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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

Self-Repudiation

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The Cross-work of Christ separates (sanctifies) believers at rebirth from the old man (love the soul – hate the old self), which is where the curse of guilt from sin was incurred; and which separation we continuously are taught to learn to progress in. This involves its restraint from causing believers to desire sin, which is the seat of sin’s accomplishment concerning its “reign” and “dominion” (Rom 6:12, 14). The guilt is in the desiring of sin (which believers hate), and the sinning is the evidence of its indwelling (Rom 7).

 

The sinning of individuals is not the issue as much as it is the reason why one sins is! Unbelievers’ sins are “willful” (Heb 10:26), for they have not the “work” of God (Phil 2:13) in them, nor the Spirit’s opposition to its source—the old man (Gal 5:17), which answers to why believers’ sins are not willful (“but the evil which I would not, that I do” – Rom 7:19).

 

Continually walking conscientiously guilt-free of sin’s condemnation is not only to fully comprehend the Cross of Christ but is also to manifest or “hold the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience” (1Tim 3:9)—despite the old man’s presence and attempts.

- NC

 

 

 

 

Self-Repudiation

 

“He that watereth shall be watered also himself (Prov 11:25). The more you impart to others what you have received, the more will be committed to you. The lapidary increases his wealth, not only by acquiring diamonds, but in setting them to the best advantage. In the same way will you increase your possession in the Lord Jesus the more you discover the value of each of His, and devote yourself to making them brilliant.

 

It is not enough to loathe yourself (my opinion, meaning hate old self, e.g. “old man”; “hate evil” - Psa 97:10; Pro 8:13—NC). This is the negative; and though always necessary to make room for the positive, yet it becomes a snare if the positive be not added; you will not have roasted that which you took in hunting. The more you abhor yourself before God, the more you will depend on Him, because you lose self-dependence.

 

The loss of everything here does not, as we see with Job’s case, lead to self-repudiation, but to self-justification. Not until he sees God does he feel the true state of his life and nature. When it is all abhorred in His presence, in the light in which it is, you find, like Peter, the only One to cling to (Jhn 6:8). A man might dwell forever on his ruin and shame, and yet never reach the new ground, where God’s favor could greet him in a way double to any he had ever known.

 

The fact of condemning oneself (my opinion, old self—NC) where there is conscience is a relief; but occupation with it leads to being morbid and inactive, and consigns one to a kind of despair, expressing itself in useless regrets and pining. But when you see yourself in the light of the Father’s countenance, because the Lord Jesus is the light, you at the same moment, turn from yourself and find the One to whom you can cleave. Now if there is thorough self-repudiation because of what you are in the father’s presence, there is no dwelling on it, or reference to it; for the heart turns to Him in whom it rests, whom also is the source of a new life and nature suited to the Father.

 

Here it finds itself interested in all His. As Job prayed for his friends, so do you now show that you not only turn from yourself, but that you have interest outside yourself; and as you do, lost favors are doubled. The lapidary augments his wealth by making the most of each precious stone. The part of greatness is not the faculty to see, but the power to give light. The Creator on earth was the light of the world.

 

The sure evidenced that you have turned yourself before the Father is that you are engrossed with Him who gives you a perfect position before Him, and is the source of every blessing to one otherwise so ruined. Then nothing of yourself can interest you; the only thing here which attracts you heart is what belongs to Him; and to that, and that only, do you devote yourself; not to note where they are defective, but to see how you may most effectively serve them.

 

If it is thus with you, you will be the first ripe grape hasting to maturity, in order that it might minister to and refresh the wary; or, like the ear of ripe corn, declining downward, to supply the want of the needy; and as you are, your soul will be deepened in the perfection and resources of the Lord Jesus and you will have confidence toward the Father. From the highest point to the lowest, you will be watered in your soul with the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

- J B Stoney

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from MJS devotional for Dec. 28:

 

“Christianity is totally opposed to Judaism, and any mixture of the two must result in the loss of all that is vital in the present plan of salvation. One made its appeal to the limited resources of the natural man and conditioned his life on the earth; the other sets aside the natural man, secures a whole new creation in Christ Jesus, and counsels that new being in his pilgrim journey to his heavenly home.

 

“The Jewish nation is the center of all things related to the earth. The Church is foreign to the earth and related to it only as a witnessing people. They are strangers and pilgrims, ambassadors whose citizenship is in heaven.”

 

- L S C

http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/

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