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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

Groans To Glory

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The Christian in Romans Seven might have tasted the unsatisfying pleasures of the world during his unsaved days. Now he had turned his back on the world and his face to the Father, yet never was there (he felt) so disconsolate a being. The misery increases till he bursts out with “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me?” Thus is the case of one who had seen the Lord Jesus as the hope of his soul, who had been born of God, yet nevertheless, had no sense of deliverance (which progressively manifests in our walk of all that we already are in the Lord Jesus—NC).

 

The Father patiently lets him feel his own inward evil till he looks quite out of himself to the Lord Jesus as his Deliverer, not alone from guilt or wrath, but “from this body of death.” It is not sins, it is sin, which harasses him so much the more because his conscience is awakened (law provides knowledge of sin but not deliverance from it; law enhances awareness of the severity of sin, hence “sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful” Rom 7:13; in order that “that the offence might abound” 5:20—NC)

 

The first answer to this problem is, that my Father has already in His love brought in a full deliverance for my soul; by-and-by He will bring in an equally complete deliverance for my mortal body (Rom 8:23). Thus a real present deliverance of grace comes first, and this becomes the pledge of all that follows in glory. As far as the soul is concerned, emancipation is complete; but it is so only for the inner man – not yet for the outer. Accordingly, Paul states in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation,” because he looks to, rests, and is in the Lord Jesus alone. This is, in part, the answer to the soul’s confession of misery and cry for a Deliver (the lost need saved and the saved need delivered—in their walk—continuously from the sin nature—NC). Awakened to feel that it is not merely pardon that he wants, but also deliverance from the old man (Rom 6:12, 14), he finds that deliverance in Another (always knowing no guilt while trusting more on the fulfillment of Christ’s efficacy—NC).

 

He had thought that, having found pardon in the Savior, he must deliver himself by the inward working of the Holy Spirit; but he learned, when most wanting Him, that He did not help him; he found somehow or other, that the Spirit was making him miserable with himself. The reason is manifest: because he had put himself under law in the spirit of his mind, and the Spirit will never give power, but rather make a man confirm his weakness as long as he is trying to put law in the place of the One who is Life (Col 3:4). He came to earth from heaven to glorify the Lord Jesus, not the law.

 

The lack of deliverance was learnt in groans; thence he is driven to turn to the Deliverer; whereon, in spite of the indwelling old man being still as bad as ever, having thanked God, he concludes, “there is therefore now no condemnation,” not for those for whom Christ died, but “to them that are in Christ Jesus.” We are now by grace positioned in Another, even the risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ, in order to give us our place in the very presence of our Father. Nothing could be more blessed. “Hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6).

 

- Wm Kelly (1821–1906)

 

 

Don’t forget the daily devotional: http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/

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