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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 Scoche

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  1. Scoche

    Am I the only one that condones abortion?

    Hey William, no apology necessary (smiles). Assuming you are speaking of a believer/politician. I can only say what I would feel compelled to do and that would be to consistently push legislation that reversed the law currently in place. If asked to uphold that law, as a sworn agent of the established authority I could do no less. If in doing so at any particular time or circumstance I felt I was going against spiritual conviction, I would feel morally and ethically compelled to resign my position.
  2. Scoche

    Am I the only one that condones abortion?

    I think we're wandering a bit outside the thread, but it's your forum so I'll follow your lead. What were the Babylonians, Persians and Rome but Tyrants? Yet by the same token God in His indignation used them to exact divine retribution upon a evil and adulterous nation. Though instituted as the governing authorities, were Caesar or his ilk any part of Israel? No. Yet Christ advised the Jews to "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's". For righteous or corrupt there is, as you aptly pointed out, "no authority except from God". Evil begets evil and so it is that (corporately) evil and adulterous people beget evil and adulterous rulers. Sin is it's own recompense. As the scriptures tell us: Therefore in my mind given the near complete and thorough corruption of a nation barely clinging to the mantra "under God" your question is rendered rather moot. Like Daniel, via the aid and direction of the Holy Spirit the redeemed must make every effort to be salt and light as captives in an overwhelmingly evil and adulterous kingdom.
  3. Scoche

    Am I the only one that condones abortion?

    As I see it it's not a matter of cruelty, it's a matter of spiritual discernment. Who decides if and when the act of taking a life is "justifiable"... institution or individual, man or God? For that matter, what about stealing? breaking a vow? dishonoring parents or civil disobedience? We are given many examples in the scriptures where there seem to be instructional caveats and quid pro quos to the immutable laws God presented to man. Yet can we simply cite and use these as a blanket justification for making decisions that are more often than not motivated, in whole or part, by the wisdom of our own conceit? (emphasis mine) In the interest of examination and discussion and without passing judgement for the decision that was ultimately made, I would contend that there are a myriad of plausible pro-life counterarguments to this seemingly iron-clad pro-abortion case in point. First off despite the fact there is probably an impressive amount of evidence to support the supposition that this child would have either died at birth or slowly and painfully thereafter, there are nearly always exceptions to such "rules". From a clinical standpoint, doctors are are not infallible and collectively their track record of misdiagnoses and inaccurate prognoses can neither be understated nor readily dismissed as inconsequential. Many a man and woman written off by such "conventional" wisdom lived and indeed live today despite a once grim, grave and/or seemingly irrefutable dire prognosis' Second, even if the child ultimately died, the scriptures plainly tell us there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. That ALL things, the good, bad and even the downright reprehensible, work together for good to those that are "the called" according to those divine purposes. This is what makes the believer's complete and total reliance on God's wisdom and understanding (and not our own) the quintessential element of our faith. (emphasis mine) We see only dimly now, through eyes veiled by the sin that does so easily beset our unredeemed flesh. Yet myopically we often point to what we contend, without irrefutable evidence, will most assuredly be needless suffering and reason that expediting the demise of that life is or would be both merciful and benevolent. However, suffering is a fact of life and an integral part of the communion of Saints. Consider how many were horribly and unspeakably persecuted, tortured and murdered in the name of Christ. Would it be more or less poignant a testimony if they died in less barbaric a fashion such as lethal injection? No doubt many of you would argue the slow, painful death of an infant and the inhuman martyrdom of a Saint are not related... but there is a connection. Both suffer and physically die under the same creator and by divine design, will and purpose. We just can't always readily see that purpose. How the parents, family, doctors, nurses or others might have conducted themselves under the stress and strain of a pro-life decision could have become a testimony to others. Perhaps a miracle might have been ushered in by the intercessory prayers and petitions of the righteous. Perhaps something less direct and not as easily quantifiable but no less important to the plan, who knows? God. Our lives, actions, choices, times and seasons are all woven together in the intricate tapestry of God's grand design. Thus our need of a Savior, Advocate, Intercessor, High Priest and Guide is an imperative not a prerogative we exercise if and only when it suits us. For we were bought with a precious price and are not our own.
  4. Hey William, Apologies. My message kept truncating after the quote. Not sure why.
  5. James 3:13-18 Who is wise and understanding among you? let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth. This wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace.
  6. John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me.
  7. Excerpt from the article: "Slowly but surely, these deceived Christians are allowing a teaching to affect them that flatly contradicts the teachings of Jesus, the Apostle Paul, and the entire canon of Scriptures: that Christ followers are called to suffer. Turning hearts away from the hope found only in Jesus Christ, Joel Osteen is dangling the shiny false salvation of earthly prosperity in the eyes of people who are hurting." AGREED! Prosperity doctrine is one of the most prevalent and INSIDIOUS heresies that are permeating the Christian faith today! FACT: If you have a roof overhead, get 3 squares a day you are RICHER than 75% of the WORLD!! "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." - Mark 10:25 While it is indeed true that we cannot "out-give God", He blesses us so that we may bless OTHERS! Contrastingly prosperity doctrine would have us believe we should tear down our barns and build bigger ones to heap that treasure up unto ourselves! Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” - Luke 12:15 "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." - Luke 16:13 The more we divest ourselves of the idols of self and possessions the more we open our hearts to receive a richer and fuller Faith. In turn in giving of our ALL not our SUBSTANCE we store up treasure in Heaven where our heart and TRUE and EVERLASTING inheritance lie!! "Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?" - James 2:5 "Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys." - Luke 12:33 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." - Hebrews 13:5 Sacrifice, suffering and persecution are the vestments a TRUE follower of Christ puts on. For the servant is not greater than the master. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. - 2Ti 3:12-13 "Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me." - John 15:20-22
  8. 😎 2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love.
  9. Scoche

    Am I the only one that condones abortion?

    Taking "precautions" is not germane to the issue of whether or not you were entitled to take the life of an innocent human being. The long and the short of it is you took a calculated risk and failed... ... You seek to justify your decision by contending there was a good chance the baby would face a fate worse than death in the hands of "the system". Statistically speaking you had a greater chance of getting pregnant than that child had of being destroyed by adoptive parents or foster care. What's more, you could have played an integral part in making sure your baby was adopted by a Christian family. Granted even this would not necessarily have insured that the unborn child wouldn't suffer, but as far as suffering goes, it's an unavoidable part of life. In the fellowship of suffering we are given the opportunity to cultivate deeper empathy and compassion for our neighbor. Philippians 3:10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; I'm not casting stones. The fullness of forgiveness and grace are yours for the asking. To be clear what I take issue with is your justification of an injustice... one of the most grievous of trespasses one can perpetrate against a neighbor. When we repent we recognize and "turn from" our sin. Your answer not only says you'd do nothing different if presented with the same "luck of the draw", it tells others they are and/or would be justified doing the same. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance; for ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, [a repentance] which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
  10. I do very much appreciate and stand in agreement with a great many things Sproul says and espouses. However I do believe with every fiber of my being that the Word of God is a very living and active extension of a very living and active God... which is what gives it such inexplicable and, for lack of a better word "mysterious" transformative powers. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. Does that mean I'm contending that its doctrines, tenets and precepts not be "rightly divided", contextually considered and prayerfully meditated upon? Perish the thought!! However I think it's painfully self-evident that just as many (if indeed not more) theologians, scholars and laypeople alike have historically tended to try and rigidly define the whole of scripture and, in the process, put a God whose "thoughts are not our thoughts and ways not our ways" in a proverbial box. Most seem to seek to achieve and promote a doctrinal form of godliness (Via the ordinances and "reformations" of their various denominations, factions and sects etc.) while at the same time steadfastly denying the mountain moving power of the Word of God (Believing "Signs" a great many claim "died" with the Apostolic church.) Mark 16:17 And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; 2 Timothy 3:5 holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power therefore. From these also turn away. I'm not trying to promulgate a "charismatic" theme. What I'm testifying to is simple; Prayer is how believers talk to God... Scripture is how God talks to believers... Those who diligently seek God with their whole heart, mind and soul not only find Him, they directly converse with and are taught by Him in and through prayer and His living and active Word. Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me.
  11. I tend to view myself much as the Apostle Paul did... As being "Chief among sinners" --the absolute WORST of transgressors. Scripture clearly tells us that entertaining lustful thoughts, even for a millisecond, is just as vile and reprehensible as doing the deed. (Matt 5:28). Thus to consider oneself as being "better" than AW on ANY level is, to me, both a dangerous supposition and a subconscious nod and wink to the hubris of our unredeemed flesh. Every human mind is reprobate and must be constantly transformed by the renewing power of God's Word and kept in check by the restraining power of the Holy Spirit until these "bodies of death" our Spirits groan and travail within receive their adoption/redemption. Romans 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
  12. Serpardum, Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. What matters most in my book is that one loves the Lord with all their heart mind and soul and their neighbor as themselves. I too am new and have had numerous "God Experiences" some on here might take issue with. Over the years I've learned there are certain subjective experiences that should neither be chronicled nor disseminated for mass consumption and consideration. Instead in this, as in all things, I've found it most profitable for all involved to defer to the Holy Spirit to provide the appropriate venue, audience and unction to share those experiences. Romans 14:22 The faith which thou hast, have thou to thyself before God. Happy is he that judgeth not himself in that which he approveth.

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