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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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atpollard

Q2. What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?

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from Heidelberg Catechism (1563)

 

Q1. What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Q2. What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?

A. Three things:

 

first, how great my sin and misery are;1

 

second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery;2

 

third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance.3

 

[1] Rom. 3:9-10; 1 John 1:10

[2] John 17:3; Acts 4:12; Acts 10:43

[3] Matt. 5:16; Rom. 6:13; Eph. 5:8-10; 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 2:9-10

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first, how great my sin and misery are;1

 

Romans 3:9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

 

"He is regarding sin as a tyrant ruler, so that sinners are 'under' it ('under sin's dominion'); they cannot break free." - Leon Morris

"Under sin is a powerful phrase. It speaks of our slavery to sin, literally meaning 'sold under sin.' By nature every person knows what it is like to be a slave to sin, both Jews and Greeks." - David Guzik

 

It seems that we are not just 'guilty' of making bad choices and committing acts of sin, but we are sold in slavery to sin ... there is no option for a slave to 'choose' to free himself, is there.

We must be SET FREE by an outside agent.

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second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery;2

 

John 17

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

 

 

I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

 

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

 

 

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

 

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

 

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

 

 

This does not sound like a free will, sure hope I make it to the end to be saved, choice ... does it?

From the PRAYER of Jesus to OUR (His and our) Father ... so what are the odds the Father will answer 'no'. ;)

 

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