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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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Hidden Manna

The Righteousness of God

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In Ephesians 2:8 we read “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”

It is written in John 3:27 “John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” In this we see, as in the above verse that not only is grace a gift from God, but so also is the faith to believe. This is also shown here in Romans 12:6 “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;”

 

And also here in 1 Corinthians 12:7-9 “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;”

Now some may preach salvation by faith through the works of the law, but without faith how can one even work the works of God? And if by faith (which is given to us as a gift) then it is no more of our own works, but God who now works in us by His grace.

 

And if we receive the Spirit of God, and the faith to believe in God as a gift, then where is the boasting in our own works? Galatians 3:2 “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” And who also gives us the ears to hear with, is that not also given to us by God? Proverbs 20:12 “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.”

 

But not all have been given ears to hear with, or eyes to see what the Spirit is truly saying, or else they would receive the message of grace through faith. Our righteousness as Christians does not come from the works of the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Just as Abraham believed the words of God and it was counted to as righteousness, even well before the law of Moses was even around.

 

So where is the boasting? Romans 3:27 “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.” Yes, the law of faith came well before the law of Moses was even around. The law of faith is the same law that Abel followed, it is the same law that Enoch followed, it is also the law that Noah followed, it is the law of Faith; which is given to us in Christ by the Grace of God.

 

Jesus told the hypocrites of his day in Matthew 12:7 “But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.”

Now some might suggest this is a lawless gospel, but it is not. For the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us after we received the Holy Spirit; who also writes the righteousness of the law upon our hearts and minds. Romans 8:4 “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The promise of the Father is the Holy Ghost, for all those who believe.

Romans 4:13 “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”

 

But faith in what? Romans 3:21-22 “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:”

Christ is our righteousness, He does the works in us.

 

And if Christ truly dwells in you then sin shall have no dominion over you. Romans 6:14 “ For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

1 John 5:18 “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”

 

So it’s not by our own works, or our own righteousness that we are saved, but by the power and works of God working in us, through the faith of Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:9 “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”

 

So all the praise, honor, and glory belongs to the Lord our God for clothing us in His Righteousness, even in Jesus Christ

Peace and God bless, Mark

 

 

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