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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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What it is to be a Christian

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Without any preamble, I purpose now to give you a few thoughts on the meaning of that name which first obtained at Antioch—in other words, what it is to be a Christian? What are the effects, which (making allowance for the unavoidable infirmities attending upon the present state of mortality) may be expected from a real experimental knowledge of the Gospel? I would not insinuate that none are Christians, who do not come up to the character I would describe; for then I fear I should unchristian myself. I only will consider what the Scripture encourages us to aim at—as the prize of our high calling in this life. It is generally allowed and lamented, that we are too apt to live below our privileges, and to stop short of what the Spirit and the promises of the Gospel point out to us as attainable.

Mr. Pope's admired line, "An honest man—is the noblest work of God," may be admitted as a truth, when rightly explained. A Christian is the noblest work of God in this visible world, and bears a much brighter impression of his glory and goodness—than the sun in the skies; and none but a Christian can be strictly and properly honest—all others are too much under the power of self, to do universally to others—as they would like others would do unto them; and nothing but an uniform conduct upon this principle deserves the name of honesty.

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