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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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Hymn - Not What My Hands Have Done

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1) Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul;

not what my toiling flesh has borne

can make my spirit whole.

Not what I feel or do can give me peace with God;

not all my prayers and sighs and tears

can bear my awful load.


2) Thy work alone, O Christ, can ease this weight of sin;

thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, can give me peace within.

Thy love to me, O God, not mine, O Lord, to thee,

can rid me of this dark unrest, and set my spirit free.


3) Thy grace alone, O God, to me can pardon speak;

thy pow'r alone, O Son of God, can this sore bondage break.

No other work, save thine, no other blood will do;

no strength, to save that which is divine,

can bear me safely through.


5) I praise the God of grace; I trust his truth and might;

he calls me his, I call him mine, my God, my joy, my light.

'Tis he who saveth me, and freely pardon gives;

I love because he loveth me, I live because he lives.

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