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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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Bridal Affection

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Posted (edited)

What a time which shall never be like it again concerning the final marriage-consummation of the Bride and Groom (Rev 21:2, 9, 17 - We are spiritually married to Christ at rebirth but the physical marriage is latter, just like our new body is later)! Scripture in Rev 21:2 gives the appearance that the New Jerusalem is the Bride, but I believe it may design the intention concerning who is within its walls (“the body, the church” - Col 1:18), and that the “new Jerusalem” is her “adornment.” I think this may be when “He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:27 – no old man and its nature).


As we may learn, our worship is commensurate with our satisfaction in the Lord Jesus. Of course, our satisfaction involves our being fully pleased with the Father in continuing to cause us to “grow up into Him (Christ) in all things” (Eph 4:14). The more we know of His care for us in this wilderness, the more we are at rest and satisfied in every area of our lives. God’s care involves knowing that each day we greet is a day He has ordained for our good, and that He is in complete control of them and everything involved in them.


Whatever maturity level we presently know is merely a progression point to the next, thus it should be comforting to realize that for the believer, everything every day is used to instruct us in drawing closer to Him, to one another, and thereby become ever more effective in our outreach to the lost. We can know that nothing will alter what God is doing in bringing us to the knowledge of our present and eternal security in Him. -NC




Bridal Affection


The measure of our worship is the measure in which the Spirit of God has had His way in forming and building up our souls, and in putting divine affections in our hearts. The only help to worship is that which helps our souls to be more in dependence upon the Holy Spirit. In singing a hymn, if people are thinking of the music part of it, they are hindered. Worship is the adoration of the soul that is in complete satisfaction of the knowledge of the Father. If the heart is not satisfied there may be thanksgiving, but there will not be full worship.


If we are really in the light of the Cross we should never be surprised at the evil found in our hearts. We should be humbled by it, but not surprised at it. All the evil that we can discover in our hearts can never equal the truth as it is exposed by the Cross, and that is the true measure of what we are in ourselves. We can learn in divine light more than we could learn in a hundred years of experience. It is really a great thing to be in the light of this perfect exposure.


Then we see at the Cross how completely God has judged the exposed man. Nothing would do but the absolute condemnation in death of the man in the flesh (old man and its nature—NC). Christ was found under that judgment, and in His death the end of all flesh came before God. The deepest repentance, the greatest self-abhorrence, add nothing to the completeness of the judgement that has been exhausted by the One who went into death for us in matchless, divine love. Some people make experience everything, but divine light is a much greater thing than experience. I know that experience is often needed to prepare us to receive the light, but divine light gives us a perfect measure of things, and experience is always more or less imperfect.


At the Cross the love of the Father is fully disclosed; it is the point where His love meets us. We see there that our condition has not been able to turn aside the thoughts of blessing which are in the Father’s heart for us. We see there His boundless love overlapping all the barriers that our sin had put in its way. The Father has taken everything into account, and has so dealt with our sin, that He is free to lavish the infinite love of His heart upon us.


Paul was a man whose heart was fully set for the Lord Jesus, and everything which would have given distinction to Paul was judged in the light of affection for Christ. “Those I counted loss for Christ”; that referred to what he had in Judaism. But he says further, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” Everything that would have given him credit or reputation, he day by day counted to be loss. One supreme commanding Object dominated his heart—“Christ Jesus my Lord.”


This is bridal affection—the only thing needed to put everything right in our souls. Ten thousand things that cause perplexity would be solved in a moment if this affection burned in our hearts. Where shall I go? What companions shall I choose? How shall I spend my time? What book shall I read? All these questions would be quickly answered if we were counting everything “but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”


- C A Coats








Edited by NetChaplain

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