Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Love one another

Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 3 of 4 - How We Receive the Grace of Christ
Chapter 7
Sections 4-7 - Self-denial, related to men
Phil 2:3; Rom 12:10.
All men are quick to take pride in their God-given virtues, minimize their vices, and condemn the vices of others. All men think themselves superior to others, deep down. Instead, we should overlook others' faults while regarding ourselves humbly and lowly. Loving others requires denying yourself - 1 Cor 13:4-5. Whatever we have from God is meant to share with others and build up the church - 1 Cor 12:12ff; Ps 16:23; Heb 13:16. Firstfruits of Israel's harvest went to God to teach us this - Ex 23:19. We help ohters because of the image of God in them, not only if they deserve it - Gal 6:9-10; 1 Cor 13:4-5; Isa 58:7; Matt 6:14; 18:35; Luke 17:3; Matt 5:44. Loving others requires right intent: not just the outward act, but true empathy which removes arrogance or upbraiding or stinginess.

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