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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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Ever-present Galatianism

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God continually led disobedient Israel into the bondage of their sin (Egypt) in order to cause them to continue to seek Him for deliverance from it, to the freedom (Red Sea) of serving Him in righteousness. Every time they became disobedient they were invaded by unbelievers, which caused them to repeatedly seek God for deliverance, which I believe may be a syndrome presently accompanying America and every country where the majority of its populous is unbelieving.



Ever-present Galatianism


The Holy Spirit has taken particular care to lay hold of facts in the Old Testament which we should never have thought applicable, in order to bring our blessed truths in the New Testament. Who would have discerned the difference between law and promise in Hagar and Ishmael striving with Sarah and Isaac?

The Spirit of God not only saw it, but intended the record of the circumstances to be the beautiful foreshadowing of the two covenants; that of law, which has only a child of the flesh; and that of promise, which, on the contrary, brings forth in due time the child of the Spirit.


The apostle Paul does not leave us to our own imaginations. He shows that Hagar answers to Jerusalem that now is—the city of scribes and Pharisees, poor, proud, miserable Jerusalem, that had no liberty towards God, groaning under the Roman bondage, and the still more bitter slavery of sin. The apostle applies this to what was the going on among the Galatians. Let them beware of becoming virtually the children of Hagar. Did they not take the place of being zealous for the law? Yet after all they did not understand its voice; “desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” The law was thoroughly against them. It clearly showed that God attached the promise not to the mere offspring of the letter, but to the children of the Spirit.


Every religious system or church which takes its stand upon the law, invariably assumes a Jewish character. We need not look far to understand this, nor to apply it. Why is it that men have magnificent buildings, or the splendor of ritual in the service of God? On what model is it all founded? Certainly they are not like those who gathered of old in the upper room. The temple is clearly the type, and along with this goes the having a peculiar class of persons, being founded upon the notion of the Jewish priesthood.


The service, where that is the case, must depend upon what would attract the senses—show of ornament, music, imposing ceremonies, everything that would strike man’s mind, or that would draw a multitude together, not by the truth, but by something to be seen or heard that pleases nature. It is the order of what the Word of God calls the “worldly sanctuary”* (Heb 9:1). Not That the tabernacle or temple had not a very important meaning before the Lord Jesus came; but afterwards their shadowy character became apparent, and their temporary value was at an end, and the full truth and grace of god were manifested in the person of Him who came from heaven.


When the Lord Jesus was rejected from the earth and want back to heaven, all was changed, and the heart-allegiance pf God’s children is transferred to heaven. The true sanctuary for us in in the glorified Lord Jesus in heaven. What the OT connected for an earthly people with the temple, the NT does with the Lord Jesus.


It is of great importance to trace things to their principle. When Paul wrote to the Galatians, only the germs were showing themselves; they had not got to the length of consecrating buildings and casts of men, with all the pomp and circumstance of religious worship suited to the world, which we see around us now, the result of gradual inroads of error upon the Christian professing body. But still there was the beginning of the mischief, the attempt to bring in the principle of law upon the Christians.


And what is the effect? You only fall into the position of Ishmael, out of Isaac’s. To be thus identified with the law is to be an Ishmael, to forfeit the promises and grace and to become a child of the bondwomen. This is the argument that the apostle uses to deal with the Galatians, who were flattering themselves that they had made immense progress; but it was really a slip out of liberty into bondage.


- Wm Kelly




Poster’s Opinion:

*“worldly sanctuary”: Gill - “Philo the Jew says {l}, it was a type of the world, and of the various things in it; though it was rather either a type of the church, or of heaven, or of Christ's human nature: the better reason of its being so called is, because it consisted of earthly matter, and worldly things; it was in the world, and only had its use in the world, and so is opposed to the heavenly sanctuary; for the Jews often speak of hlemlv vdqm, "a sanctuary above," and hjmlv vdqm, "a sanctuary below" {m}, and of alyeld ankvm, "a tabernacle above," and attld ankvm, "a tabernacle below" {n}; which answered to one another: the words may be rendered "a beautiful sanctuary," a well adorned one; and such especially was the temple, or sanctuary built by Solomon, rebuilt by Zerubbabel, and repaired and adorned by Herod, Luke 21:5. And the Jews say, that he that never saw Herod's building, meaning the temple, never saw a beautiful building; see Luke 21:5.”



Daily Devotional: http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/

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Regrettably, I agree.

The more I learn about the workings of the 'church' (Organized local body of believers meeting in a specific building), the more I am reminded of the analogy of watching sausage being made ... it is something one is better off not knowing.


Fortunately, the cure is as obvious as the disease and involves changing the actions of no one but me. I need to do as God commands. Starting with a particular emphasis on the 'one another' things.


I cannot prevent people from forming their little clicks. I cannot stop mean spirited individuals from wielding their ancient titles like a bishops mitre. The wagging tongues of gossips and the harsh criticisms of angry spirits are also beyond my control. However, I am not powerless. I can invest time with someone struggling, taking them to lunch and just listening. I can offer a word of encouragement as God presents opportunities. Sometimes it means just giving someone a hug (and I hate hugging). I can be a friend to those who seem like they could use a friend. Commenting that they were missed Thursday night and I hope it wasn't anything serious. Asking whether they were able to resolve that red tape issue with their health care provider so their daughter could be scheduled to see the heart specialist.


Our men's fellowship had recently looked at Job. One of the things that left an impression was how often the problems really leave nothing to say. The best thing that a friend could do is to just sit, listen and offer any encouragement that we might have to give. Most problems are not mine to fix, so even attempting to meddle in God's business is folly.


So thanks for the reminder that it is not about the Law, it is all about the Grace. The grace we have received and the grace that is ours to give.

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Hi Atpollard - Appreciate sharing your sincere reply, and you are on the mark when you mention it always starts with self, then God can use us for others. All of us at times can get distracted from remembering to put others before self (Phl 2:3). The more the Lord Jesus shows us to do this, the more we are teach-worthy of the Spirit--through the Word and one another.


God's blessings to your Family!

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