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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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NetChaplain

The New Man

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In seeking light from the Lord on this important subject of the “new man,” we must first be absolutely clear of the thought which is so general in Christendom, that God’s Son became a Man in order to repair and rehabilitate the first man—the race of Adam.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ risen is absolutely unique, a Man of His own order, and in His death unto sin the first man was completely set aside in judgment, and the new man is therefor according to God. Consequently we must not be deceived by thinking that the human mind (must be the mind of Christ—NC) can form a correct conception of any trait of the new man, or that it can imitate the Lord Jesus Christ, though many read the Gospels with this object.

 

Now our inquiry is: What is the new man? First of all it cannot be learned by any effort of the human mind, as its structure and nature are entirely beyond the conception of man. How then do we learn it? It is not by reading or mere study of the Scriptures that we learn it, important as that is. Basically, it is by association with the Lord Jesus Christ, by beholding His glory, and thereby being “changed into His image.”

 

You cannot explain what you get, but you receive that which corresponds to Him; as you are with Him you acquire it. “That you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph 4:14) is addressed to the believer who is in conscious union with the Lord Jesus, seated in the heavenlies in Him (Eph 2:6).

 

Now he comes out here in a new way, beginning with the mind: “renewed in the spirit of your mind”—not making works prominent, but in the renewed mind which is able to judge of the works that suit the Lord Jesus. “We have the mind of Christ.” The believer realizes the tastes of the new man by association with the Lord Jesus.

 

It is important to see that we derive from Him, we are in Him, and He lives in us (via the Spirit of course—NC). He is altogether of His own order, and it is only by association with Him that His nature and mind become experientially known to us. It is so little known because personal fellowship is so little known.

 

No one can tell what he acquires by association; but he knows that he has acquired a taste for the company of the Lord Jesus, and that when not in His company he has not that which suits his taste; he finds it very partially here among His own, and he is glad to return to His presence, and he knows the benefit of it.

 

This draws the great line of difference between mere students of the Word and those who enjoy His presence, beholding His glory; the latter can form a conception of what suits Him which the former cannot. We see from Colossians 3:10, “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him”—that we cannot be with Him without becoming enlightened; the Word comes with more definiteness to our souls; we are “renewed in knowledge,” etc. Thus we see that as we become more like Him by being with Him, we also become more intelligent in His mind; we know Him as life and put on “tender mercies, kindness and humbleness of mind.”

 

May our hearts have the rich enjoyment of being in spirit with the Lord Jesus in glory. Everyone likes to think of Him as known in His great works, but how blessed the consummation of being partakers with Him in His glory (Jhn 17:22)!

 

- J B Stoney

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