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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.

Michael

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  1. Michael

    Works Righteousness

    There is no point in being argumentative, and it should be beneath us to call each other names. After reading all your arguments against me I remain convinced I am right. I believe there is a gospel of righteousness (1Pe 2:24/Mt 6:10-11/Mt 5-20) not being preached in the Christian community. The Saint's are defined as those who "Keep (does not imply perfection) the Commandments of God AND have faith (his blood covers our imperfections) in the Christ". Revelation 14:12 Keeping God's commandments is not legalism, it is sanctification. We begin our sanctification race at baptism (Heb 12:1-3/1Cor 9:24) The goal of the race is to achieve the first resurrection, and our inheritance as a royal priest (1Pe 2:19/ Rev1:6/5:10/5:20) in the kingdom of God. (Rev 20:5) Christians practicing lawlessness will not be in the kingdom (Mt 22:16/Gal 5:21) This gospel of the kingdom solves the age old arguments between those who insist on law for salvation verses those who have a free gift of grace view of salvation. To get into the kingdom one must grow in sanctification and works of righteousness as well as being covered by grace, whereas the confession of the name of Jesus and the belief he has been resurrected is sufficient for eternal life. (Romans 10:9) I believe the revelation of the gospel of the kingdom has important implications for these times in which we live. (Mt 24:42-44/ Mt25:10-13)
  2. Michael

    Works Righteousness

    We have discussed the topic of the rich young ruler in Mathew 10:17-27. William have you noticed in that scripture that the Lord was speaking about a specific period of time he called the kingdom of God, but the apostles asked a different question than what Jesus was speaking about. The apostle's asked, "then who can be saved?", whereas Jesus was referring to "completeness" or, works in righteousness to enter the kingdom of God. Which would mean of course that some aspect of an individuals salvation requires works in righteousness to achieve the goal and the prize that Paul so cherished- the first resurrection as an eternal priest/priestess in the kingdom of God. I would also refer you to Mathew 11:11-12. If the kingdom of heaven signifies the same thing as eternal life or salvation there is a very peculiar remark in this scripture. Please explain how "forceful men" many translations read "violent men" might lay hold of salvation? Have you noticed that in every instance in the New Testament when Paul talks about the "son's of disobedience" practicing lawlessness, he warns them they will not be involved in a specific period of time called the kingdom of God. The fact is the entire Christian world has misinterpreted the gospel, the Bible can not contradict itself because God can not lie.
  3. Michael

    Works Righteousness

    So what you are saying Knotical, is that we can do whatever we please. Murder, rape, and steal..of course not, but that is where your logic leads.
  4. Michael

    Works Righteousness

    TO Knotical: John 3:16 / Romans 10:8-10. If I am not mistaken, one has to confess Jesus at his baptism. Salvation by faith is our free gift, and the doctrine being taught in most of Christianity. However, the definition for sanctification in Webster's is: The process of growing in the Divine Grace of God as a result of our commitment at baptism or conversion. So is salvation achieved through works! It can't be if it is a free gift. Clearly; the Bible either contradicts itself on an issue of central importance or the Christian community has misinterpreted the Bible.
  5. Michael

    Works Righteousness

    However we can not have our doctrine both ways. Either salvation is a FREE gift of God, Or there are works of righteousness required to "maintain" salvation (I doubt seriously that one would go to the trouble to be baptized by submersion if he were not serious about his belief in the Christ), Or the third possibility, the Christian community has misinterpreted the gospel.
  6. Michael

    Works Righteousness

    I am familiar with the doctrine of the free gift of unmerited grace pervasive in the Christian community. Let's say that I am a homosexual. I have been baptized by submersion, and received Christ as my Savior. However, after a few years I started a Bi-sexual lifestyle cheating on my wife, and then I died suddenly. If there are no "works" to salvation, I have no problem getting into heaven; right?
  7. Michael

    Works Righteousness

    I don't see them as "violent", but they are scriptures which indicate that Paul was running, beating his body, afraid of being "disqualified" for his salvation. That is a doctrine of works for salvation! So I say again, the Bible either contradicts itself on an issue of central importance (salvation by Grace through faith) or the Christian community has made a serious error in how they interpret and teach the gospel.
  8. Michael

    Works Righteousness

    @Michael The scripture in Mark is an add on to my original question. I agree "unifying" was a bad choice of words, so let's agree that salvation by the free gift of grace is the one doctrine most of the Christian community has in common. Paul, (the apostle most associated with the doctrine of Grace through faith) either contradicts himself, or the Christian community has made a serious error in how it has interpreted the gospel, for hundreds of years. Jesus also indirectly refers to "works"when he states it's nearly impossible for a rich man (could be a Christian) to enter the kingdom.
  9. Michael

    Works Righteousness

    @Michael1Corinthians 9:24, Philippians 3:12-14 to name two, in any event, if the doctrine of Grace is a free gift; why would it be nearly impossible for a rich Christian to be in the kingdom?
  10. The one unifying doctrine of the Christian community in all its many divisions is the doctrine of the "free" gift of grace through faith for salvation. However, Paul describes himself in Philippians and Corinthians as running, fighting, beating his body, and in fear of being disqualified. So either the Bible contradicts itself or the Christian community has made a serious error in how they interpret and teach the gospel. Either way, it's an incredible new revelation for either the world, or the church, and perhaps both.
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