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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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The Lord Takes Away and Gives

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THE LORD TAKES AWAY, AND THE LORD GIVES A KINGDOM.

 

After providing a telling and prophetic parable, in which Jesus spoke of Himself being the vineyard owner’s son, who would be rejected and killed by the vine-dressers when He came to inspect it, and thus once more revealing to them who He was, said;

 

"Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone which the builders rejected, Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes'?  "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you, and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.”  - Matt. 21:42,43.

 

"Therefore I say to you”     The Son of God hereby signals what follows is His immutable decree.

 

‘The kingdom of God will be taken from you.’   Jesus cannot be more succinct.  They are dispossessed.  All their nationalistic claims are now invalid.   So much theological argument is found redundant if only we accept and believe these words of the Son of God.

 

The nation of Israel had so grievously fallen short of the fruits which God might have expected of it, and concerning the Son, it was about cry out before Pilate, “Away with Him! Crucify Him!” just as Christ’s vineyard parable had indicated.  They fulfilled the parable and their appointed place in the vineyard of God was lost.  Only days before, the crowds had rapturously welcomed Him into the city, imagining that He had come to restore Israel to a sovereign state, throwing off the hated subjection of Rome.  But seeing Him now in chains, with all His followers having fled, disappointed, their love turned to hate.  Washing his hands before the multitude, Pilate said; "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it."   And so they called upon themselves a terrible curse; "His blood be on us, and on our children."

 

Thus the Son of God had firstly uttered the sentence on His own nation, and secondly had predicted another nation (‘ethnos’ -people) would come, which would give God the fruits that the Jewish nation had failed to give, that is, to honour the owner’s Son.

 

“and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.”  (the kingdom)

 

The kingdom of God would be given to the people-group bearing fruits appropriate of the citizens of the kingdom of God, namely a life which honoured the Vineyard owner’s son and heir, Jesus Christ.  A life which persistently dishonours the Son of God, is a life dispossessed of God’s promises in Christ, because it is a life which deliberately rejects Him as Lord, not according Him His place.

 

This fruitful people which Jesus spoke of was the nation which God would create in a day (Isa. 66:8), namely on the Day of Pentecost.  The word ethnos which Jesus used was a word denoting a people, and was often used to describe the Gentiles.  And it would come about by way of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit would bring into being this new people, called out of every race.  These would be the citizens of the new nation that Peter later spoke of, describing the Christians as the heirs of Christ’s promise in this manner; 

 

1 Peter 2:3-9. ‘If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.  4    Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men (ie., by the Jews as a nation), but chosen by God and precious, 5      you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture; "Behold, I lay in Zion A Chief Cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him, will by no means be put to shame." 7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone," 8 and " A stone of stumbling, And a rock of offense." They (Israel) stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 9            But you are a chosen generation (‘Genos’), a royal priesthood, a holy nation (ethnos – people), His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness, into His marvellous light.’

 

Stressing that a new pan-ethnic people would be created, Peter quoted the prophet Hosea;

 

‘Who once were not a people, but are now the people of God. Who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.’   

 

Peter says these new citizens would be from among the Gentiles, just as Paul asserted;

 

‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh --- who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands --- that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.  But now, in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.      That He might reconcile them both to God in one body, through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.’  (Eph. 2:10-16.)

 

And dispelling the error of so many nations in history which have thought of themselves as nationally being the people of God, Peter describes this people’s journey as being not in this world, but through, beyond and above;  ‘Beloved, I beg you, as being sojourners and pilgrims,’

 

The testimony of Hebrews regarding this people is; ‘        But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.’   (11:16)

 

Philippians 3:20. ‘For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.’

 

 

A gentile Roman Centurion assured Jesus that he knew Jesus had authority over sickness, and needed only to speak the command, and his servant would be healed.   Jesus replied; saying to those who followed,

 

"Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!  And I say to you, that many will come from the east and the west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, but the sons of the kingdom, will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."  - Matt. 8:10-12.

 

Here again, Jesus identifies who will be the heirs of the kingdom to come.  Those who place their faith in Him, regardless of their human ethnicity, status, or circumstances.

 

The doctrine of the apostles was;

 

‘For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.’  Gal. 3:26-29.

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Staff

Hello welcome ! 🙂

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We travelers on this planet. The final destination is the most important thing we should focus on. May the grace of God take us to his sanctuary now and forevermore.

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On ‎6‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 8:26 PM, Lovelytony22 said:

We travelers on this planet. The final destination is the most important thing we should focus on. May the grace of God take us to his sanctuary now and forevermore.

And He will most certainly do that for us . Welcome aboard .     M

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