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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

You’re Still You

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NetChaplain

I believe it has been well said that after rebirth believers have the same character, person-hood and personality, all which comprises individuals apart from their nature. It’s the work of the Father in the “life” of the Son (Col 3:4) by the power of Their Spirit that we have another nature (hence “new”), and in all this we now and forever have relationship with Them and one another (2Co 6:1; 1Th 5:10).

 

I see it as an acceptable understanding that saints are not supplanted from their individuality but rather supplemented with the “life” of the Lord Jesus (Col 3:3), via an additional nature which is “after the image of Him that created him,” or “it” (Col 3:10). This makes us “complete in Him” (Col 2:10) and the Spirit by this new nature the believer is “separated” (circumcised) from the old nature (“old man”), and though it yet dwells within them (Rom 7:17, 20) they are not in it (Rom 8:9), esp. concerning its guilt (Rom 8:1) and its control (Rom 6:12, 14).

 

The testing (strengthening) of faith using the “old man” is continually glorifying God by manifesting His “work” (Phil 2:13) within the redeemed. The sin nature and its effects are no longer a part of the saint’s life (other than its presence) concerning its ability to effect sinful desire. The natural man cannot but desire sin but the spiritual man cannot, due to the Spirit’s work within (Gal 5:17), and the Father’s “work” within.

 

For believers, all the “newness” (“all things are become new”) is in the nature which is of Christ (Col 3:10), which supplements believers—not supplants them! It is a common concept that it is all Jesus and none of believer, but this is in reference to that which produces “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Pe 1:3), in which that which is created could have no part in effecting, but only in receiving. If the individuality of the person was eliminated, with who would there be to have fellowship? Our Father already has fellowship with the Son, and therefore desires the same with those who come to Him.

 

- NC (BobH)

 

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atpollard

I agree.

 

There is an old joke "Sculpting a statue from a block of stone is simple, you just visualize what you want it to look like and then remove everything that doesn't match the vision!"

Our old and new self seem a lot like sculpting the statue. If you squint, you can see traces of the boldness of Peter in the brashness of the early Simon. The intensity and passion of Saul contains the essence from which God will forge Paul.

It is a truism that our strengths are often our greatest weaknesses. A man of boldness may fall into recklessness. A man of caution, may be paralyzed by inaction.

 

Ephesians 2:10 NASB For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

 

God is the creator of all things. He knew what he was doing when he made the old us. He knew how His 'workmanship' was intended to function and the good works that only we could do, because God planned it that way 'beforehand'. So life in the world and personal bad choices may leave us covered in the dross of a fallen curse, but GOD knows what the 'masterpiece' he fore-loved was predestined to look like. So it is a simple matter for Him to begin to chip away and expose what was always hidden inside.

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NetChaplain
Our old and new self seem a lot like sculpting the statue. If you squint, you can see traces of the boldness of Peter in the brashness of the early Simon. The intensity and passion of Saul contains the essence from which God will forge Paul.

It is a truism that our strengths are often our greatest weaknesses. A man of boldness may fall into recklessness. A man of caution, may be paralyzed by inaction.

Hi Atpo! Appreciate your sincere reply and much of what you've shared here. Our "newness" is a blessing and is the only way God would have it for those who are His. He uses the "new man" (new nature) only, and restrains the "old man" on the "Cross" (Rom 6:6), and the Spirit of God continually opposes (Gal 5:17) it. This opposition of the Spirit does not eradicate its presence, nor renders it powerless to temp, but does keep it from incurring guilt (Rom 8:1) and from "dominating" the believer (Rom 6:12, 14).

 

Ephesians 2:10 NASB For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.So it is a simple matter for Him to begin to chip away and expose what was always hidden inside.

I like the "chipping" analogy, but it can also be seen that instead of Him finding something in us, He knows the joy of placing the new nature in us and what it will bring. I've heard it said that when Jesus comes to us He uses nothing He finds--but only what He brings.

 

God's blessings to your Family!

 

 

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