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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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About AndThisGospel

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  1. AndThisGospel

    Our first death

    Origen - you like to have the last word, don't you? Your ego is a big as the sky. Well, I'm not playing your silly game any longer. May God have mercy on your soul for preaching these heresies that attack the gospel of Christ. Shame on you!
  2. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    This is also clear from the following: Note that Jesus, as the son of man, was "according to the flesh" before His death: "We have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now (after the resurrection) we know Him thus no longer." 2 Cor 5:16 NKJV Before the cross the Son of Man was "according to the flesh" (see *Heb 2:14 NKJV), but after He was resurrected God raised Him up with a glorified humanity. Let me say it another way: Our Adamic life, that Christ as God assumed at the incarnation, died forever on the cross (see Romans 6:6 NIV). In the resurrection God the Father raised up Christ as a "new creation". Thus Christ as the Son of God took with Him a glorified humanity free from mortality and sin (see Eph 2:5,6 NIV). Christ as the Son of Man could not enter heaven until He was changed. The same is true of us. Our old Adamic life must die because it is unfit for heaven. In the resurrection we receive a "new creation" currently residing "in Christ Jesus in the heavenly places". Until then we are unfit for heaven because only the holy and pure can enter there. See Rev 21:27 KJV "I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep (remain dead), but we will all be changed...." 1 Cor 15:50,51 NKJV * "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same..."
  3. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    Not only did the thieves not die that day, but Christ didn't go to heaven immediately at His death. After the resurrection, "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father" John 10:27 KJV Jesus didn't die and go to heaven. Neither did the thief.
  4. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    Jesus died late Friday, just before the Sabbath. See Luke 23:54 Both thieves died sometime later. John 19:21 Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. They broke their legs so they couldn't run. There's no record that states they died that day. Most men crucifed lasted 6 to 7 days....Jesus, because His Father abandoned him, died within 6 hrs of being crucified. Hence the crucifixion didn't kill him....He experienced the 2nd death - the departure of His Father - this is what caused an early death.
  5. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    How did Saul the Pharisee come to see that he was a sinner before the law and not a blameless man? Answer: Rom 7:7 NKJV
  6. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    There are some similarities between Job and Paul. Paul before his conversion: "as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless" Phil 3:6 NASB Paul after conversion: I count all things (see list in verses 4 through 6) but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 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..." [Phil 3:8,9 KJV] "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am (present, continuous tense) chief." [1 Tim 1:15 KJV]
  7. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    Ask most folks if the Bible contradicts itself and the atheist will emphatically reply: "Yes, absolutely!" Ask believers and they will say, "no, the Bible doesn't contradict itself". But then ask them why there are so many denominations and you'll be hard-pressed to get an answer. There are about 38,000 denominations. Why? Because they all disagree. Some things are small riffs and some aren't so small. What's the problem? When it comes to contradictions most churches/denominations are either on one side or the other. For example take the subject of good works. Asked if works (good deeds) save a person and one side will quote Romans 3:28 and the other will quote James 2:24. One will say we are saved by faith alone, not works and the other side will say, yes we are saved by faith, but we aren't saved if do not produce works. So on a number of topics we have division. What's the solution? I sincerely believe that truth is found within contradictions. Therefore I love a good contradiction. Ignoring one side of a contradiction in favor of the other doesn't solve the problem. Does the book of Job contradict itself? Yes, seemingly so.... Here's what Job thought of himself and his performance: "I am blameless" [Job 31:6 NIV] "I am pure and without sin." [Job 33:9 NCV] We also have the author to the book of Job repeat the same: "...This man (Job) was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil." [Job 1:1 NIV] And the Lord said the same: "Have you considered My servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” [Job 1:8 NIV] Now, if we stopped right here there would be no contradiction, but if we are going to be honest with the book of Job we must continue. It seems that Job had a problem. Yes, outwardly Job was a good man...a blameless man - but, tell me, was his blamelessness the righteousness of faith, or was it the righteousness of works? You tell me: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage...31&version=NIV According to the author of the book of Job, Job was "righteous in his own eyes" [Job 32:1 NIV] Job even justified his righteousness before God: "[Job] justified himself before God." [Job 32:2 NASB] And lastly Job even challenged God in defense of his righteousness: "Let God weigh me (Job) in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless" [Job 31:6 NIV] Does the following sound like a humble man who has been justified by faith alone or a man proud of his righteousness? Answer: The latter.... Now a forth man steps in, Elihu. What does he say? "The anger of Elihu ... burned; against Job his anger burned because [Job] justified himself before God. 3 And his anger burned against his three friends because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job." [Job 32:2,3 NASB] Elihu states Job's problem succinctly: Your problem isn't your outward performance - your problem is self-righteousness. You are a man attempting to justify yourself by your works. You even are attempting to justify your goodness before God Himself! After Elihu is finished, God steps in and has a chat with Job. After God is finished with Job we see a different Job: "Then Job answered the LORD, and said , 4 "Behold, I am vile..." [Job 40:4 KJV] "Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes"...[Job 42:6 KJV] If Job was truly blameless - even sinless - then why did he call himself "vile" where before he was "blameless"? And lastly - what did Job repent of? Clearly his self-righteousness.
  8. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    Perhaps in your experience the above reference has been taken out of context, but that certainly doesn't justify ignoring Paul's prophecy. Here's what I'll do: I'll not speculate to what deception Paul had in mind in 2 Thess 2:10 so as not to cause consternation among the members here on Christforums. Paul is addressing the believers in the Thessalonian church. He is letting them know that the 2nd coming of Christ has not arrived. First, he says, something must happen before Christ returns and that something is a great apostasy from within the Christian church. What is Paul's warning to the church? Before Christ returns to gather his church, first there will come "a falling away" (KJV) or "the apostasy" (NASB) within the Christian church. This apostasy will take place because "the man of sin" would exalt himself proclaiming to be God and deceive many. "The lawless one [i.e., man of sin] is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception..." [2 Thess 2:9,10 NKJV] What that deception is I've been asked not to cause division. So I won't speculate.... The thing to remember is that within the Christian church at large there will be a great "falling away" from Christ to "the man of sin". This will happen before Christ returns for his people...His church.
  9. AndThisGospel

    Quit pouring water all over those babies!

    I agree.... Baptism is a symbol of the reality found "in Christ". If Baptism actually saves then Christ died for nothing. Christ is "the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe." In short the gospel of Christ has made provisions for those who can't exercise faith & repentance. Because of Christ's doing & dying "all men" are born into this world "justified unto life" (See Romans 5:18 NASB) He has legally reversed our condemnation "in Adam" to "justification of life" in Himself. In Him we are complete.
  10. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    Job 35:1 (Elihu to Job) Do you think it is just when you say, "I am righteous before God"? (HCS) Within the context of Job chapter 35, Elihu says: "So Job opens his mouth with empty talk; without knowledge he multiplies words." (Job 35:16) In other words Job is self-deceived in his claims to righteousness. The question is does God agree with what Elihu stated? Remember Elihu claims to speak in God's behalf (see Job 36:1). Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: 2 "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?" This is the first time God speaks directly to Job. So when did God counsel Job? Answer: Through Elihu! God is in agreement with Elihu! Both of them tell Job that his claims to righteousness are words spoken without knowledge. What is Job's reply? "Then Job answered the Lord and said: 4 "Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. What a difference we see in Job now. Before this Job claimed to be righteous before God. He claimed to be without sin. He claimed to be blameless. But now we see a changed man. We see a humble Job who realizes that his righteousness was really self-righteousness and he realized that in comparison to God's righteousness he was actually "vile". Not only did Job have a change of heart but he also repented of his self-righteousness: Job 42:1 Then Job answered the Lord and said: .... 3 You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.... 6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes."
  11. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    Job's claims: "Let God weigh me (Job) in honest scales and He (God) will know that I am blameless" [Job 31:6] "But you (Job) have said in my hearing-- I heard the very words-- 'I am pure and without sin...." [Job 33:8,9] Job's problem: Job 32:1 Then these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2 But the anger of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram burned; against Job his anger burned because he (Job) justified himself before God. Job repents: [Job 40:3,4] Then Job answered the LORD, and said , 4 "Behold, I am vile..." Job 42:6 "Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes"... Job's wealth is restored: [Job 42:12] "The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first." Conclusion: When God said that Job was blameless, He was presenting Job's view of himself. Principle: “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted”
  12. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    I'm not sure what you mean by "elite, fringe groups". You must remember that Christianity, to the Jews, was a fringe group. In religious circles the majority is seldom right.
  13. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    Fair enough... It seems we have changed from "Saul and Samuel" to Job. That's my discussion now....
  14. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    God's law has always taken righteousness in the absolute inclusive sense. After all it is the measuring stick of righteousness. That's what we have to go by, period. Thus, "as it is written, there is none righteous, no, not even one." Satan is "the accuser of the brethren"...He accuses us day and night before God. In OT times the sacrificial systems was precursor of Christ's high priestly work. Job, through this system, would be justified by God. But Job had a problem and that was that he justified himself before God (see Job 32:2 NASB). Of all the sins that men commit self-righteousness is indefensible. God cannot defend one who is confident in his own righteousness against the accusations of Satan. Instead of God justifying Job in the coming Messiah, Job sought to justify himself before God. Thus Job was guilty of the sin of self-righteousness. What was God to do? He could only present Job perfect & blameless in the coming Messiah, of which the OT sacrificial system pointed. Yet Job clearly was in the bushiness of justifying himself. Thus Satan's accusation could not be legally ignored. The accusation: Job 1:9 “Is it for nothing that Job fears God? 10 Have you not made a hedge around him and his household and all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock have increased in the land. 11 But extend your hand and strike everything he has, and he will no doubt curse you to your face!” Satan's accusation was that Job was motivated, not by agape (see 1 Cor 13:5 NIV), but by selfishness. His accusation was that Job was with God for all the perks. Therefore all Job's good deeds were not selfless (i.e., sinless). Was Satan right? Yes. That's why God permitted Satan to test Job for the purpose of teaching him a valuable lesson. During this testing, did Job cave in and give up his faith in God? No, but he did learn a very valuable lesson. In the end Job no longer justified himself before God, rather God justified Job in the doing & dying of the coming Messiah. Job repented of his self-righteous attitude and, like the Apostle Paul, counted all his good works but dung. Thus Job repented and God fully restored him....
  15. AndThisGospel

    Saul and Samuel

    By escalating do you mean stop with the "warnings" or do you mean that I need to stop debating about the topic?

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