Summary: The triad of Christian virtues, faith, hope and love, remain pre-eminent in the life of fruitful people. However, we can be assured that the world, the flesh and the devil will do everything to dilute these fruits of the Spirit as they hate Christ, His ki
Faith, Hope and Love
The triad of Christian virtues, faith, hope and love, remain pre-eminent in the life of fruitful people. However, we can be assured that the world, the flesh and the devil will do everything to dilute these fruits of the Spirit as they hate Christ, His kingdom and His righteousness. We not only need a greater personal maturing in our faith, hope and love, but also a heighten sense of corporate faith, hope and love to overcome evil with good. (Rom. 12:21) Without faith there is no victory. Without hope there is no power to move in to the future. Without love there is consolation from the hurt, pain and anger we face everyday.
Paul salted his letters with references to the triad of virtues that tie together his vision of Christ’s kingdom and righteousness. Often times, Paul would inter-twine and mix the order of faith, hope and love depending on the contextual need of the people he addressed. Faith, hope and love give us a bit of an idea of God’s roadmap for how we are to move forward in helping to grow Christ’s kingdom and righteousness in our lives, ministries and relationships.
1. Faith is the assurance that God will do what He says He will do and acting on that conviction. We see a perfect example of one who followed this roadmap in Abraham of whom Paul wrote, “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but grew strong in faith, being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was also able to perform.” (Rom. 4:20,21)
Any ministry, relationship or lifestyle that is not based on faith is sure to fail miserably. Without faith it is impossible to please God for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Heb. 11:6) Great relationships, ministries and lifestyles emanates from a life of faith.
Empowered lives are energized by faith. Hopeful people have great faith for what God is going to do through and with them. Loving people are able to demonstrate the characteristics found in I Cor. 13:4-7 because they draw upon the life of Christ in them to infuse them with the patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control that enable them to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things.
2. Faith enables us to seriously consider and emulate the great faith of those who have led us and taught the word of God to us and evidenced great fruit. (Heb. 13:7) Remember those who led you who taught the word of God to us and consider the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith.
We need to be good students of the historical and systematic theologies that enrich our appreciation for the meaning, scope and implications of a life of faith. Saturate your life with mission questions, intentions and dimensions by reading the biographies of great missionaries whose faith was used to be a channel of blessings to millions.
Illustration: In 1900 there was only 10% of the non-western world that were born-again Christians. Today about 80% of the Christians on the planet reside in the non-western world. Most of this is due to the great faith of missionaries who went beyond their Jerusalem to the Judeas, Samarias and unto most parts of the earth to be His witnesses by faith. (Acts 1:8)
Illustration: Be enriched by following the great faith of William Carey who became known as the father of modern missions because of his famous statement of great faith: “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.”
3. Faith helps us search for greater ways to make our belief public. We must resist the western cultural tendencies to be too private and individualistic with our faith. We must trust the Lord to help us demonstrate faith is interested in larger social, economic, political, global and spiritual realities. Each individual’s faith has the powerful implication to effect the transformation of his or her community and relationships.
Application: Let us ask God to give us greater faith so we can integrate it into our psychology, spirituality, anthropology, and sociology that are seen in human reality.
4. Faith is concerned about the nearly three billion people who are yet to hear and understand a clear presentation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We should not stop short at talking about our faith, but we must engage in every possible way to send the light, the blessed gospel light from shore to shore.
Application: Faith that emanates from the Holy Spirit will be more loving, more hopeful and more filled with the fruits of the Spirit so all people will know that we are Christians by our love, faith and faith working synergistically together.