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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 thereselittleflower

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  1. thereselittleflower

    Is the Reformation over?

    I find that the statements from the Council of Trent are often misrepresented and misunderstood. I also don't understand what the post has to do with the question asked in the title. Is the reformation over? I think anyone looking at the results logically can see how fractured the reformation has made the body of Christ. The initial fractures and divisions have only multiplied exponentially over the last 600 years into 10's of thousands different denominations and groups all claiming to have the truth, all disagreeing on one or more points with each other even on basic doctrines such as how are we saved? Are we once saved always saved or can we lose our salvation? Is baptism needed for salvation? Can infants be baptized? What is the Lord's Supper. Do believers who die go to be immediately with the Lord or are they asleep? Etc, etc, etc. As scriptures state, a house divided cannot stand.
  2. I understand this is your opinion based on your personal interpretation of the scriptures. I simply disagree with that interpretation. I disagree with John Calvin. I believe he erred greatly in some matters. I disagree because of what I discovered in going deep into history. The Catholic Church interprets this passage in this manner because that is the teaching handed down by the Apostles they are following, not the other way around. The New Testament scriptures weren't written as a christianity 101, unlike the Old Testament Pentatuch which was a Judaism 101. Unlike the Old Testament instructions given in detail concerning Judaism, the New Testament provides no such detailed instruction template. Rather, the christians were taught verbally, had the foundations of the Christian faith laid down verbally, and the books of the New Testament were written to those who already believed, who had already been taught the fundamentals of the Christian faith. And so the purpose of these writings were not to lay the foundation of the christian faith, but to build upon them, to correct error, to exhort and encourage, to discipline. And that foundation was laid verbally, not in writing. And so, logically speaking, to properly interpret the scriptures, one must have the same foundation laid as the Apostles VERBALLY laid with the first century christians. This is what Paul refers to when he commands us to hold fast to the traditions christians were taught, verbally as well as in writing. Since the scriptures do not lay the foundation of christianity, but build on the foundation already laid by the Apostles verbally, logically then that foundation must be found in addition to scripture and laid by means other than scripture. This is all a matter of simple logic and God does not ask us to be illogical in our faith. Logically speaking this has nothing to do with whether or not the canon was complete. Nowhere do the scriptures claim to be the sum total of all the teachings of the Apostles both by writing and verbally. Nowhere do the scriptures claim to contain everything that the Apostles taught verbally. It is an assumption by protestants that they do, and an assumption the Catholic Church does not hold to. It is to this same foundation the Catholic Church holds and teaches, as commanded by Paul - hold fast to the traditions taught by the Apostles, verbally and in writing.
  3. Hi William. I hope it is permitted to make some comments on this list. One must be careful to clarify what one means by traditions and teaching, as this can lead to a great deal of confusion. In the Catholic Church there are two types of traditions. There is Sacred Tradition which is the teaching of the Church, so Sacred Tradition and teachings/docrines/dogmas are one and the same thing. These never change. These are the Deposit of faith - the All Truth promised by Jesus to the Apostles that they would be led into by the Holy Spirit, which was deposited with the Church. These are the Traditions Paul refers to when he states in scripture: 2 Thessalonians 2 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. then there are Ecclesial traditions which are changeable and deal with practices, not teaching. The reason the Catholic Church holds that Sacred Tradition, the Deposit of faith given the Church by the Apostles is authoritative along with scripture is because the Apostles taught this was so, as evidenced by Paul's words in scripture above. There are other statements made about what the Catholic Church believes that put a slant on those beliefs that make them appear to be something other than they really are. I don't have time right now to go over those as well, but perhaps later I can.
  4. thereselittleflower

    A credobaptist’s response to a paedobaptism article

    I think it proved the philistines did not practice circumcision, but cultures other than the Jewish culture practiced circumcision. The Egyptians practice circumcision before 5000 BC for instance.
  5. thereselittleflower

    How to get into heaven?

    To get into heaven, one must die in the friendship of God. Every present moment is where we touch eternity, for it is in each present moment we could enter eternity. At that moment, if we are in the friendship of God when we leave this world, heaven is assured us. To ensure, in that moment, we are in the friendship of God, all we need do is live every present moment in God's friendship. To live every present moment in God's friendship, all we need be is converted to God in each present moment, Not all sin is the same. There is sin unto death and sin not unto death. Sin not unto death does not break our fellowship with God, though it impairs it. Sin unto death breaks our fellowship with God, removes us from this friendship, which is restored when we repent and seek God's forgiveness. God's grace is abundant towards us. He is always waiting to forgive us. As we walk this path, this is the path of our sanctification. When we fall, all we need to is repent, turn from our sin, and continue. It does not mean we won't fall again. Jesus fell as He was carrying His cross. Jesus fell three times. Jesus said that those who follow Him must deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Him. Why do we think we won't fall while we carry ours? And as God sent Simon to help Jesus carry His cross, so God sends us help as well, for Christ helps us carry our cross.
  6. thereselittleflower

    The Rapture

    The commandment is thou shalt not murder. The word translated "kill" is very specific for murder or unjust killing. It does not include all killing, just murder. As we see, many translations use "murder" instead of "kill" : Exodus 20:13 Parallel Verses New International Version "You shall not murder. New Living Translation "You must not murder. English Standard Version “You shall not murder. New American Standard Bible "You shall not murder. King James Bible Thou shalt not kill. Holman Christian Standard Bible Do not murder. International Standard Version "You are not to commit murder. NET Bible "You shall not murder. GOD'S WORD® Translation "Never murder. JPS Tanakh 1917 Thou shalt not murder. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. New American Standard 1977 “You shall not murder. Jubilee Bible 2000 Thou shalt not murder. King James 2000 Bible You shall not kill. American King James Version You shall not kill. American Standard Version Thou shalt not kill. Douay-Rheims Bible Thou shalt not kill. Darby Bible Translation Thou shalt not kill. English Revised Version Thou shalt do no murder. Webster's Bible Translation Thou shalt not kill. World English Bible "You shall not murder. Young's Literal Translation 'Thou dost not murder.
  7. thereselittleflower

    The Rapture

    Well I think we have a different idea of what this means.
  8. thereselittleflower

    Guatemala Elects Conservative Christian President

    I hope this works out well for them, though just because someone claims the "christian" label, this does not mean what we may want it to mean: On the campaign trail, Morales described himself in interviews as a “Christian Nationalist,” though he downplayed the associations that term has with Hitler’s Third Reich, and arguing that religion and patriotism are the only things that bind Guatemala’s geographically and ethnically diverse population. Opponents pointed to that label along with the conservative former military commanders that fuel his political base. Those former soldiers participated on the government side of a brutal civil war that led to widespread human rights abuses, and mass killings that Morales has said cannot be considered genocide. This does not bode well. Mandate To Rule? “With this vote you made me president,” Morales said in a televised victory announcement on Sunday. “I have received a mandate, and the mandate of the people of Guatemala is to fight against the corruption that has consumed us.” How strong is that mandate, and does it extend past political reform? Voter apathy was at a 15-year high on Sunday as nearly 50 percent of the electorate stayed home, likely due to a combination of intense rains , dissatisfaction with the political process and a sense that Torres didn’t stand a chance. http://www.latintimes.com/jimmy-morales-guatemalas-next-president-self-styled-christian-nationalist-349737
  9. thereselittleflower

    The Lord Has Already Given Three Opportunities

    There is a certain group of people I run into who act, and say things, just like this. . . . sigh.
  10. thereselittleflower

    The Lord Has Already Given Three Opportunities

    Indeed, in fact Paul told Timothy to take some wine for his stomach ailment.
  11. In this life, except for the unforgivable sin, we can always come back to Christ.
  12. thereselittleflower

    Baptism is a Sign and a Seal

    I understand and no offense taken I assure you. :)
  13. thereselittleflower

    Baptism is a Sign and a Seal

    It seems to me your view is focused on man's ability to act, and mine is on man's ability to choose, but I do not believe these are the same issue. The way I look at free will is this: Man was created in God's image with free will. Our higher aspects of our soul, our spiritual aspects - the part of our soul that relates to the spiritual realm, which includes our will, conscience, and intellect, were created to be in perfect control of our being. Our lower aspects of our soul, the aspects that relate to our physical body and the world around us, our physical and sensual desires, etc, were in complete and perfect subjection to the higher, spiritual aspects of our soul. And so all was in perfect balance. In the fall our human nature was wounded. This wounding upset this balance and control, and our higher aspects of our soul became dominated by our lower aspects, and the carnal powers of our soul dominate as a result of the fall, giving rise to actual sin. So I agree, we are not free to act according to our wills. But does that mean we do not have free will? I don't think so. I think it means we are so wounded our will lacks the power to fully control our desires and actions, but we are still free to choose, even if we are powerless to act on those choices apart from God's grace I find Paul speaks to this: Romans 7 14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin . 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do , but I am doing the very thing I hate . 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do , I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good . 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me . 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not . 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good . 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man , 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God , but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. According to how I understand Paul above, the issue of our will and the issue of our actions are two separate issues. Also, the ability of our wills to choose to act for good according to is determined by how our conscience is formed. If our conscience is formed properly, we know the proper way to act and are free to choose with our will to act accordingly, but this does not we have the power to act according to the dictates of our will because of sin and the power of sin, and the power it gives our carnal desires. However, if we will to go the opposite direction from God, if we choose to reject God, we will find all sorts of help and empowerment from our lower nature to do so. It is by the grace of God we do not make such a choice. But God does not want stepford wives. I believe it is dangerous to presume upon God's grace as though there is nothing we can do to remove ourselves from it, and this is why the Apostle Paul tells us to work out our own salvation in fear and trembling. Phl 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; The words fear and trembling are very strong words in the Greek. " Fear " is φόβος phóbos, fob'-os; from a primary φέβομαι phébomai (to be put in fear); alarm or fright:—be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror. fear, dread, terror that which strikes terror " Trembling " is τρόμος trómos, trom'-os; from G5141; a "trembling", i.e. quaking with fear:—+ tremble(-ing). a trembling or quaking with fear with fear and trembling, used to describe the anxiety of one who distrusts his ability completely to meet all requirements, but religiously does his utmost to fulfil his duty What need would there be to working out our own salvation with fear, dread, terror and trembling, quaking with fear if we are assured our final salvation anyway? I know I have said this before, but rather than seeing salvation as a one time event, I understand it to be a process, and this is what I find in scriptures about salvation - it is a path we start on with our initial salvation, it is path we continue on in our sanctification, our theosis (the ancient Greek term for our sanctification), and it is the gift we receive in it's fullness, our final salvation, when we leave this world in the friendship of God: Q : "Are you Saved?" * * * * A : "As the Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8) , I’m also being saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12) , and I have the hope that I will be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15) . Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) , with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13) ." Whether we stay on that path is not something God will force on us, but will give us ample Grace to ensure we are empowered to do so according to our choice - but will never force us to. There is only one way I know to ensure our final salvation for at any moment our lives may be required of us; and that is to live in the friendship of God every present moment, for the present moment is all we have and the present moment is where we touch eternity.
  14. thereselittleflower

    Why the world has still not been evangelized

    You are asking a loaded question my friend.
  15. thereselittleflower


    Hi there, and welcome, though I myself am still quite new here. I do remember scripture states we have one High Priest, and that is Jesus Christ.

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