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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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Bold Entrance

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If we do not understand that all our sins, including future ones are already forgiven at rebirth there will also be inconsistency in understanding the permanency of faith and “eternal salvation” (Heb 5:9) and the promise that “all things works together” for the “good” of the believer.


When we are “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph 1:6) at rebirth God has taken into account what He knows concerning our present and future sins, and when considering His “work” (Phil 2:13, Rom 8:28), there can be no unforeseen element interrupting our union with Him.


The foundation of spiritual growth in the faith is in the surety concerning the permanency of redemption, which is actual in the life of all believers, even if this is yet to be understood! The significant disadvantage will be the inability to maintain a “clear conscience” concerning the guilt of sin, and the inability to “lay aside the weight and sin” in order to avoid being “beset” by them (Heb 12:1).






Bold Entrance


“Let us draw near” (Heb 10:22). It is into the presence of the Father that believers are invited to come with boldness. Our salvation is, of course, the first thing; and next come love and service toward Him who saved us: publishing the good tidings to all whom we should reach. Third, we become occupied with the Father’s plan of salvation, doctrinally; and if we are instructed right, we learn to expect the coming again of the Lord from heaven, to rapture His Body, the Church.


But all these things may be true of us without our entering into that fellowship and worship into which the epistle to the Hebrews introduces us. To have boldness to enter in the Holy place . . . draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith, involves an active godliness which superficial study of the Scriptures may not beget in us.


It will not do for us (concerning spiritual growth, i.e. Heb 6:1, 2—NC) to stop at the Cross where Christ shed His Blood for our sins, and where we have peace through that Blood, security from Divine judgment. For His Blood has a heavenly ever-present power and efficacy connected with our acceptance and worship, and this is the peculiar message of Hebrews. If we do not become worshippers, really occupied with the things of the Father, with the praises as well as prayers which the Blood of the Son has made a delight unto the Father, at which heaven wonders and worships (1 Pet 1:12—NC), this great epistle to the Hebrews has failed to reach our hearts. For the immediate presence of the all-holly God, whose name is LOVE, is where the Lord Jesus is now sitting; whither every true believer is going; and into which, by the principle of faith, every believer is exhorted to enter with boldness now.


Let us draw near “with a true heart.” “The heart is deceitful above all things.” Millions pray, even using the name of the Lord Jesus and speaking of His sacrifice, whose hearts are not true (IMO, not a full understanding of all that salvation provides—NC). Repentance of sin has not broken them up. “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” A true heart does not mean a heart that trusts in itself, but one which genuinely comes to a holy God.


Let us draw near “in full assurance of faith.” This does not mean that here will be no consciousness of unworthiness, but rather, a confidence in a faithful Father, Who is sure to bless one who is trusting in the shed Blood of His Son.


Let us draw near, “having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.” This is a beautiful picture of the same deliverance as in Hebrews 9:14: “The Blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish unto God, cleanesth our conscience from dead works to serve the Living God.” We are told in chapter 12:24 that “we are come to the Blood of sprinkling that speaketh better than Able” (Able was the first to show a blood-sacrificed faith—NC).


True faith brings about this Divine action of “sprinkling,” that is, of so appropriating the effect of the Blood of Christ shed on our behalf as to relieve our burdened consciences because we see that our sins have been laid on our Substitute. There is no other deliverance from an evil conscience, that is, a conscience that is accusing us. God “sprinkles” such believing hearts by reckoning to them the value and power of Christ’s shed Blood; and the heart has rest.


- Wm R Newell



Portion of MJS devotional for Jan 16:


“The true hope makes all the difference to us in our ministry. Our expectations have been personally proven. It makes possible joy in the midst of sorrow, confidence in the midst of defeat. It changes our attitude toward those to whom we minister. We see them not as they are at the moment but as we know the Lord is going to make them. Then patience and forgiveness are easy, for we already see the Lord’s finished work. It changes our prayer for them.


“We ask not for some little progress or partial blessing for them but for the Lord’s complete victory. It changes our teaching ministry to them. Instead of fearfully giving a little more of God’s truth, we confidently declare all the counsel of God. There is ever before us the joy of the finished work which we know the Lord is going to accomplish.”







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