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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 voltape

  1. voltape

    Mary: the biblical woman behind the cultural legend

    You ask: "If God just spared Mary from original sin, what was the need?" - the need is obvious. God incarnate required the absolutely very best. As was the Ark of the Covenant or the holy vessels of the Temple - all has to be of the purest quality. That story about Noah's ark is not applicable. The ark was not for God to dwell in, but Noah and his family and the animals. A reasonably confortable place would have done the job.
  2. voltape

    Mary: the biblical woman behind the cultural legend

    BECKY - Right, but then there is the problem that nowhere in the Bible says Mary was a sinner – you have to deduct it from verses such as “all have sinned… fall short from God’s grace”. But it is a general rule. And the Bible says general rules sometimes have exceptions. As the case of Esther. She had grace, as she was the queen. And she pleased him. And she was “highly favored” such as to become the exception of the rule which was applicable to everybody. A king can change even the sternest of rules. So much so the King of Kings highly favored Mary excepting her from the original sin, to afford His Son the purest, immaculate womb for His incarnation. So, God elected Mary among all women because God in his infinite power and wisdom so decided. Mary, as God’s elect to become the mother of God the Son, needed to be absolutely perfect. She could not be tarnished by sin. God bless.
  3. voltape

    Mary: the biblical woman behind the cultural legend

    John 1:16 - Grace upon grace. Mary had the grace that Almighty God wishes to give all of us; but to receive the highest honour a woman could have received a sublime, greater, special grace was needed (particularly to be spared from original sin, as Queen Esther was spared her life). Both Esther pleased her earthly King and Mary pleased her heavenly King.
  4. voltape

    Mary: the biblical woman behind the cultural legend

    ASWERS BECKY – Hi, Becky- you say: “How far back would you be willing to take the idea of preservation from the original sin, her parents, grandparents etc.” My answer: no need to take anything back – Mary herself was exempt from original sin by a special grace of God, to prepare a sinless womb apt to receive God the Son. Esther 5,2 “when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand”. Nobody could dare appear before the king, yet Esther entered. And Esther became one –the only exception- to be spared. Esther prefigurates Mary. Mary was the only exception- to be spared from original sin.
  5. voltape

    Mary: the biblical woman behind the cultural legend

    “Mary was a sinner in need of a Savior” – This intrigues me: would the Son of God (God in His own right) incarnate in a sinner? Would Moses to build the Ark for the presence of God the Father use recycled material? Low quality wood? Weren’t the Holy Vessels of the purest gold? I’m not trying to defend the Roman Catholic tenet but I think it is quite reasonable that Mary who would shelter God the Son in her womb was preserved from original sin, to be the “immaculate” repository of God.
  6. voltape

    Mary: the biblical woman behind the cultural legend

    and that she was married to Joseph
  7. voltape


    My first intervention: I am a newcomer and pray for illumination. Today, December 5, 2018 is my 54th anniversary of marriage – (I am 83 and my wife 77) I suddenly felt I needed to put an order in my spiritual life – it’s all in disarray. I am from Lima, Peru. As in most Roman Catholic countries, everybody is– let’s call it by default – Catholic, so you are baptised, confirmed, go to confession, make your first communion and go to Mass for some years and finally put it off. Masses are so void. Vatican Council II imparted a new liveliness to the musty medieval Mass but of course priests don’t take advantage of it – there is now one lesson from the old Testament – A psalm – a reading from the New Testament and finally the Gospel. They are all related among them. With such material, a protestant pastor would deliver a magnificent sermon, but priests prefer to bore parishioners with talks about general matters for about 15 minutes. Add to this that loudspeakers are not efficient in most churches and you can hardly hear! For some months now I’m trying to find a spiritual path that will satisfy my spiritual yearnings. About 30 years ago I used to visit the Christian and Missionary Alliance with my teen age son and daughter. We three received Jesus there but somehow we stopped going. Now we are sort of deists. Please help me.

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