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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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Love and Hate in our Christian Life

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Love

1 Corinthians 16:14

Let all that you do be done in love. (NASB)

 

Colossians 4:6

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (ESV)

 

 

Hate

Psalm 119:128

I hate every false way. (NASB)

 

Romans 12:9

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. (NASB)

 

 

We see that we should hate things that are opposed to the ways of God. I find it interesting (not contradictory) that in terms of individuals who stubbornly and persistently oppose the gospel and try to convince others of their heresy the same Paul who spoke of one's speech being "always gracious" referred to someone as a "son of the devil" (Acts 13:10) and wanted others to castrate themselves (Galatians 5:12). There are times when such "tough talk" is necessary and yes, it is done in love because the purity of the gospel is at stake. Indeed, when Simon utterly disrespected the work of the Holy Spirit (God) as something that money could purchase Peter responded, "to hell with you and your money" in Acts 8:20.[*1]

 

 

 

[*1] The BDAG (3rd Edition) approvingly cites J. B. Phillips in this rendering (apōleia, page 127).

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+8%3A20&version=PHILLIPS

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