I will be as the dew to Israel; he shall blossom as the lily When there was valid reason to reject Israel, God revealed Himself as a husband whose persistent love ultimately reclaims His wayward wife. This advance in revelation portrays more of the love of God, and more of its availability to man. It becomes more intimate, more personal, and consequently more vital in human affairs. Ps As God was fully revealed in Jesus Christ, His nature of extending and comprehending love became manifest.
Henceforth it would be known that God loved Gentiles and Jews, sinners and righteous, aliens and neighbors, rich and poor, black and white—all men everywhere Matt ; Acts , not just the favored ethnic or religious groups. From this approach may be seen the donation, degrees, and demands of love. The donation of love. Love therefore is a personal product of supreme value, and a debt that every Christian owes his brother; but love is a free gift from God, unmerited by man.
God does not owe it, but man does, because he is placed under obligation by the free gift from God to share it with others. The degrees of love. There are degrees of love as there are varieties of love. Jesus admonished His disciples to do better than that. An example of degrees of love was pointed out by Jesus as He sat at table in the house of Simon the Pharisee.
During the meal, a sinful woman poured ointment on Jesus, at the same time weeping and wiping His feet. The Pharisee inaudibly scorned the act because Jesus allowed a sinful woman to touch Him. In response Jesus told Simon a parable of two debtors, with unequal debts, whose creditor forgave both, and asked Simon which one would love most.
Aquinas: Philosophical Theology
The post-resurrection scene at the seaside provides another example of the degrees of love. The gospels record that Jesus stated the measure of love. The law then was summarized in the expression of love as stated in these two commandments cf. That was the supreme measure of love, the highest degree possible to man. Soon afterward Jesus laid down His life for His friends, and challenged them to comparable devotion.
The demands of love. Christians are controlled, constrained, and motivated by the love of Christ. Jesus was ready to lose His life to save it and others. Paul felt the pull of that love on the cross, and He saw its effects in Christian converts. Love like that could not end at the cross; it would find response in the hearts of people and make demands upon their lives. Throughout this masterful treatise, Paul made it clear that his impelling drive to share his spiritual blessings came out of his experience in Christ.
This love he traced through Christ from God, climaxed in the Crucifixion. All the commands of the Decalogue could not be as effective as this one act of supreme love. Paul was willing to live for it and to die for it. It was his drive and demand, in work and in death. All are evident in NT Christians, particularly in the boldness and persistence of the apostles in their preaching.
Thousands of men and women since have followed the examples of these early Christians for the love of Christ.
Human love has divine origin. The love man has is that essential benevolent, and desirable reciprocal bond that binds him pleasingly and favorably to the beings dearest to him—family, friends, and God. Family love. Human love in the family binds husband and wife, father and children, mother and children, and children and children. A distinctive of the Heb.
Beginning with Abraham and increasing in importance, the home was sacred and held in highest esteem Exod , Hebrew records of genealogy is another example. Matrimonial love was ordained of God Gen , and in three recorded instances in Scripture God specifically revealed in it His purpose to bless man. God also chose the matrimonial love of Abraham and Sarah to produce a chosen people through which all nations could be blessed Gen ; f.
Therefore, matrimonial sexual love is legitimate, essential, and desirable. It has played a major role in human society from the beginning. The love lyrics in the Song of Solomon reflect the normal impassioned courtship love of young adulthood as a prelude to marriage. Paul encouraged matrimonial love, and compared it to the love-bond between Christ and His Church.
To this he added the instruction,. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church Eph f.
Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit - Wikipedia
Jesus emphasized the sacredness and joy of the marriage bond both in His teachings and by His presence at the marriage at Cana, where He performed His first miracle Matt f. Jesus metaphorically spoke of the spiritual family, with God as the heavenly Father John Friendship love. There is an interhuman bond of love in which neither sex nor spirit are dominant.
Another Biblical story of friendship love, hardly less known and loved, is that between Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi. Ruth, a young Moabite widow, voluntarily left her native land to go with Naomi, an Israelite, back to her home in Bethlehem in Judea. Her deep devotion is expressed in the well-known verse:. Entreat me not to leave you or return from following you; for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God; where you die I will die, and there will I be buried.
May the Lord do so to me and more also if even death parts me from you Ruth f. Jesus set a beautiful example of personal human friendship. There were specific ones of whom it was said Jesus loved. It is common in human experience to have an inner circle of friends who are best loved. Jesus had His, and thereby endorsed friendship. Spurious love. Love that is limited to selfish interest of a worldly and temporal nature is spurious. It expresses itself in a number of ways.
One is extramarital sex indulgence, the prostitution of honorable members of the body by spurious love 1 Cor f. Two of the Ten Commandments, seventh and tenth, forbid adultery and sexual lust respectively Exod , Jesus speaks strongly against illicit sexual desires Matt In the wisdom lit. Spurious love also takes the form of greed for material things—houses, lands, money, all kinds of worldly possessions. Jesus called these things mammon, and uttered strong warnings against their influence. He often warned against riches and, in two parables—the rich farmer Luke and the rich man and Lazarus —against the fatal consequences of being a slave to riches.
Rev A fourth type of spurious love is vainglory. It is most prevalent and most tempting, making its appeal to the ego. Spiritual love. Acknowledging that they have no power to make themselves righteous, the penalty for their sins is discharged because Jesus has already paid for it with his blood. His righteousness is credited to those who believe in and thus belong to him. Calvin and Luther believed free will does not co-operate with God's grace which, according to them, cannot be rejected see monergism.
The Lutheran Augsburg Confession says of baptism, "Lutherans teach that it is necessary to salvation and that by baptism the grace of God is offered and that children are to be baptized, who by baptism, being offered to God, are received into God's favor. The logical structure of Calvinism is often expressed as an acronym.
These five categories do not comprise Calvinism in its entirety. They simply encapsulate its central, definitive doctrines. The notion that God has foreordained who will be saved is generally called predestination. The concept of predestination peculiar to Calvinism, " double-predestination ", in conjunction with limited atonement is the most controversial expression of the doctrine.
According to Reformed theology, the "good news" of the gospel of Christ is that God has freely granted the gift of salvation to those the Holy Spirit causes to believe; what he freely grants to some the "elect" individuals , he withholds from others the "reprobate" individuals. Calvin sought to provide assurance to the faithful that God would actually save them. His teaching implied what came to be known as the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints , the notion that God would actually save those who were his Elect.
The actual status and ultimate state of any man's soul were unknown except to God. When assurance of election was rigorously pressed as an experience to be sought, especially by the Puritans , this led to a legalism as rigid as the one Protestantism sought to reject, as men were eager to demonstrate that they were among the chosen by the conspicuous works-righteousness of their lives.
The relatively radical positions of Reformed theology provoked a strong reaction from both Roman Catholics and Lutherans. In James Arminius departed from Calvin's theology and put forth a contrary position that sought to reaffirm man's free will and responsibility in salvation, as opposed to the immutable, hidden, eternal decrees of Calvinism. Arminius taught that God's grace was preveniently offered to all, and that all people have the real option to resist the call of the gospel.
It is possible for a believer to backslide and abandon the faith, losing the salvation that believer truly once possessed. These positions came to be known as Arminianism. With respect to the Calvinist Reformed churches , they were firmly rejected by the Synod of Dort — , and Arminian pastors were expelled from the Netherlands. Later, John Wesley also rejected the Calvinist doctrine of predestination.
His most comprehensive pronouncement on the subject was his sermon "Free Grace",  preached at Bristol in In Wesley's position, the believer who repents and accepts Christ is not "making himself righteous" by an act of his own will, such as would alter his dependency on the grace of God for his salvation. Faith and repentance, rather, are the believer's trust in God that he will make them righteous.
Wesley appealed to prevenient grace as a solution to the problem, stating that God makes the initial move in salvation, but human beings are free to respond or reject God's graceful initiative. John Wesley believed that God provides three kinds of divine grace :. Wesley's opposition to Calvinism  was more successful than Arminius', especially in the United States where Arminianism would become the dominant school of soteriology of Evangelical Protestantism, largely because it was spread through popular preaching in a series of Great Awakenings.
The churches of New England , with roots in Puritan Calvinism, tended to begin to reject their Calvinist roots, accepting Wesley's expression of Arminianism, or overthrowing their historical doctrine entirely to depart into Socinianism or liberal theology. John Wesley was never a student of the influential Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius — The latter's work was not a direct influence on Wesley. Yet, he chose the term "Arminianism" to distinguish the kind of Evangelicalism his followers were to espouse from that of their Calvinist theological opponents.
Many have considered the most accurate term for Wesleyan theology to be "Evangelical Arminianism. Protestantism in all three major schools of theology—Lutheran, Calvinist, and Arminian—emphasize God's initiative in the work of salvation, which is achieved by grace alone through faith alone, in either stream of thinking — although these terms are understood differently, according to the differences in systems. The Protestant teachings on grace suggest a question, however: what is the role of the Church in the work of grace?
Such Reformation churches taught that salvation is not ordinarily found outside of the visible Church; but with the increasing emphasis on an experience of conversion as being necessary to salvation, Sola fide began to be taken as implying that the individual's relationship with Jesus is intensely individual; we stand alone before God. Since Protestants accept that men are saved only and decisively by their belief in Christ's atonement, they often rank preaching that message more than sacraments which apply the promises of the gospel to them as members of the Church.
The sermon replaces the Eucharist as the central act of Christian worship. The church's authority comes from the message it preaches, practically to the exclusion of the sacraments. This is often reflected in the arrangement of the pulpit and altar at the front the church; as preaching becomes more important, the pulpit moves from the side to the center, while the altar for the Eucharist shrinks to the size of a small coffee table or is eliminated entirely.
Classical Calvinism teaches that the sacraments are "signs and seals of the covenant of grace" and "effectual means of salvation", and Lutheranism teaches that new life, faith, and union with Christ are granted by the Holy Spirit working through the sacraments. However, for a large portion of the Protestant world, the sacraments largely lost the importance that Luther and to a slightly lesser degree, Calvin attributed to them. This happened under the influence of ideas of the Anabaptists which were ideas also seen in the Donatists in North Africa in A. Jack Hoad, The Baptist, London, Grace Publications, , page 32 and these ideas then spread to Calvinists through the Congregationalist and Baptist movements, and to Lutherans through Pietism although much of Lutheranism recoiled against the Pietist movement after the midth century.
Where the sacraments are de-emphasized, they become "ordinances", acts of worship which are required by Scripture, but whose effect is limited to the voluntary effect they have on the worshipper's soul. This belief finds expression in the Baptist and Anabaptist practice of believer's baptism , given not to infants as a mark of membership in a Christian community, but to adult believers after they have achieved the age of reason and have professed their faith.
These ordinances are never considered works-righteousness. The ritual as interpreted in light of such ideas does not at all bring about salvation, nor does its performance bring about the forgiveness of sins; the forgiveness which the believer has received by faith is merely pictured, not effectively applied, by baptism; salvation and participation in Christ is memorialized 'this do in remembrance of me' in the Lord's Supper and baptism picturing a Christian's rebirth as death to sin and alive in Christ , not imparted, by the Eucharist.
The Church to the Baptists becomes an assembly of true believers in Christ Jesus who gather together for worship and fellowship and remembering what Christ did for them. The Church of Christ believes that the grace of God that saves is the plan of salvation, rather than salvation itself. Concerning Ephesians which states: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God", it is noted that the word "it" is a pronoun and refers back to a noun. As the word "saved" is a verb, "it" does not refer to "saved" but to grace, giving the definition of grace as "the gift of God".
Furthermore, as the book of James distinguishes between a dead faith a faith without works and a living faith a faith accompanied by works of obedience , it is believed that by God's gift operates through an individuals living faith resulting in that individual being saved. The Galatians were removed from the calling of the gospel Gal. The church of Christ believes that grace provides the following plan, which, if followed, results in salvation:. Grace is the help or strength given through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the grace of God, everyone who has lived will be resurrected—our spirits will be reunited with our bodies, never again to be separated.
Through His grace, the Lord also enables those who live His gospel to repent and be forgiven. The word grace, as used in the scriptures, refers primarily to enabling power and spiritual healing offered through the mercy and love of Jesus Christ. Everyone on earth experiences physical death. Through the grace of Jesus Christ, all will be resurrected and will live forever see 1 Corinthians ; 2 Nephi Because of personal choices, everyone also experiences the effects of sin see 1 John ; Mosiah These effects are called spiritual death.
No one can return to the presence of God without divine grace. Through the Atonement, we all can be forgiven of our sins; we can become clean before God. To receive this enabling power, we must obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes having faith in Him, repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and trying to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ for the rest of our lives see Ephesians ; James ; 2 Nephi ; The grace of God helps us every day. It strengthens us to do good works we could not do on our own. The Lord promised that if we humble ourselves before Him and have faith in Him, His grace will help us overcome all our personal weaknesses see Ether From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For the prayer before meals, see Grace prayer. Common grace. Free grace. Irresistible grace. The seven gifts are found in the Book of Isaiah  , where the Biblical passage refers to the characteristics of a Messianic figure understood by Christians to be Jesus Christ empowered by the " Spirit of the Lord ". In the Hebrew Masoretic text the "Spirit of the Lord" is described with six characteristics wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord , and then the last characteristic fear of the Lord is mentioned a second time.
In the Greek Septuagint the first mention of the fear of the Lord is translated as "spirit of [ The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit is one of several works in Christian devotional literature which follow a scheme of seven. The seven gifts were often represented as doves in medieval texts and especially figure in depictions of the Tree of Jesse which shows the Genealogy of Jesus.
Although the New Testament does not refer to Isaiah regarding these gifts,   Roman Catholicism teaches that initiates receive them at Baptism and that they are strengthened at Confirmation , so that one can proclaim the truths of the faith: "The reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace.
Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church , these gifts "complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. In Summa Theologiae I. II, q.
In some respects, the gifts are similar to the virtues , but a key distinction is that the virtues operate under the impetus of human reason prompted by grace , whereas the gifts operate under the impetus of the Holy Spirit; the former can be used when one wishes, but the latter, according to Aquinas, operate only when the Holy Spirit wishes. In the case of Fortitude, the gift has, in Latin and English, the same name as the virtue which it is related to, but from which it must be distinguished. In Summa Theologiae II.
To the virtue of temperance, no Gift is directly assigned; but the gift of fear can be taken as such, since fear drives somebody to restrict himself from forbidden pleasures. The Rev. Brian Shanley contrasts the gifts to the virtues this way: "What the gifts do over and above the theological virtues which they presuppose is dispose the agent to the special promptings of the Holy Spirit in actively exercising the life of the virtues; the gifts are necessary for the perfect operations of the virtues, especially in the face of our human weakness and in difficult situations.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Fruit of the Holy Spirit. For the charisms listed in the New Testament, see spiritual gift. Researching with Integrity. The Ethics of Academic Enquiry. London: Routledge. The theoretical, intellectual virtues consist of philosophical wisdom sophia , scientific or empirical knowledge episteme , and intuitive understanding nous.