellbeing by implanting oughts and ought nots in every human spirit. Even people who do not have Moses’ Ten Commandments (Ex 20:1-20) feel an obligation to obey those universal principles of right and wrong and suffer guilt when they do not (Rom 2:14-15). God’s moral principles restrain evil and prompt all to seek and find Him (Ac 17:27). However, everyone sins, worships, and serves the creation rather than its Creator (Rom 1:25; 3:10-23). Our habitual failure to live up to God’s laws demonstrates our need for His mercy and redeeming grace.

 

Third, God made His merciful redemptive purposes known centuries before Christ both through mighty acts such as delivering Israel from slavery in Egypt (Ex 12) and through the reliable messages of His prophetic spoken (Heb 1:1). Criteria by which to distinguish true from false prophets included the logical consistency of teaching with previous revelation (Deut 13:1-5) and the verification of visible signs (Deut 18:20-22). God promised to send His anointed One to defeat Satan’s destructive purposes in many ways. The Messiah would be a son of Eve (Gen 3:15), a descendant of Abraham (Gen 22:18) and David (2 Sam 7:12-16), and would be born of a virgin (Isa 7:14) in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Because those who chose the way of sin chose a way that ends in death, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. So believing citizens of Israel picture Christ’s coming sacrificial atonement for sin by animal sacrifices and the Passover.

 

Fourth, God made His just and loving plan of redemption known supremely in Jesus, the long awaited Messiah. “No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son-- the One who is at the Father’s side-- He has revealed Him” (Jn 1:18 ). To appreciate more fully what is like, study the life, words, works, and atoning death of Jesus. At Calvary, the guiltless Savior substituted Himself for the guilty. In doing so He defeated Satan and provided the just basis for His reconciling mercy and grace (Rom 3:25). Then the risen Christ demonstrated His saving power over sin, guilt, death, and Satan (Rom 1:2-4; 10:9-10)!

 

Fifth, after Jesus’ ascension to heaven, God communicated His redemptive purposes through spokesmen called apostles. Jesus taught and trained them for three years and they were eyewitnesses of His resurrection (Ac 1:21-22). Through Paul, an apostle who later saw the risen Christ, God revealed His plan to unite both Jewish and Gentile believers in one body, the church (Eph 2:11-22).

 

Sixth, the King of kings will be revealed in all His power and glory as His second coming.

 

Seventh, all the above sources of revealed truth have been preserved for us in the Holy Scriptures.

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