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Monday, June 12, 2017

Faith, Hope, and Love

There are three virtues that should be present in the life of all believers - faith, hope, and love. This triad of virtues is so important that it appears many times in the New Testament.

The walk of a believer is a walk of faith and not of sight (1 Corinthians 5:7). It is through faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the cross that we are justified and able to have peace with God (Romans 5:1). Through our faith in Christ, we receive salvation and are able to stand in God's grace and rejoice in the the glory of God (Romans 5:2). It is our faith in Christ that allows us to be born again as children of God and to have the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). Faith is the shield with which we are able to defend ourselves against the attacks of the enemy (Ephesians 6:16). This faith is knowing that we will have the things that we hope for but have not seen (Hebrews 11:1). It is a faith that comes not by sight but by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

Hope accompanies faith. It is by faith that we are saved and have the hope of a future where God's purpose for us is fully realized. This hope is not a hope that is unfounded. It has its foundation in the promises of God and in our faith in Jesus Christ. We hope for the things we cannot see as we wait for them with patience (Romans 8:24-25). And that hope will never put us to shame (Romans 5:5). Our hope is in the Lord and in His coming to reign on earth. We hope for the day when God will make His dwelling with us, the day when there will be no more tears, death, mourning, and pain (Revelation 21:3-4).

Love is the greatest of this triad of virtues (1 Corinthians 13:13). As believers, we are called to love God, but also to love like God. We are to love each other, our neighbors, and also our enemies. We cannot claim to love God without displaying the love of God in our lives. It is that love that will make us stand apart from the world and to shine the light of Christ into it. Of all of these three virtues, love is the only one that is eternal. All three of these virtues are needed in this age, but one day faith will become sight, as we see Him in whom we have believed. Hope will become experience, as we live in His presence and experience the promises of Revelation 21:4. But love will remain. God is love, God is eternal, and so is love.

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