The essential sign

Daily Reading for May 18

Now, if observing the commandments is the essential sign of love, it is very greatly feared that without love even the most effective action of the glorious gifts of grace—even of the most sublime powers and even of faith itself and the commandment that makes a person perfect—will not be of help. . . . It is evident, therefore, and undeniable that without charity—even though ordinances are obeyed and righteous acts are performed, even though the commandments of the Lord have been observed and great wonders of grace effected—they will be considered as works of iniquity . . . because those who perform these acts have as their aim the gratification of their own will.

From Concerning Baptism by Basil the Great, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament IVb, John 11-21, edited by Joel C. Elowsky (Downer’s Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2007).

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