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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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“As He Is”

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Once I discovered the use of the terms “position” and “condition” to help explain the Christians relation to God I quickly understood more specifically the status concerning fellowship with Him in Christ. Positionally, Christians are “as He is” (1 Jhn 4:17); Conditionally, we have a sin nature (Gal 5:17) and a “new “ nature (Eph 4:24; Col 3:10), but even though the sin nature yet affects us (cannot be avoided - Pro 6:27, 28), we are not desirous of it, e.g. not after or “in” the sin nature (Rom 8:9).


We still sin due to the sin nature but it’s “no longer I,” e.g. me in my new nature, “but sin that dwelleth in me,” e.g. me with my old nature - Rom 7:17, 20). This conflict reveals in our condition the infinite difference between sinning “willfully” (Heb 10:26; Num 15:30) or “unintentionally” (Num 15:24-29), which is all a manifestation of the Father’s “work in you” (Phil 2:13).


In our condition we still sin but much more importantly, in our position we stand “spotless” (Eph 5:27; 2 Pet 3:14). Where we are in our condition is what the Father uses to glorify Himself (Mat 5:16); Who we are in our position is with what He uses to fellowship. As it has been well said that, “God does not fellowship with our sin,” that is, not with us in our sin nature (though we’re not in our sin nature - Ron 8:9 - it is in us) but with us in our “new” nature, because it is after the Lord Jesus’ nature (Col 3:10).


Who we are in our new nature is all that the Father regards, thus we need not allow what we are in our sin nature and its affects to distract us in our understanding that it’s us in our position (Heb 1:3; 9:9, 14; 10:2, 22) with which He fellowships. What we are in our condition is used to teach us and to manifest Himself to ourselves and others.


May God give us to always remind ourselves of who we are in our position, more than what we might consider ourselves to be in our condition! One’s position is always vastly more significant than one’s condition! Similarly to the captivity of a king’s son; though restrained—yet a prince!

Bob Hall (NC)


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