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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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bcbsr

1Jn 2:9-11 Loving/Hating your brother

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Loving/Hating your brother

 

1Jn 2:9-11 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

 

One of the most fundamental evidences distinguishing children of God from children of the devil which John speaks of throughout his letter is the evidence as to how one treats fellow Christians. There are false brethren in the Christian community who distinguish themselves by their unjustified hatred for legitimate Christians. Though they claim to be enlightened, and though they even claim to love fellow Christians, such people are lying if their lifestyle is inconsistent with their claims.

 

The reasons why they hate legitimate Christians is much the same as to why the world hated Christ. For example Jesus said to his unbelieving brothers, "The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil." John 7:7 The most fundamental reason why false brethren hate legitimate Christians is because of sin. "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." John 3:19,20

 

Therefore, "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. ... But everything exposed by the light becomes visible" Eph 5:11,13 And by doing so you might just be able to distinguish genuine brethren from false brethren in your midst.

 

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Darkness can't abide light. But the light shouldn't be snuffed on account of the darkness. Last week I happened to eavesdrop on a conversation. Two women who were heading to a prayer meeting were talking about their friend. Their friend who was a Christian, I could tell from their conversation, was a hothead who loved insulting everyone who crossed her. One of the two women pointed out that this friend of theirs was no Christian and that she hated her. HATED HER. You can't love Jesus and hate any human who Jesus died for. Like Him even if someone may make it hard for us to love them, we shouldn't hate them. "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."

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Darkness can't abide light. But the light shouldn't be snuffed on account of the darkness. Last week I happened to eavesdrop on a conversation. Two women who were heading to a prayer meeting were talking about their friend. Their friend who was a Christian, I could tell from their conversation, was a hothead who loved insulting everyone who crossed her. One of the two women pointed out that this friend of theirs was no Christian and that she hated her. HATED HER. You can't love Jesus and hate any human who Jesus died for. Like Him even if someone may make it hard for us to love them, we shouldn't hate them. "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."

 

Hi Smithee,

 

Something to think about, the most overlooked, avoided, and denied attribute of God is His hatred of evil people. Don't be deceived because hatred of evil is a righteous attribute of God. Acceptance or accommodation of evil is an unrighteous attribute of Satan.

 

While I understand that your example was of a professing Christian, one common phrase in "Christian" circles is the "unconditional love" of God. False-teaching pastors tell unrepentant, unbelieving evil people that God loves them unconditionally. People with a prison ministry often tell inmates on death row that God loves them. People tell convicted rapists that God loves them. People tell homosexuals and lesbians that God loves them. They say that God hates the sin but loves the sinner. These statements are all false doctrines not supported by Scripture. One cannot understand the awesome love, grace, mercy, and holiness of God while rejecting His jealousy, wrath, anger, hatred, and justice. Though certainly whether God demonstrates Mercy or Justice, Grace or Wrath, the Saints shall praise Him.

 

My point being is there should be discernment Romans 16:17-18; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 1:10-11. Having said this, and as bcbsr suggested, many Christians become quite irate towards those false teachers, prophets, and professors of Jesus or Christianity. I think it important to understand David's statement in Psalm 139:22, and to be aware of the enemy that sometimes comes into our midst, within our walls, which makes them twice as dangerous because they're professing to be Christian, not only misleading others as hypocrites, but damning others in doctrine.

  • Psalm 139 20 They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22 I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.

As to your example pertaining to the story about the hothead, to a degree, even she needs for us to be charitable towards her. Often we see this kind of thing in our forum, when someone comes upon some new illumination, they are so darn excited that they get quite upset towards everyone else that doesn't see it.

 

God bless,

William

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Hi Smithee,

 

Something to think about, the most overlooked, avoided, and denied attribute of God is His hatred of evil people. Don't be deceived because hatred of evil is a righteous attribute of God. Acceptance or accommodation of evil is an unrighteous attribute of Satan.

 

While I understand that your example was of a professing Christian, one common phrase in "Christian" circles is the "unconditional love" of God. False-teaching pastors tell unrepentant, unbelieving evil people that God loves them unconditionally. People with a prison ministry often tell inmates on death row that God loves them. People tell convicted rapists that God loves them. People tell homosexuals and lesbians that God loves them. They say that God hates the sin but loves the sinner. These statements are all false doctrines not supported by Scripture. One cannot understand the awesome love, grace, mercy, and holiness of God while rejecting His jealousy, wrath, anger, hatred, and justice. Though certainly whether God demonstrates Mercy or Justice, Grace or Wrath, the Saints shall praise Him.

 

My point being is there should be discernment Romans 16:17-18; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 1:10-11. Having said this, and as bcbsr suggested, many Christians become quite irate towards those false teachers, prophets, and professors of Jesus or Christianity. I think it important to understand David's statement in Psalm 139:22, and to be aware of the enemy that sometimes comes into our midst, within our walls, which makes them twice as dangerous because they're professing to be Christian, not only misleading others as hypocrites, but damning others in doctrine.

  • Psalm 139 20 They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22 I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.

As to your example pertaining to the story about the hothead, to a degree, even she needs for us to be charitable towards her. Often we see this kind of thing in our forum, when someone comes upon some new illumination, they are so darn excited that they get quite upset towards everyone else that doesn't see it.

 

God bless,

William

 

There should be accommodation for loving your enemies, as Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." Mt 5:43-45 and "love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked." Lk 6;35

 

Likewise we see phrases like:

 

Rom 5:10a For if, when we were God‘s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son\

 

John 3:16a " God so loved the world"

 

I think the contrast with verses like Ps 192 is "love" versus "like".

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There should be accommodation for loving your enemies, as Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." Mt 5:43-45 and "love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked." Lk 6;35

 

Likewise we see phrases like:

 

Rom 5:10a For if, when we were God‘s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son\

 

John 3:16a " God so loved the world"

 

I think the contrast with verses like Ps 192 is "love" versus "like".

 

I agree. And so I ask you to elaborate on John 3:16 with 1 John 2:15. Though I am betting that you'll be able to discern the differences. And also what truly loving "our" enemy entails, especially when taking Luke 10:27 in logical order, that is, what does loving one's neighbor mean "after" loving God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind? I think the chronological order is very important of these two commandments by our Lord.

 

Concerning Romans 5:10 Christ served as the propitiation for us, which only demonstrates that God hates both the sin and sinner. We are always enemies, until the death of Christ interposes in order to propitiate God. That is, according to His secret counsel God chooses us into the body of Christ, He ceases to hate us: but restoration to favor is unknown to us until we attain it by faith.

 

And while I do agree with you (not argumentative), I'm just emphasizing other Scripture such as 1 Corinthians chapter 5-6 which is impossible without discernment, but looks quite remarkable when in love, contrary to how most hear that crashing cymbal. Having said that, what I don't intend is for one to attempt to find fault with brethren, but only to acknowledge other Scriptures that suggests we are to be wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. While us sheep know the voice of our shepherd, like all sheep we tend to follow the flock sometimes, and so it is important to be aware that some sheep have pretty sharp teeth....

 

God bless,

William

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I agree. And so I ask you to elaborate on John 3:16 with 1 John 2:15. Though I am betting that you'll be able to discern the differences. And also what truly loving "our" enemy entails, especially when taking Luke 10:27 in logical order, that is, what does loving one's neighbor mean "after" loving God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind? I think the chronological order is very important of these two commandments by our Lord.

 

Concerning Romans 5:10 Christ served as the propitiation for us, which only demonstrates that God hates both the sin and sinner. We are always enemies, until the death of Christ interposes in order to propitiate God. That is, according to His secret counsel God chooses us into the body of Christ, He ceases to hate us: but restoration to favor is unknown to us until we attain it by faith.

 

And while I do agree with you (not argumentative), I'm just emphasizing other Scripture such as 1 Corinthians chapter 5-6 which is impossible without discernment, but looks quite remarkable when in love, contrary to how most hear that crashing cymbal. Having said that, what I don't intend is for one to attempt to find fault with brethren, but only to acknowledge other Scriptures that suggests we are to be wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. While us sheep know the voice of our shepherd, like all sheep we tend to follow the flock sometimes, and so it is important to be aware that some sheep have pretty sharp teeth....

 

God bless,

William

 

Concerning your statement "Concerning Romans 5:10 Christ served as the propitiation for us, which only demonstrates that God hates both the sin and sinner. We are always enemies, until the death of Christ interposes in order to propitiate God. That is, according to His secret counsel God chooses us into the body of Christ, He ceases to hate us: but restoration to favor is unknown to us until we attain it by faith." That's an extremely convoluted statement. What does it mean? You say we are always enemies until Christ's intervention. But his intervention occurred 2000 years ago, so seems we're never enemies? Then you say that when God chooses into the body of Christ he ceases to hate us. But then your statement following that implies that such choosing occurs prior to faith. So you're saying that God ceases to hate some unbelievers, who characteristically live wicked lives? And I'm at a loss as to how you think that someone can be in the body of Christ apart from faith in Christ. I just can't find any comparable rhetoric in the Bible that you're using, so I'm going to have to defer responding as I have no idea what you're talking about.

 

But as for what the Bible says concerning loving our enemies, it should be clear enough from the quotes I've given what it entails. Note it says, "because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked". That is, to love our enemies as God loves his enemies. And that's the idea of being a child of God. Namely viewing God as our precedent to follow as a child does his father.

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Concerning your statement "Concerning Romans 5:10 Christ served as the propitiation for us, which only demonstrates that God hates both the sin and sinner. We are always enemies, until the death of Christ interposes in order to propitiate God. That is, according to His secret counsel God chooses us into the body of Christ, He ceases to hate us: but restoration to favor is unknown to us until we attain it by faith." That's an extremely convoluted statement. What does it mean? You say we are always enemies until Christ's intervention. But his intervention occurred 2000 years ago, so seems we're never enemies? Then you say that when God chooses into the body of Christ he ceases to hate us. But then your statement following that implies that such choosing occurs prior to faith. So you're saying that God ceases to hate some unbelievers, who characteristically live wicked lives? And I'm at a loss as to how you think that someone can be in the body of Christ apart from faith in Christ. I just can't find any comparable rhetoric in the Bible that you're using, so I'm going to have to defer responding as I have no idea what you're talking about.

 

 

But as for what the Bible says concerning loving our enemies, it should be clear enough from the quotes I've given what it entails. Note it says, "because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked". That is, to love our enemies as God loves his enemies. And that's the idea of being a child of God. Namely viewing God as our precedent to follow as a child does his father.

 

Real quickly,

 

I believe the visible Church comprises of both believers and unbelievers. I also believe that expiation and the propitiations' effects are not known until one is Justified by faith in Christ. Though I believe God chose His elect before the foundation of the world Ephesians 1:4. I really don't see what is so convoluted about the statement?

 

I believe God enables us to faith through regeneration. And once we actively demonstrate faith in Christ we are imputed with his righteousness, and all our sins are imputed to Him on the cross. Christ's imputed righteousness stands in contrast to negative imputation - where the sin and judgment due to the repenting sinner is imputed to Christ. When the sinner puts his faith in the sacrifice of Jesus and trusts in Him and not himself for righteousness, then God justifies him. Jesus placated the wrath of God, which would burn against us were we not covered by His sacrifice.

 

And yes, I believe old testament saints and NT saints are saved the same way, the ordo salutis never changed. However, the OT saints had a forward looking faith to Christ's coming, where we have a historical looking faith (some 2000 years ago), that is, apart from Eschatology. Concerning eschatological salvation, biblically speaking, we are saved from the wrath to come: 1 Thessalonians 1:10, where he says Jesus “delivers us from the wrath to come.”

 

So you're saying that God ceases to hate some unbelievers, who characteristically live wicked lives? And I'm at a loss as to how you think that someone can be in the body of Christ apart from faith in Christ. I just can't find any comparable rhetoric in the Bible that you're using, so I'm going to have to defer responding as I have no idea what you're talking about.

 

What I am saying is that some unbelievers are set apart from the world and sanctified 1 Corinthians 7:14 - the faith of their fathers and the covenant are still pertinent, they receive blessings, and are treated as they are different from the world, yet only God knows them that are His or members of the invisible Church 2 Timothy 2:19, but in the visible Church both believers and unbelievers co-exists. If you wish to know more, then I recommend reading about the sign, seal, and mark of the NT Covenant through both our baptism and covenant theology sub-forums.

 

Lastly, I am asking how does loving our enemies look like? What does it entail? What do we pray for when dealing with our enemies? Do we pray for their cause, their lifestyle, do we pray that they may advance against us? Do we pray and publicly demonstrate that we accept, condone, or even support their sins? That's what I was asking. And the reason I mentioned Luke 10:27 and the chronological order was because I believe it is the key. You don't have to answer, I only thought it may lead to a fruitful discussion.

 

God bless,

William

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Real quickly,

 

I believe the visible Church comprises of both believers and unbelievers. I also believe that expiation and the propitiations' effects are not known until one is Justified by faith in Christ. Though I believe God chose His elect before the foundation of the world Ephesians 1:4. I really don't see what is so convoluted about the statement?

 

I believe God enables us to faith through regeneration. And once we actively demonstrate faith in Christ we are imputed with his righteousness, and all our sins are imputed to Him on the cross. Christ's imputed righteousness stands in contrast to negative imputation - where the sin and judgment due to the repenting sinner is imputed to Christ. When the sinner puts his faith in the sacrifice of Jesus and trusts in Him and not himself for righteousness, then God justifies him. Jesus placated the wrath of God, which would burn against us were we not covered by His sacrifice.

 

And yes, I believe old testament saints and NT saints are saved the same way, the ordo salutis never changed. However, the OT saints had a forward looking faith to Christ's coming, where we have a historical looking faith (some 2000 years ago), that is, apart from Eschatology. Concerning eschatological salvation, biblically speaking, we are saved from the wrath to come: 1 Thessalonians 1:10, where he says Jesus “delivers us from the wrath to come.”

 

 

 

What I am saying is that some unbelievers are set apart from the world and sanctified 1 Corinthians 7:14 - the faith of their fathers and the covenant are still pertinent, they receive blessings, and are treated as they are different from the world, yet only God knows them that are His or members of the invisible Church 2 Timothy 2:19, but in the visible Church both believers and unbelievers co-exists. If you wish to know more, then I recommend reading about the sign, seal, and mark of the NT Covenant through both our baptism and covenant theology sub-forums.

 

Lastly, I am asking how does loving our enemies look like? What does it entail? What do we pray for when dealing with our enemies? Do we pray for their cause, their lifestyle, do we pray that they may advance against us? Do we pray and publicly demonstrate that we accept, condone, or even support their sins? That's what I was asking. And the reason I mentioned Luke 10:27 and the chronological order was because I believe it is the key. You don't have to answer, I only thought it may lead to a fruitful discussion.

 

God bless,

William

 

I don't agree with the idea that the visible church is the body of Christ, much as that is the theological presumption of some.

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I don't agree with the idea that the visible church is the body of Christ, much as that is the theological presumption of some.

 

Of course you can disagree, but I will also suggest that I do not personally know who actually believes, that is those that are in the visible Church, and whether they truly belong to the invisible Church. I hear from Credo-Baptist and they suggest only those that profess faith in Christ and are baptized comprise the body of Christ, but then they tell me some have fallen away in years and were never one of them. Seems they too cannot be sure, and often times are very presumptuous, but that kind of reality really substantiates a visible Church.

 

Certainly, theological doctrine divides us, like the Lord, which is found in the parables of the net and field. Point is, neither of us truly knows who the Elect are, so we are to treat everyone with patience, kindness, love, or bear fruits of the Spirit towards them. Today someone may be the enemy, but tomorrow like the wind, regeneration may come. If God would only paint an E on a T-shirt for the Elect then perhaps we could show prejudice. I know I wouldn't waste my time on everyone, waiting to find out if they are genuine, authentic or even sincere, would you? I'd go right for the Es. One thing is for sure, evangelism wouldn't be so frustrating at times, though, my privilege, and my motivation is to take the gospel far and wide so that God can draw his people through his appointed means, the preaching of the gospel.

 

God bless,

William

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