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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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Sovereign Solicitude

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Just a little FYI, nearly all the materials I’ve been posting in the last 15 years are from three books compiled by Miles J Stanford entitled “Position Papers,” which consist of his selections from various Christian writers (circa 1700’s—1800’s) who shared their beliefs of the Scriptures concerning spiritual growth of faith in God. Thank you Brother Miles (now with the Lord) and see you later!



Sovereign Solicitude


The Bible plainly asserts that the influence of God upon the unsaved must be exercised if ever they are to turn to Him in saving faith. Christ declared, “No man can come to Me, except the Father which has sent Me draws him” (Jhn 6:44). The will of the creature is a creation of God and in relation to it He sustains no timidity nor uncertainty. He made the creature’s will as an instrument by which He might accomplish His sovereign purpose and it is inconceivable that it should ever thwart His purpose.


When exercising his will, man is conscious only of his freedom of action. He determines his course by circumstances, but God is the author of circumstances. Man is impelled by emotions, but God is able to originate and to control every human emotion. Man prides himself that he is governed by experienced judgment, but God is able to foster each and every thought or determination of the human mind. God will mold and direct in all secondary causes until His own eternal purpose is realized.


How else could He fulfill His covenants which commit Him to the control of the actions and destinies of men to the end of time and into eternity? His election is sure; for whom He predestinates, them—not more or less—He calls; and whom He calls, them—not more or less—He justifies; and whom He justifies, them—not more or less—He glorifies. When predestinating, He assumes the responsibility of creating, calling, saving and completing to His own purpose.


In calling He moves those to believe to the saving of their souls, whom He has chosen. In justifying He provides a substitutionary, efficacious Savior by whose death and resurrection He is legally able to place the chief of sinners in as perfect a relation to Himself as that of His own Son. In glorifying He perfects all that infinite love has designed. The precise number that will be glorified will be the precise number and the same individuals—not more or less—that He predestinated. Each one will have believed, have been saved, have been perfected and presented like Christ in glory.


Men enter consciously into this great undertaking only at the point of believing, or responding to the efficacious call. Naturally, it seems to them that they, acting in freedom within the restricted sphere of their consciousness, determine everything. Their action is vital, for no link in God’s chain can be lacking. The point where misunderstanding arises is with reference to the fact that, so far as their cognizance serves them, they are certain that they act freely; yet every truly regenerated person will testify that he would not have turned to God apart from that all-important divine drawing of his heart.


Divine election is absolute. If this seems to some to be taking things out of the hands of men and committing them into the hands of God, it will at least be conceded that, when thus committed to God, things are in better hands and this, after all, is God’s own universe in which He has sovereign right to do after the dictates of His own blessed will.


It will also be conceded that the sphere of human action, so far as it can mean anything in the sphere of human consciousness, is left in perfect freedom of action. It should be deemed no crime on the part of God that He discloses to His own elect that His sovereign power and purpose are working through and over all human forces and secondary causes.


- L S Chafer




Excerpt from MJS daily devotional for April 26: “It is one thing to believe on the Lord Jesus, to be born again, to be saved. That is a glorious thing as a beginning, but it alone will not take you right through all you have to meet; and if you are really in the Lord’s hands He will see to it that by virtue of need you are drawn into knowing more and more of His Son. It is the normal course of a true, Holy Spirit-governed Christian life that, in order to get through, an increase of Christ, a growing discovery of Christ, is necessary.” -T. A-S.



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