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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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bcbsr

​​​​​​​1Jn 1:6 Walking in Self-Deception

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Walking in Self-Deception

 

1Jn 1:6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

 

Why do people chose to walk in darkness? Jesus said, "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." John 3:19

 

A person's "walk" is their lifestyle. If a person claims to be in fellowship with the LORD, but has a lifestyle inconsistent with that which is revealed in the Bible, such a person is not in fellowship with the LORD. And such is not atypical of what you'll find in the Christian community, which is why John is pointing this out. For many claim to have fellowship with the LORD, but their claims are in vain if their claims are inconsistent with their lifestyle.

 

Consider yourself. How do you know whether your own claim of being in fellowship with God is true?

 

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I don't know about anyone else, but one of the things I notice and dislike is when doing something nice for another or what some may consider a good deed, a little voice in the back of my head says, "Good Job!" afterwards. This makes me question my motive or intention for doing something, as if I do it only to be seen by another or receive a "pat on the back". I hate when this happens! It can even happen on this board, making a response that I think is good, I sometimes have that little voice saying "high five", which I know is wrong. Again, it is my motive or intention that is called to attention afterwards, probably because as an introvert I spend a lot of time in solitude and in introspection.

 

A person's "walk" is their lifestyle... . a lifestyle inconsistent... . not atypical of what you'll find in the Christian community

 

I like the way you joined an inconsistent lifestyle not being atypical with Christian "community".

 

I think another problem in my life is treating those that struggle with sin like a leopard. It is almost as though I sub-consciously think I am going to contract the disease if I come into contact with a person that may be new to the faith or struggling with a sin in their life. As you can probably see from my first two comments, I believe my greatest struggles are with "outward expressions" of love for brethren. It is too easy for me to just pack up and leave or break off a friendship. That worries me at times.

 

Consider yourself. How do you know whether your own claim of being in fellowship with God is true?

 

How do I know I am in true fellowship, well, not only for the reasons you have expressed, bcbsr, but by the genuineness of my confession: 1 John 4:15; 1 John 4:20. I think 1 John 4:20 points to one of those inconsistencies as you stated. Though I think following God's decrees and abiding in His law are merely good indicators of regeneration. I am reluctant to condemn another in Christ, but for me personally through self examination, my sins bring much fear and trembling, and from time to time I question the sincerity of my own confessions and repentance and whether true regeneration has occurred. When I look at my life through a historical lens though, I can see much repentance, and the result, which I think is a good indication testifying to its genuineness and sincerity. And while I do still have sin in my life, I trust in the Lord that Sanctification takes a lifetime, there being prejudice, and at times self deception, but ultimately in faith - I hope to be brought into Glorification one day. My greatest fear is not persevering to the end. Like so many things in life that I had been once enthusiastic over, but burnt out later, I realize the danger of falling away from the faith.

 

God bless,

William

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