29th October 2019

FAITH, Hope and Love

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIVUK)

When the apostle Paul discusses spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, he reveals that not all Christians are given the same gifts. Also some gifts will cease (1 Corinthians 13:8) but, as the above scripture states, three gifts remain. These are foundational gifts given to all Christians and last forever.

In the post-modern society, faith is a much misunderstood concept. To many, faith is only associated with religion and is regarded as a rather naïve, outmoded concept. Yet the reality is that everybody must rely on faith to some degree. Since the existence of God cannot be proven or disproven, it follows that Christians have faith there is a God and atheists have faith there isn’t a God. The nihilist has faith that life and the universe are meaningless; others have faith in individuals, possibly a dictator or an ideology such as socialism or capitalism. At a more mundane level, people in the UK have faith that five pound notes, which have no intrinsic value, can be exchanged for goods and services. Since we all believe on faith in something, the important question then, is in whom or in what do we have faith?

Belief and faith are interrelated but there can be subtle differences. Christian faith is more than just intellectual assent to certain truths—as James states, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (James 2:19). There is an intellectual content to faith, but Christian faith is not simply “belief that” certain facts are true, it is “belief in” or “belief on” a certain somebody. As the Apostle John states in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The Greek preposition (eis) translated “in” literally means “into.” Faith moves individuals out of themselves and into Christ. The New Testament expression frequently used of Christians is being “in Christ.” In the scriptures a different Greek preposition (epi) is variously translated as “on” or “in.” In the NKJV it is translated as “on” as indicated in Acts 16:31 (NKJV), “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” The Apostle Paul also speaks of believing “on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Romans 4:24 KJV).

Christian faith has a firm foundation—it is based on/in God and Jesus Christ. It means taking hold of the promises of God in Christ for salvation. It is an attitude of trust in Christ and abandoning all self-efforts of obtaining salvation.

Prayer
Father in heaven, we thank you that you have called us through faith to know and have a relationship with you through Jesus Christ.
Amen

Study by Eddie Marsh
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About the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Sheffield
The Source Training & Conference Centre
300 Meadowhall Way
Sheffield
S9 1EA

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.org.uk

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