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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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The Lord Jesus having accomplished the work of redemption, the Father has introduced redeemed man into His presence, and set him in glory (for oneness with God and the saints; Jhn 17:22—NC). Having proved man to be a sinner, He was not content to simply “take away sin,” but He would see him as His own, and enable him to enjoy all His grace in perfect peace, giving him to understand that His righteousness was accomplished in and by His Son.


Souls convinced of sin enjoy all the fullness of the sovereign grace of God, because there is no more question of sins for them. By the ministry of the Holy Spirit this effect is produced; there is the consciousness of the perfect righteousness of the Father Himself without conscience of sins. Can you say that there is no question of sins for you? Is this question entirely at rest, and your relation to the Father founded on that?


Have you recognized that your responsibility, your relation to the Father, is based upon the accomplished righteousness of the Lord Jesus (1Cor 1:30—NC)? If so, you are happy and blessed. Formerly you were a sinner (no longer considered as such by God—Rom 8:9. Though believers yet sin, there are no Scriptural references describing a believer as a sinner—NC), but now you can say, My Father loves me. I do not speak of your thoughts; but you have made the discovery that you are the Father’s child by faith in His Son, that your responsibility as a sinner is closed. Is your heart thus at large? Do you consider before Him that you have been crucified with Christ, and that sin is gone for you?


I cannot have the feelings of a bride towards one whom I dread as my judge. I need the consciousness of being in the presence of my Bridegroom, according to that loving-kindness which is better than life (Psa 63:3—NC).


Is your Father your daily resource in your faults and sins, even when you have committed them? Do you believe that His love can do that? This is where the Apostle Paul regards the believer as set; and, when the contrary happens, the Jewish position is more or less taken by the heart. If I have not full confidence in my Father, I must seek something outside, instead of having recourse to Him to receive strength and to restore my soul to fellowship with Him. If the Father is your resource, you will not seek the law.


The touchstone for the believer is, whether his resources are in the Father or in himself. Perhaps, like the Jews, he seeks to offer sacrifices. If believers, then we are under grace, and it is of moment for us to be clear as to the position into which the Lord Jesus has brought us. There we are blessed in His presence; there also we are in possession of the precious things which are promised us—“all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” For it is not the promises which constitute our joy and peace, but the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we have them all “Yea, and Amen” (2 Cor 1:20), in virtue of the work which has been wrought and accepted.


May the Father strengthen us more and more in the consciousness of His love, which has saved us, and brought us into His presence to enjoy all that He is for us. The Lord Jesus will be the Object of all our thoughts. May we have it simple and settled before us, that it is no more our old selves that live, but Christ that lives in us as our new Life; that nothing is lacking in the accomplishment of the requirements of the Father, and that our position is based eternally upon His love and life.


- J N Darby


Excerpt for 2-13 by MJS: “When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, it is to remove self from the throne of our hearts. When the Holy Spirit fills us, it is to place the Lord Jesus on the throne of our hearts. Ours is the choice—”not I, but Christ” (Gal. 2:20); His is the work, for He is “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2). http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/day/2017/02/13/









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