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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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1John 3:14,15 Love and Murder

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Love and Murder

 

1John 3:14,15 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

 

Those who have been born of God have already passed from death to life. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." John 5:24

 

The evidence John speaks of here that a person has come to genuine faith in Christ, and has consequently passed from death to life, is their love for true brothers. Hatred for true brothers is akin to murder - just as John spoke of the Cain as a precedent for such.

 

Murderers, along with many other categories of sinners, do not have eternal life. To name a few: "the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars— their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur." Rev 21:8 Similar lists are found in 1Cor 6:9,10; Eph 5:5,6; Gal 5:19-21

 

The issue is not loss of salvation, since justification is of faith and not of works, but rather the issue is identifying those born of God and distinguishing them from those not born of God.

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