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Post  Admin on Wed 20 Apr 2011, 11:43 am

FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE*
* by C. R. Stam*


"And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest
of these is love" (I Cor. 13:13).

St. Paul had been discussing, in I Cor. 13, some of the miraculous signs
that were to vanish away as God's revelation became complete. But
faith, hope and love, he declared, would abide as a triune evidence of
true Christianity.

These three are all we need in the present "dispensation of the grace of
God." Any church where faith, hope and love are found in abundant
measure is a "full" church. It may have but a few members, but what
greater blessing could it wish for than faith, hope and love in its
fellowship?

Faith, hope and love are a trinity often referred to in St.Paul's
epistles. Each is of basic importance in its way, and none can exist
without the other two.

Faith is of primary importance. "Without faith it is impossible to
please [God]" (Heb 11:6), and how can there be hope and love without faith?

Hope holds the central place among the three. Hope in the Bible is more
than a wish; it is the opposite of despair, an eager anticipation of
blessings to come. Hope is the Christian's experience, his living with
eternity's glory in view.

Love is the crowning virtue of the three; it is the fruit of faith and
hope, and is greatest in the sense that it is "the bond of perfectness. "
Moreover, love is eternal. Some day, for every true believer, "faith
will vanish into sight; hope be emptied in delight" and love will reign
supreme.

May God help us, in our fellowship with each other, to evidence a full
measure of faith, hope and love.
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