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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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1Jn 2:5,6 Walking as Jesus did

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Walking as Jesus did

 

1Jn 2:5,6 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

 

It is not that obedience indicates that our love is made complete, but rather that God's love for us drives us to obedience, so that the person who realizes God's love for the world will naturally obey God's commands. What kind of a lifestyle would be characteristic of such a person? A lifestyle which emulates Christ as he lived in the gospels. Not that we are called to wear robes and sandals, but rather there are allegorical links between Jesus's ministry and that which is the appropriate lifestyle for believers today.

 

For example in John 17 Jesus said of his followers, "they are not of the world any more than I am of the world." John 17:14 As Jesus was set apart for a mission in this world, we are also called to be on a mission, "to go and make disciples of all nations." Mt 28:19 We are called to serve. We are called to be holy. We can expect to be hated by the world as Jesus was. For he said, "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." There are many aspects of Jesus' attitude, mission, the events in his life, etc., find application in the Christian life.

 

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