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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

​“In Christ Jesus”

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“In Christ Jesus” is the definition of all Christians, and it defines them as a people identified with the One who as a man has entered into the presence of God; “for in that He died unto sin once; but in that He lives, He lives unto God” (Rom 6:10). “In Christ” is the language of complete identification. Crucified with Him on the Cross, His resurrection was the divine declaration of our acceptance with Him in His work and place. Henceforth the eye of God sees us ever in Him alone. We are reckoned, and are to reckon ourselves, as with Him dead, buried, quickened, risen and in Him seated in the heavenly places before the Father. His delight in us is His unchangeable delight in His Beloved Son; therefore Jesus says, “Because I live, you shall live also” (Jhn 14:19).

 

How could there be a doubt about the believer’s perfect security if this were realized? It would be impossible. Can He change, or will His Father say to Him, I cannot any longer accept You as standing for this people? Or, once again, if standing for them, is He on probation yet? Is His work completely done, of still to do? It is finished, blessed be God: He sits in the glory of God. His heart is at rest, and ours may be. Had He not entitled our hearts to rest, His own heart would not allow Him to be seated there.

 

“There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). “In Christ”—can God’s own eye find fault with Him? “In Christ” is there any flesh—any body of death, anything for men to improve or alter? And in Christ we are! There our chains drop off. Much more, but still that. We are delivered: we are free! Let us understand well. This is not walk yet; it is the principle, the position—the key, and when applied by the Holy Spirit, the power for it. We are to “walk as Christ walked” (1Jhn 2:6); we are to walk “in Christ”; and “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” sets us “free from the law of sin and death.”

 

Thus the responsibility of a right walk is still ever ours. It is not that Christ’s walk is substituted for ours. It is not yet the question of how to walk, but of what I am; it’s a question which, when settled in God’s way, stops necessarily the effort to be what no effort of mine* can make me, and what, thank God, His infinite grace has already made me: “complete in Him” (Col 2:10). “As Christ is, so are we in this world” (1Jhn 4:17).

 

Could effort of ours make us “as Christ is”? I would be clearly impossible; and yet nothing by this would reach up to the standard God has given us. Nothing short of this would be perfection, and nothing short of perfection could we tightly rest in. If imperfection God cannot accept, and perfection I cannot bring Him, what then? Then I must accept a perfection of my Father’s providing, and find in the Lord Jesus a new self that needs no mending and cannot be improved, where no body of death disturbs or oppresses, and occupation with which is not legalism, nor Pharisaic.

 

I am privileged to turn away from what I find in myself as a man down here, then, because in the death of the Cross, that death wherein I died with Him, “sin in the flesh” has been fully dealt with. The condemnation of it by God has already found its full expression on the Cross. For faith, not for experience, I too have died, and that “to sin,” because “He died unto sin once.” I reckon myself (not feel or experience) to be dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God in Christ Jesus (Rom 6:11).

 

- F W Grant

 

 

Poster’s Opinion:

*”no effort of mine”: There’s nothing that believers do that adds to or detracts from what they are in Christ at rebirth. His favor in the Christian cannot for any reason ever increase nor decrease from its position, for it is based in His favor in the Lord Jesus. Thus any feelings of being in trouble with God are purely self-generated! He knows our desire is always for His “pleasure” because He makes us this way in Christ (Phil 2:13).

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Poster’s Opinion:

*”no effort of mine”: There’s nothing that believers do that adds to or detracts from what they are in Christ at rebirth. His favor in the Christian cannot for any reason ever increase nor decrease from its position, for it is based in His favor in the Lord Jesus. Thus any feelings of being in trouble with God are purely self-generated! He knows our desire is always for His “pleasure” because He makes us this way in Christ (Phil 2:13).

 

Good read. In regeneration, God plants a desire for Himself in the human heart that otherwise would not be there.

 

God bless,

William

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Good read. In regeneration, God plants a desire for Himself in the human heart that otherwise would not be there.

 

God bless,

William

Hi Will - Amen, and I believe for that reason all who are born again are ever in the Spirit's work of "conforming" (Rom 8:29), thus all grow progressively without fail.

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