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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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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/15/2016 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Persecution or any attempt to scare Christians as a means of stopping the spread of Christianity has never worked. When Nero was persecuting Christians, all he did was make Christianity spread more. And today, those who are doing the work of the devil shall also not win as Jesus said, Whoever is fighting against the LORD and the work He wants done will lose.
  2. 2 points
    I have seen this in Christian circles, and know that this is common even in Seminary. A professor may be envious of a student. Even on the board, I sometimes think twice about commenting or complimenting a particular member, because other members become disgruntle over the attention others receive. There are two perspectives I acquire from the bible, which goes against how the terms are used today. Jealousy is good. To be jealous is for want of what one rightfully deserves. It is good for God to be jealous, it is good for a husband to be jealous of his wife's affections. Envy is for want of what is not rightfully deserved. Envy could be depicted in Cain, or even Lucifer.... John actually showed the opposite of Envy when he said I must decrease.... today in society envy rears its ugly head with entitlement mentality. God bless, William
  3. 2 points
    Okay I see that this is just going in circles. My husband's testimony is all I need to see the truth in my faith. He was raised strict Roman Catholic and knows the ins and outs of the church. He went on his own journey to find the truth and searched scripture thoroughly. You may say I am making wild claims, but most of my family as well as my in laws and very close friends are Catholic. Am I supposed to think they are all just lying to me when they tell me about their faith? I am making claims based on studies I have done myself as well as personal conversations I have had with Catholics who have told me these things. I said I was not speaking of every Catholic, but you can't be speaking for every Catholic either considering the Catholics I know have told me the "wild" claims that I have made, and obviously the Catholics you are referring to have a different perspective. I do not agree with many of the traditions of Catholicism as I do not find a majority of them in scripture. You claim they were orally passed down, but YOUR words are that "no evidence means your claim fails." So how do you know that anything passed down orally has been passed down correctly? A lot of Catholic traditions have not been around since Paul or Timothy walked the earth. For example, the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility only became official in 1870 under Pius IX. And regardless of when it became official, scripture states in Romans that NO MAN is infallible. Our evidence is in scripture, that is why God provided us with His written Word. 2 Tim 3:16 is evidence to that.
  4. 2 points
    I didn't get married until I was 42, so it can't be said that I married too young. LOL. Plus, I married a man whom I thought was completely not my type. It's working out just fine and has for the past five years. I knew him for a year and 4 months before we were married, and that seems to have been plenty long enough. My parents knew each other for precisely 6 weeks before they got married, and they've been together quite happily for 52 years. People say, "don't rush into it, you'll regret it later", but sometimes that doesn't matter at all. As for me thinking that he wasn't my "soul mate"? Well, God had other ideas, and on the night of our first date together, when I was sitting there regretting ever meeting him in the first place, I prayed about it and heard God's answer... just three words... "wait and see". You could translate that in different ways but I sincerely felt that He was telling me to wait it out, go out with this man again and see what happens. It was the best move I could have ever made in life. When we take God's word for it, listen to His voice, He tells the truth... always. I believe in the Bible, which is God's Word... so if it says the only reason for divorce is adultery... then that's the case... at least in MY Book. ;)
  5. 2 points
    Like you I was divorced. My then wife left me and was married some three months later. I was torn for years as to whether I could remarry. The thing is, I have entered into a New Covenant with my wife under God. It is a real covenant. There are numerous Scriptures that suggest that even when one makes a vow under error that they should live up to that vow. This was actually brought up in my church when I applied for membership. The church wanted to know whether I was repentant. I am. Most often couples fornicate and think we will get married and that will solve our problem. Not so, the sin is not a matter of timing or one that will magically clear up once married. But for the sake of time, I will not go into that at the moment. I am merely suggesting that lots of things lead up to a divorce. It is like the car's windows not working, the doors not unlocking, and the radio not coming on. Later you discover from the shop that the Vehicle's control module is bad causing all those issues. You could of replaced the car's window motors, the lock mechanism, and the radio, but you would not have solved the real problem. I have repented for being a failure, a failed spiritual leader in my past marriage. This is why we should place so much emphasis on finding a spouse from our own faith. Secular marriage would have us justify no fault divorce. Perhaps your wife doesn't cook well enough, doesn't parallel park good enough etc. Maybe she thinks you don't, and that's just okay by the divorce courts... . What did Jesus say? God bless, William
  6. 2 points
    That's the thing. No one has the "right" to kill an unborn baby, not even the mother. God will hold anyone accountable that will take the life of an innocent. An unborn child is a person in God's eyes, why should we view it any differently?
  7. 1 point
    A woman that was propagating the gospel was recently murdered in the north center part of Nigeria which is the capital city. The person that gave the information said it was an act by those of the opposite religion, the muslims. But whoever they are my only prayer is that they come to the realization of their need for a saviour as a result of their act. That they meet with God as Saul of Tarsus in the scripture. And be used mightily for the advancement of the kingdom here on earth. I am not sadden by the woman's death because I know she is with our saviour with her crown of life. And also that this news will further fall to the furtherance of the God. Blessed are those that are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.
  8. 1 point
    It was with a heavy heart that I saw on the news the tragedy unfolding in France - it seems like lately it has been one act of terror after another, in all parts of the world. Bangladesh, Istanbul...I just feel like it keeps happening and people keep losing their lives to hatred. I don't know what else to do but pray, and show love. And I hope that if others keep doing the same, maybe we will see the world less consumed by hate.
  9. 1 point
    This is a petition that Rand Paul has started to ultimately hold Hillary Clinton accountable for her crimes.
  10. 1 point
    The believer’s standing (position) is the way the Father sees him in His Son, as perfect in Him. But his state (condition) is the way the Father sees him in his daily walk, which is sinful and erring and needs to be developed and improved. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand” (Rom 5:1, 2). “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand” (1 Cor 15:1). “That I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state” (Phil 2:19, 20). Nearly all the false doctrines that teach some form of human works or merit for salvation are based upon Scriptures that deal with the believer’s state and have nothing to do with salvation at all. God’s Word would not be complete if it did not teach both the sinner how to be saved and the believer how to conduct himself after he is saved. Many of the difficulties in understanding the Scriptures would disappear if we would always ask: is this verse about our standing or our state? One notable instance of this principle of Bible understanding is found in the first epistle to the Corinthians. In the first chapter, Paul refers to them as saints who “are sanctified.” But in the third chapter he says they are “carnal”, or fleshly. As to their standing, they are sanctified in Christ Jesus—perfect in Him. But in their actual earthly walk, or state, they were carnal. In their standing they are safe, as secure and perfect as the work of the Cross can make them. But in their state they need exhortation and growth. Again, in Colossians 2:10, “And ye are complete in Him.” This refers to the perfect standing which the believer has in Christ. It cannot be improved upon; it is already “complete” in Christ. Yet in our walk we cannot say that we are sinless, for “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:8). The Father looks upon every believer as if he were already in heaven, as far as his standing in concerned. This blessed truth is brought out in Ephesians 2:6, “And hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” But as far as his earthly state is concerned while he is waiting the home-call, the believer is admonished thus: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth” (Col 3:5). So we see that the believer is said to be both in heaven and on earth. “Standing and State” is the only explanation of this. Much more of the Word is given to instructions for the believer’s state than to his standing. His standing is heavenly, eternal and perfect. His state is earthly, temporary and imperfect. - Unknown
  11. 1 point
    Hi Brother, you are correct. I didn't realize that "Reformed Baptists" were not Dispensationalists (though I believe the growing ranks of Calvinists and Calvinist churches within the SBC are). Thanks!! --David
  12. 1 point
    The Mark of Cain 1John 3:11,12 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Prior to the murder, the only thing recorded of Cain is the following: Gen 4:3-5 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Apparently there was something evil about Cain's sacrifice. It says in Heb 11:4,5 "By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings."While under the Law of Moses grain offerings were accepted, they were contingent upon blood offerings to atone for sin. The modern equivalent would be to feign friendship with God apart from the blood offering made by Jesus Christ. That is to enter God's house not through the door but through some other way. Cain was involved in a religious activity which outwardly was to honor God, but in fact he was doing evil. So also both in Jesus' time and today, those most hostile against the children of God are those who are zealously involved in false worship. And those who are of the evil one, rather than dealing with their own guilt will characteristically lash out against those who are behaving properly.
  13. 1 point
    Adultery and abandonment are the only reasons I have found in scripture. God still says in Malachi that He hates divorce. Although I do believe there is some grey area around abuse and by no way do I advocate staying in an abusive relationship, but that is a place where you'd just have to listen to God and go in the direction He points you in. And I second what atpollard wrote, there is never a time when divorce is mandatory.
  14. 1 point
    Thank you for this! It is much appreciated :) Spurgeon always tends to have a way with words that I can wrap my head around.
  15. 1 point
    Can you repent of your own strength? If so, then have you not earned some of the credit for your salvation? If not, then is it not God who has given you the faith necessary to repent and withheld that faith from those who have not repented? Let me make it even simpler. If God wills ALL MEN to be saved, why are some saved and some not saved? (Human works?) Eph 2:8-9 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
  16. 1 point
    " For I know the thought that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expectation" Jeremiah 29:11 KJV. There so many scripture to comfort a grieving soul but all in all our presence during their difficult times should express God's intent towards them that he will never leave nor forsake them at anytime. That way a sorrowful heart can find comfort or solace in our care and see God's love through us.
  17. 1 point
    Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 Psalm 34:18 Isaiah 41:10 Isaiah 43:2 Psalm 46:1-2
  18. 1 point
    Don't get me wrong, MacArthur is a strong 5 point Calvinist, and he was one of the Pastors I listened to initially. Something didn't settle well with me the more I studied, though, I was a Credo-baptist. It wasn't until I understood Covenant theology that I rejected Dispensationalism... I believe MacArthur considers himself a "leaky" dispensationalist. I love MacArthur, but again, I wouldn't consider him Reformed with regard to the strict meaning of the term.
  19. 1 point
    Yikes, I didn't mean to open a can of worms :eek: I know RC is PCA, and MacArthur is a Calvinist as well, but since he is part of a non-denominational church that holds to Believer's Baptism, is Pre-Trib/Premillennial (and I believe is Dispensational), he seemed closer to what I've always thought of as, Reformed Baptist (though I realize he is not one). I guess I should become better acquainted with the terminology I'm using!!
  20. 1 point
    Oh, you're going to open a can of worms on this David, :). I think C.H. Spurgeon coined the term "Particular" Baptist. There's much more to Reformed Theology than just Calvinism, for example, Reformed usually encompasses not only Calvinism, but also the Five Solae, Covenant theology, Cessationism, and Amillennialism. MacArthur is a great resource for Cavlinist theology, but I wouldn't recommend him to those asking for "Reformed" theologians. God bless, William
  21. 1 point
    When my mom died, what helped me the most eas being able to share my feeling, experiences, and thoughts. It was being with people who listened and who genuinely cared about me and how I was feeling.
  22. 1 point
    I notice our Reformed church keeps a box of tissues outside the sanctuary. I always thought the box was there for tears of joy. Isn't it interesting how different people react to proper theology? [ATTACH=CONFIG]n19585[/ATTACH] In all seriousness, as you know Arthur, some have viewed double predestination as a matter of equal causation, where God is equally responsible for causing the reprobate not to believe as He is for causing the elect to believe. We call this a positive-positive view of predestination. The positive-positive view of predestination teaches that God positively and actively intervenes in the lives of the elect to work grace in their hearts and bring them to faith. Likewise, the case of the reprobates, He works evil in the hearts of the reprobate and actively prevents them from coming to faith. This view has often been called "Hyper-Calvinism" because it goes beyond the view of Calvin, Luther, and other Reformers. The Reformed view of double predestination follows a positive-negative schema. In the case of the elect, God intervenes to positively and actively work grace in their souls and bring to saving faith. He unilaterally regenerates the elect and insures their salvation. In the case of the reprobate He does not work evil in them or prevent them to faith. Rather, He passes over them, leaving them to their own sinful devices. In this view there is no symmetry of divine action. God's activity is asymmetrical between the elect and the reprobate. There is, however, a kind of equal ultimacy. The reprobate, who are passed over by God, are ultimately doomed, and their damnation is as certain and sure as the ultimate salvation of the elect. The problem is linked to biblical statements, such as those regarding God's hardening of Pharaoh's heart. That the bible says God hardened Pharaoh's heart is beyond dispute. The question remains, how did God harden Pharaoh? Luther argued for a passive rather than an active hardening. That is, God did not create fresh evil in Pharaoh's heart. There was already enough evil present in Pharaoh's heart to incline him to resist the will of God at every turn. All God ever has to do to harden anybody is to remove His restraining grace from them and give them over to their own evil impulses. A must see brief sermon clip: God bless, William
  23. 1 point
    If you have never visted LutheranSatire, you really ought to check it out.
  24. 1 point
    That is what Rand Paul is working to change. He is trying to get a bill passed that will identify that life begins at conception, which would make killing an unborn child a crime.
  25. 1 point
    Praying is all we really can do, it is unfortunate that so many turn to violence in all aspects of our world today whether its terrorism or assault. It is important to remember the non-violent teachings of Christ and apply them to our everyday lives.
  26. 1 point
    @William Thank you. That was a thorough discussion. I still don't LIKE some of the answers, but I have them and I have the verses to support them. That makes it my problem to suck it up and deal with it, because God will not be changing Scripture to satisfy my opinions. (God deliberately creating a people for the purpose of destruction and saying 'who are you to question me' ... while logically valid, still feels pretty harsh ... back to my point of discomfort with Monergism.)
  27. 1 point
    But would any man have any desire to pursue God (at all), let alone persevere until the end without the draw of God's seductive love calling us to himself? In my personal experience, the answer was 'no'. I can't answer for your heart. Thus I found predestination to be both claimed by Scripture, and essential for drawing ME to him. Without predestination, I am left with the reality that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" and "no one seeks after Him, no not one." We become Pharisees or Jehovah's Witness, desperately striving to earn what cannot be bought. It required the new heart FIRST, and only then was love even possible.
  28. 1 point
    My husband is a former Catholic and has provided me with literature in which my claim is supported. Unfortunately I do not have these documents on me at the time. I do remember that Catechism teaches that tradition and scripture are on the same level, it is paragraph 97 I believe. As a Bible believer, I do not believe anything should hold a torch to the scriptures, no matter what it is. I also know that many Catholic churches (and I am not saying all of them) do not encourage Bible study, but only the teachings of the priest and pope. Which could pose a problem if the teachings are not lined up with scripture. IMO, the Pope and priests being called Father over rules the Bible since scripture states in Matthew 23:9 that no one on earth should be called Father. That is just one example. I am not here to offend, just stating my opinion based scripture.
  29. 1 point
    You don't see anything negative about not banning abortion? So then you are in favor of murdering completely defenseless babies inside their mother's wombs? This is the same kind of thinking that got us to the point where it is a felony to destroy the eggs of an endangered species. It is against the law to kill an unborn animal, but perfectly ok to kill an unborn human.
  30. 1 point
    Don't apologize for writing a long post ;) we're all just discussing. I would say it's fair that, no, evolution doesn't disprove God. My point is that God disproves evolution. Perhaps God didn't go into the mechanics of creation (this is how I made DNA) or why fossil records are found where they are but He says so much about Himself, to include the creation account in Genesis 1, to disprove evolution. 1. God is not the author of confusion Evolution has lead to some serious confusion and dare I say dangerous notions about mankind and our "ability" to evolve even further. There are movements for transhumansism which is man merging with machine, there are those who claim we are on a path to a new enlightenment and we will evolve into a new spiritual "something" be it a new sense such as telekinesis. It has allowed for the idea that aliens of some kind planted us on earth. No one knows when evolution stops because it's assumed it's ongoing as that is the way the science of evolution breaks down...we are still evolving. This has lead to a lot of confusion about mankind's future 2. The idea of continued evolution does not grant Free Will and God has granted mankind free will. Naturalism, an aspect of evolution, is that we are fizzing chemicals that are just going to continue to evolve into the next stage of whatever it is we will become. We have no say in what we become according to evolution thus we have no free will and are slaves to our chemical composition and whatever it decides to do next. 3. God made mankind in His likeness. So did God breathe life into a single cell that evolved over time until it started to look like Him? Or...did God immediately create man in His likeness. To no other creature, none, did God create in the likeness of Himself except man. This is special to man, unique and with clear purpose. 4. Jesus not only came as a human male but He has been seen by several people in the Bible who record seeing "one who looks like a Son of Man at the right hand of God" and the description is that of a glorified man (not ape or banana or whale or toad or whatever) So His likeness is as ours but He's clearly in glorified form as seen in just one account in the book of Daniel. 5. Everything is made after it's own kind. In Gen 1 this is repeated so many times it's almost as if God is trying to drill it in our heads that only things of their kind will reproduce the same thing. Dogs will give birth to dogs and chickens to chickens and so humans to humans...nothing evolves into a more complex being. For example: So in essence what my point is, God disproves evolution. Evolution doesn't prove or disprove God either way, again God disproves evolution. 1. He is not the author of confusion 2. He gave us free will which is not something granted in the process of naturalism and evolution 3. We are made in His likeness and no other creature was ever given such a precious gift 4. The Son of God has both come as a human and is described as a glorified version of man, or the likeness of man, when He is seated at the right hand of God (the Father) He makes some really BOLD claims about who He is, what he's done, what He is NOT and who we ARE. As for the teaching of creation vs evolution in school it's my opinion that evolution takes just as much faith as any other "religious" claim and we should teach them in a philosophical setting and not as exact science.
  31. 1 point
    I didn't log in to see a bunch finger pointing and posturing. Can't people conduct conversations in a polite matter anymore?
  32. 1 point
    I think we've been living in the end times for quite some time and there have been people predicting the world will end any time from now but no one really knows the day when Jesus will be back. What should motivate us to serve God isn't the judgement that comes after Jesus returns it should be the love that we have for God. That's why I think we should focus more on getting to know and loving Christ Jesus more.
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