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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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ConfessionalLutheran

Law and Gospel

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The Law as ordained by God has three functions: #1: to serve as a curb on evil behavior, #2: to show us our sin and #3: after regeneration, to serve as a guide to that which pleases God. The law and Gospel must be kept separate. The Law is to convict one of sin and to terrify one before the richly deserved wrath of God. The Law urges repentance and shows us our own reflections as people dead in our trespasses, infected with Original Sin from the ground up and utterly helpless to respond to God. The teaching of the Law shows us our eternal guilt before the Lord. The Law can never be truly kept apart from a heart regenerated through the Holy Spirit, baptized, hearing the Word regularly and receiving the Sacraments regularly, for the forgiveness of sins and the bolstering of faith.

 

Once one's heart has been broken by the Law, once one has been driven to true contrition and repentance, one is then ready to hear the Gospel. The Gospel pronounces the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. One has faith that one's sins are indeed forgiven by God through the redemption won by Jesus on the Cross. Both aspects of God's Truth must be taught. Law and Gospel must be taught, for the awakening of the indolent to the reality of their sin and the comfort of the terrified, who must be brought to grace through the Means of Grace, the Word and Sacraments. Law and Gospel are both taught in the Holy Bible and they are both necessary for living a Christian life.

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      in Soteriology and Reformation Theology

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The money-changers are still in the temple, still making God’s name a mockery. This is an exact parallel of what Jesus did not do. He did not enter the ministry to make money. He did not work in the name of God to be popular and liked. He did not heal those who could do anything for him. Rather, he came to the physically and spiritually poor and made eucatastrophes of them all—not only addressing their bodies but, in many cases, saving their souls. He was not in it for himself; he was in it for the Father’s greater glory and the sinner’s true salvation. “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (John 17:4). Sadly, Christ’s name is invoked by “faith healers” like Hinn and others whose ministries don’t reflect him. Call Your Skeptical Friends American Gospel succeeds in its mission. It shows the spiritual and even eternal stakes of prosperity religion. It reveals the danger of allowing any endeavor, however virtuous on the surface, to seep into the preaching and application of the biblical gospel. The movie champions the true, saving gospel, and it unpacks this message with clarity and conviction. Here’s hoping many viewers will come across American Gospel on various streaming platforms (iTunes, Amazon, Vimeo), and that Christians will find opportunities to watch the film with unbelieving neighbors and friends. The prosperity “gospel” is a great foil by which to evangelize, for it is patently a sham to many outside of the church. A film like this could be a great apologetic for those with a skeptical bent, for example. Though nicely shot and edited, the film could be a bit tighter, and the summation of the gospel message takes some time to unfold. So many voices speaking to different issues can begin to send the brain whirling, though I did appreciate how Kimber mixes in Christian leaders both well known and also lesser known. 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      in Christian Current Events

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