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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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William

What's wrong with you Pelagians!?

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    • Evangelism Must Explain What’s Wrong with the World

      People around us today often scoff at the notion of sin. Our world has new names for what ails us: poor self-esteem, neurosis, addiction, anxiety, psychological wounding, and so forth. It isn’t that these issues aren’t a reality; it’s that such analysis doesn’t go deep enough to reveal the root cause. Yet for all the protest that sin is an old-fashioned, outdated concept, nearly everyone agrees that something has gone terribly wrong and must be made right. We see the wrong in world wars, racism, genocides, terrorism, human trafficking, exploitation of children—and in our own personal battles evidenced in broken relationships, anger, addictions, and on and on. What happened that caused our planet to go from paradise to our present brokenness? And how can this explanation be good news for our unbelieving neighbors? First Rebellion In Genesis 3, we discover that, though Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, they rejected God’s rule and chose to be self-ruled when they disobeyed God’s command not to eat the fruit of that tree. As a result, sin entered the human race: there’s now no area of human personhood not infected by sin—even though we still reflect, however dimly, the image of God in which each human being is made. But the perfection God had established was broken, and human beings have been in the grip of sin ever since, as Genesis 4–11 so chillingly describes. Sin is such an all-inclusive reality that Paul says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Like Adam and Eve, all humans have chosen self-rule instead of God-rule. That means that everything we see around us and in us that’s so tragically wrong—natural disasters, famine, genocides, and all forms of personal brokenness—can be traced back to the time when humans first rebelled against God. Into that garden came the evil Serpent, whom Revelation identifies as “that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan” (Rev. 20:2). The Bible reveals the reality of Satan and other supernatural beings who have rebelled against God and who do their best to tempt human beings to sin. Although the Bible reveals various forms of evil—such as corporate, systemic evil or Satan and his demons—the Bible is clear that at the heart of sin is personal rebellion against God. Wages of Sin Over dinner, a skeptic psychiatrist friend described the typical problems that drive people to seek her help. Then she said, “But you’re a Christian, so you think the problem is that we’re all sinners!” I asked what she thought the biblical understanding of sin was, and she answered, “Oh, something along the lines of drugs, sex, and rock ’n roll?” What my friend didn’t grasp is that from the biblical perspective, sin at its core isn’t just misdeeds. The Bible locates sin at the very center of human personality. Sin could be described as having a God-complex: we get ourselves and God mixed up! We live as if we’re in charge. Sin is actually twofold: it’s the deliberate refusal to trust and worship God as God, and it’s the prideful claim to insist on the right to run our lives. Sin is both unbelief and idolatry, as we try to create meaning and identity by depending on things other than God. Biblically speaking, sin is always against God. That’s why we can’t understand sin’s true meaning without understanding that sin, first and foremost, is rebellion against a righteous God. What was the final outcome of human disobedience to God? When Adam and Eve turned away from God in rebellion, God declared to them his righteous judgment, just as he had promised. Suffering and death fell on the human race. The consequence of Adam and Eve’s rebellion was disastrous: the human race became catastrophically separated from the eternal love of God. The perfect trust and warm, intimate friendship they had enjoyed with God and with each other were destroyed; they lived instead under his judgment of death. God’s presence was removed and human beings experienced a spiritual separation from God they had never known. The predicament of fallen humanity is so serious, so grave, and so desperately wrong from within and without, that it’s beyond human ability to fix. Think about it: Can fallen human beings change the intrinsic structure of our sinful nature and remake our natures from the inside? Can we defeat Satan? Do we have the power to conquer death? Clearly we do not! Who then has the power to deliver and rescue us? Who can take what is so terribly wrong and make it right? Obviously, only a power that is stronger than ourselves can help us overcome ourselves. Nothing short of divine intervention can rectify our situation. Hope for the Broken We glimpse this divine intervention even in the garden of Eden. Although God banished Adam and Eve from the garden, he didn’t stop loving them, as we see when he tenderly made them better clothes than what they’d made for themselves, to protect them once they were outside the garden. Most important, in Genesis 3:14–15, God declares war on the serpent (Satan) and says that the offspring of the woman will crush the serpent’s head. The whole rest of the Old Testament points toward the coming of that promised offspring who would finally defeat Satan: Jesus the Savior, born of a woman named Mary. God will not allow the Enemy’s plan to harm his plan. This is the first promise of the gospel. The Bible reveals that before the beginning of time and the human revolt, God had already decided on his plan of how to rescue the planet that had turned from him (Titus 1:2; Eph. 3:11). He would send a Redeemer, Christ Jesus the divine Son of God, who would endure suffering and death in order to bring sinners back to God. Even in human rebellion, we see the promise of God’s grace. The good news of the gospel is that sin and judgment weren’t the end of the story! Though God owed us nothing, in his mercy and grace he sent his divine Son from heaven on a rescue mission to redeem a people for himself and to restore everything under Christ—“to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Eph. 1:10). Jesus now commands all believers to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). When we see the beauty and glory of the gospel, the victory won by the Son of God on our behalf and in our place, and the cosmic significance of all that Christ has accomplished, how can we possibly remain silent and keep this glorious news to ourselves? View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Ohio Hospital Fires Antisemitic Doctor Who Said She’d Give Jews The Wrong Medication

      By Joshua Gill - An Ohio hospital announced Monday that it had fired a doctor for making anti-Semitic comments and promising to give Jewish patients the wrong medication. The Cleveland Clinic said in its statement that Lara Kollab, 27, who worked at the clinic from July to September 2018, had a history of making violently anti-Semitic comments on social media and that her beliefs conflicted with those of the clinic. An online compilation of Kollab’s tweets showed that she often referred to Jews as “dogs,” invoked Allah to kill them, and denigrated both Israel and the U.S. “Cleveland Clinic was recently made aware of comments posted to social media by a former employee,” the hospital’s Monday statement reads. “This individual was employed as a supervised resident at our hospital from July to September 2018. She is no longer working at Cleveland Clinic. In no way do these beliefs reflect those of our organization. We fully embrace diversity, inclusion and a culture of safety and respect across our entire health system,” the statement adds. Kollab has since deleted her tweets, but Canary Mission, a website devoted to exposing those who openly support antisemitism or terrorist organizations, compiled, translated, and took screenshots of some of them. They show calls for violence against the Jews, claims that the Holocaust is exaggerated, and open support for terrorists. She also reportedly tweeted: “@ShabanSalya Allah yo5od el yahood 3ashan enbattel nettar nroo7 3nd hel wes5een -___- [May Allah take back (end the lives) of the Jews so we stop being forced to go to those unclean ones].” “shoof, ah 7efa 7elwe bes 7efa kolha yahood klab w looks like America, ya3ni wasn’t that special to me [look, Haifa is sweet (nice), but it’s full of Jewish dogs, and it looks like America, meaning, it wasn’t that special to me].” “I don’t mean to sound insensitive but I have a REALLY hard time feeling bad about Holocaust seeing as the ppl who were in it now kill my ppl.” She also reportedly tweeted in praise of terrorists like Khader Adnan, a senior member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. “#KhaderAdnan is dying so we can live. #Palestine #KhaderExists,” Kollab wrote. Kollab also expressed support for the Palestine Right to Return Coalition and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israeli businesses. Strangely, Kollab graduated from Touro College Of Osteopathic Medicine with a D.O. in 2018, which is an expressly Jewish Orthodox institution. While Kollab is no longer employed at the hospital, her medical license is still active until 2021, according to Cleveland 19 News. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] Ohio Hospital Fires Antisemitic Doctor Who Said She’d Give Jews The Wrong Medication is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article

      in Political Conservative News

    • Well, they are not entirely wrong.

      Alabama police department blames crimes on rejection of God WWW.FOXNEWS.COM A rural Alabama police department that used social media to scold community members for rejecting God is coming under fire from a group that opposes mixing government and religious faith.     What is also remarkable is how the anti-religious group misses the point of separation of church and state.

      in Political Conservative News

    • Wrong words defile our hearts, then we can’t see God and all is impure!

      Wrong words defile our hearts, then we can’t see God and all is impure!   God speaks often about the crucial role of our words – how our salvation hinges on them,   Matt 15:11 (Jesus) Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man (or woman); but what comes out of the mouth (our words), this defiles a man. Prov 13:3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips will have destruction. Matt 12:37 (Jesus) For by your words you will be justified (regarded as innocent) and by your words you will be condemned (regarded as guilty). NKJV 12:37 Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation. MSGE Rom 10:10 ...It is by confessing with your mouth (and believing in your heart God’s words) that you are saved. NLT   What kind of words defile us, when we speak them, and instantly separate us from God?   ANGER - Cease from anger, and forsake wrath... Ps 37:8 …the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God… Jam 1:19 IMPATIENCE - For you have need of patience... Heb 10:36 by the, …Spirit of…patience… Gal 5:22 PRIDE - Love is very patient and...never boastful or proud, 1 Cor 13:4 TLB Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God 1 Pe 5:6 DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD - ...That you did not obey My voice. Jer 22:21 LYING - Do not lie to one another... Col 3:9 COVERING UP SIN - He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Prov 28:13 COMPLAINING - Nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 1 Cor 10:10 Do all things without complaining and disputing, Phil 2:14 UN-FORGIVENESS - For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matt 6:14 ENVY - ...Envy is rottenness to the bones. Prov 14:30 RETALIATION - Not returning evil for evil or reviling (bad mouthing) for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing 1 Pe 3:9 FLATTERY - (False praise for an ulterior motive) ...With flattering lips and a double heart they speak. Ps 12:2 SELFISHNESS - Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil 2:4   What happens to us the moment we speak words like these that we shouldn’t speak?   Matt 15:11 (Jesus) Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth (our words), this defiles a man. Titus 1:15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure...(everything around us will now seem negative) Matt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (the impure in heart who have been defiled by their words, can no longer perceive God in the Bible) Prov 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it, for death (separation from God) or life (in God). AMP   Unless we allow the Father of righteous words, “All the words of My mouth are righteous” Prov 8:8, to train our lips, to give us the tongue of the learned, our words will constantly fall into one or more of the above categories. We may wonder why we never see God the way some other Christians do. It’s because we pridefully keep control, and decide for ourselves what comes out of our mouth, and in so doing we stay defiled and separated from God by our words. Our own self generated, and influenced by Satan words will condemn us in the Day of Judgment unless we get right with God and allow Him to change us by His Life giving words, so that we stop defiling ourselves.     What role does Satan play in inducing us to speak wrong words? Bigger than we know:   Satan, who is the father of wrong words, “father of lies.” Jn 8:44, wants us to defile our hearts and separate us from God. He or his demons will attempt to feed lying thoughts into our thought lives. Fiery dart thoughts in one or more of the subject areas listed above, to get us to defile ourselves, and potentially defile others:   Ps 39:1 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. KJV James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity...it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell (Satan and his demons). Prov 17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one lets out water (wrong words): therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with (by Satan). KJV 2 Cor 2:11 Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices (his thoughts – we are to recognize this stranger’s voice and shun it).   Are we all alone in this conflict? Not at all "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 2 Kings 6:16. Who are those with us? God’s Angels, provided we are living in Christ: “Because you have made the LORD...your dwelling place, For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways”. Ps 91:9-10 and “Because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” 1 Jo 4:4.   What do we need to do to insure that we don’t speak wrong words which greatly harm us?   We refuse to be deceived any longer about the enormous significance of our words:   James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless. Prov 13:3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.   We make it our purpose to never speak words we know to be evil:   Ps 17:3 ...I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.   We look to God in child like faith to alert us and preserve us from damaging words:   Ps 141:3 Set a guard O Lord over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. 2 Thess 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one (Satan with his thought suggestions of wrong words to speak).   We reserve our lips for giving God praise and thanks and for speaking His words:   Ps 71:8 Let my mouth be filled with Your praise And with Your glory all the day. Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 4:29 ...Grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word   We agree that God has ordained that we praise Him, to silence our spiritual enemies:   Matt 21:16 (Jesus) From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise Ps 8:2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. NIV   We desire God to keep changing us, by His words and Spirit, to make us Christ-like in heart, and free us from our flesh with its wrong words - often induced by Satan:   2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face (heart), beholding as in a mirror (God’s words) the glory of the Lord (Jesus) are being transformed into the same image (of Christ) from glory to glory (line upon line, verse upon verse), just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man (including our mouth under the control of our sin nature) was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.   We value and believe, maybe for the first time, the words of God about our words.   John 12:48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him - the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. James 1:21-22 So...humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don't obey, you are only fooling yourself. NLT 3   If we are willing to see our need for our heavenly Father to be the Lord of our lips, and present our mouth a living sacrifice to Him, He will work in us to speak His words! Amen

      in Devotionals

    • Twitter Bans Labeling Transgender Persons by Wrong Pronoun, Name

      Twitter changed its terms of services in late November to ban criticism of transgender people, although conservatives say the move squashes debate on the issue. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

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