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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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NetChaplain

Walk In The Light

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If I look at the Lord Jesus’ walk on earth, everything He did was to consummate the will of His Father; and He did it. Now what is He thinking of? Not my position before the Father, for that He has accomplished in His work on the Cross. It is my condition here He is thinking of. You may say, but we have to learn our position first; and I answer, yes; of course you cannot be in a condition in keeping with your position without knowing what that position is.

 

First, I am cleared of everything that stood between me and my Father by the Blood of the Lord Jesus. There is no such thing as the Father imputing sin to me anymore. I admit there is often weakness in the heart as to this, but the fact is He does not impute sin to me any longer. But, says one, I know I do sin. I know you do and will, but you must not lose sight of the fact that your Father says: “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Jer 31:34).

 

Then when you do sin, what do you do? I go into the light, and the light finds it all out. I remember it being pointed out to me once in a showroom that silver when placed in a full blaze of light, any tarnish there might have been on it was no longer visible. So, when the soul is brought into the light, all the tarnish upon it is judged, and put away. This is repentance.

 

Repentance is my putting, by faith, the old man that did the crime* into the same place in which my Father put it in death. I take it out, alas! And repentance is when I put it back again where He has put it. The effect of the light is to make me do this. The light would say, I cannot have this tarnish. The light makes manifest the evil, and having discovered it, it frees me from it*. It brings me, by the Holy Spirit, to confession and cleansing.

 

I say to a person, have you really got into the presence of your Father about this failure? He says to me, I am afraid to. Then I do not wonder at it; I really do not object to the reluctance, for I know how many souls have not got quite clear as to this experience. But there is not a single thing in the heart of my Father against me. He says, I do not remember them, and therefore “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1Jhn 1:9).

 

Where then is the tarnish? Has the Father cleansed me? But you say, I have done them! Yes, He says; and if you come near to Me, I will take care that you shall get rid of them. “Having therefore . . . boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh” (Heb 10:19, 20).

 

Many a saint has not got beyond this: Christ is a shelter for me, and takes care of me. Souls look for their barrel of meal not to waste, and their cruse of oil not to fail. But is that the whole of Christianity? Is it that the Lord Jesus comes and dells with me 365 days – stays with me through every season, and cares for me? I make bold to say it is not. Is it shelter only? No! You are mutilating Christianity if you confine it to this – you are restricting your condition to perpetual childhood. You Father says, I have saved you by My own Son, and now another thing must come in; you are alive by the One who has saved you; My purpose is that you are to be conformed to His image.

 

- J B Stoney

 

 

Poster’s Opinion:

* “the old man that did the crime”: Paul wrote that when he sinned it was not he in the new nature that sinned but the old nature “that does it.” “It is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Rom 7:17, 20). The words “it is no longer I” makes a distinction that he is no longer considered “in the flesh” (8:9) e.g. he is not his sin nature but now he is his new nature.

 

The sin nature is in him but he is not in it but rather in Christ by the Spirit! Though God continues to deal with us and our sins in an instructive manner (never in punishment even though it may seem so), the sin nature and its sins no longer have anything to do with our fellowship with God because we have been separated from them in our new nature via the Cross. The Blood for the sin (1Jhn 1:7) and the Cross for the sin nature (Rom 6:12, 14)!

 

Of course, there is an important significance in understanding the difference between the sins of a believer and an unbeliever (which is highly difficult to explain by any means), which IMO has to do with God’s internal “work” (Phl 2:13), in that not only are the believer’s sins at a lower degree of decadence and with a progressively lessoning frequency, they are not habitually continued, e.g. they are not willfully committed.

 

* “having discovered it, it frees me from it”: this “freedom” is not in reference to our freedom from sin’s guilt, which all believers have, but from its “rule” and “dominion” which may still have an effect of the minds (unclear conscience) of those weak in the faith, due to a lack of understanding all that salvation provides.

 

Miles J Stanford devotional: http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/

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Walking in the light is simply a repeat of Jesus' Parable of the Vine. In that parable, Jesus instructs followers to abide in him, which implies the avoidance of mortal sin. However, one cannot abide in him at the fullest capacity without praying, reading God's word, and attending church. However, a disagreement will sometimes rise up between Calvanists and Arminians who claim salvation can be lost. I favor the Arminian position because the Parable of the Vine clearly indicates people being cut off.

 

As a deeper thought, I would say, "if people can be cut off from the vine, could they not also move out of the light?". Isn't that saying the same thing?

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Hi Jason - Thanks for your input! Concerning loosing salvation, I see neither Calvinism nor Arminianism teaching it. I also believe that it should be noted that the doctrine of eternal security (cannot loose salvation) is an unessential doctrine for receiving salvation, along with what one believes whether or not one comes to God on their own or not. Though the issue concerning eternal security is unessential for receiving faith, understanding the truth of it is essential for growing in faith.

 

God bless!

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