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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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Zachary

Loving, obeying, abiding in God results in a mutual knowing relationship

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A summary of the NT passages below …

If you love God and know Him, you will obey His commandments (thus doing His will)

and you will endure temptations, and He will approve of you and know you, and you

will know both He and Jesus Christ, and you will hear God’s voice and follow Him,

and you will abide forever in God’s love and be given eternal life!

 

Matthew 7:21-23 • “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter

the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name,

cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you (see ### below);

depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ”

Can you see the underlined portions are total opposites?

This is the difference between eternal life and eternal death.

 

John 17:3 • “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God,

and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

John 10:14 • “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”

John 10:27-28 • “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish”

People often use this last passage incorrectly because they do not

understand what the words are referring to. Let me summarize:

hear -- Do you hear Jesus' voice?

know -- Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus where you know each other?

follow -- Do you follow (keep, obey) Jesus' commandments?

 

 

If you want to “know” God, obey His commandments

1 John 2:3-5, NLT • “And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments.

If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments,

that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word

truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.

 

If you want to “abide” in God forever, do His will and obey His commandments

1 John 2:17 • “… but he who does (obeys) the will of God abides forever.”

1 John 3:24 • “Now he who keeps (obeys) His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.”

John 15:10 • “If you keep (obey) My commandments, you will abide in My love”

The rich young ruler: “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

Jesus replied: “But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17)

Abiding in God is necessary or He will cast you into the fire …

John 15:2-6 • “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away

… Abide in Me, and I in you … He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit

… If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered;

and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

 

If you love God, you will obey His commandments

John 14:15 • “If you love Me, keep (obey) My commandments.”

John 14:21 • “He who has My commandments and keeps (obeys) them, it is he who loves Me.”

John 14:23 • “If anyone loves Me, he will keep (obey) My word”

John 14:24 • “He who does not love Me does not keep (obey) My words”

John 15:14 • “You are My friends if you do (obey) whatever I command you.”

Is anyone allowed into heaven who does not love Jesus and is His friend?

And is anyone allowed into heaven who does not obey Jesus’ commandments?

 

If you love God, you will be “known” by Him

1 Corinthians 8:3 • “But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.”

 

If you love God, you will patiently endure temptations and receive eternal life

James 1:12-15 • “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved,

he will receive the crown of (eternal) life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him …

BUT, each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when

desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth (eternal) death.”

 

### -- W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words:

Part of the quote concerning the verb “ginosko”, Strong’s #1097, follows …

“… the “knowing” suggests approval and bears the meaning “to be approved”

(2 Tim 2:19; cf. John 10:14, John 10:27) … The verb is also used to convey the

thought of connection or union, as between man and woman (Matt 1:25, Luke 1:34)

ginosko frequently implies an active relation between the one who “knows” and the

person or thing “known” … thus in Matt 7:23, “I never knew you” (ginosko) suggests,

“I have never been in approving connection with you.” ”

 

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Staff

 

### -- W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words:

Part of the quote concerning the verb “ginosko”, Strong’s #1097, follows …

“… the “knowing” suggests approval and bears the meaning “to be approved”

(2 Tim 2:19; cf. John 10:14, John 10:27) … The verb is also used to convey the

thought of connection or union, as between man and woman (Matt 1:25, Luke 1:34)

ginosko frequently implies an active relation between the one who “knows” and the

person or thing “known” … thus in Matt 7:23, “I never knew you” (ginosko) suggests,

“I have never been in approving connection with you.” ”

 

Hi Zachary,

 

"I have never been in approving connection with you", I agree with Vines.

 

Jesus says I never knew you. This stands in contrasts to "foreknew". Those that practice lawlessness know Jesus. It is possible they even may think they have relationship with Jesus. However, the text says Jesus says that He never knew them, that is, according to election before the foundation of the world. Jesus of course does know these people, he knows too much about them, but they were never the objects of His affection which is the way "foreknew" is used in Romans 8:29. This is actually a pretty scary thing to even consider. All our works are like filthy rags Isaiah 64:6.

 

God bless,

William

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Hi Zachary, as I think about this, it seems to me that it's the, "mutual knowing relationship", that results in our, "loving, obeying, & abiding", not the other way around. IOW, we don't obey God to become "saved", we obey Him because we already are :)

 

It also seems to me that just like saving faith is the "gift" to us from God (Ephesians 2:8) that makes it possible for us to "hear & believe", "eternal life" must be as well, since we receive it when we first believe .. see John 5:24, not as the end result of a life led in obedience to Him (cf Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).

 

Yours in Christ,

David

 

 

"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has

been judged already, because he has not believed in the

name of the only begotten Son of God"

John 3:18

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by David Lee

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I think it's easier to obey God if we have enough faith to actually believe that once we know Jesus and have been given the authority to be called the children of God, we no longer of this world. We belong to God. He is our King. There are many people who keep human laws because they are terrified of being punished should they do something wrong. In the Kingdom of God, it's not fear that compels us to love God. Love does. He loved us. Sent Jesus to tell us He would welcome us back home if only we were obedient. We are here on earth to learn love and obedience.

Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Enoch did walk with God . . . for 300 years. And today we have Jesus promise that He will reveal Himself to us should we obey all His commandments. To be honest, there's nothing I desire more.

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