Faith, Hope, and Charity (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In this study, we will be taking a look at faith, hope, and charity to learn how they work together. Our goal is to acquire a further understanding of their meaning in the Scriptures, for they are the footing on which the more abundant life rests. In this byte we will briefly look at all three and concentrate on each one in particular in other Bible bytes.

I Corinthians 13:13 – And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Once, I was told by an individual that “charity was the best gift a person could receive from God,” and he got this idea from the verse above. However, the Bible doesn’t say that charity is the best gift, rather the Bible says charity is “the greatest.” Also, the Bible does not state “faith and hope are not really as good.” The reason that charity is the greatest is because it is a God-given master key for unlocking our own faith, and faith opens up to us and reveals “the hope of His calling” (Ephesians 1:18). So with charity, our faith and hope are energized.

“Faith” is the Greek word pistis, and means believing, believing faith. “Hope” is the Greek word elpis, and it means future hope, it is usually in the context of the hope men and women have for the return of Christ (still a future event). “Charity” is the Greek word agapee and means the love of God.

I Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.

“For now we see through a glass, darkly;” means that today we do not know it all, even with all the abundance that God’s Word reveals to us. This phrase is in reference to our believing faith, “for we walk by faith {believing}, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7). The next words, “but then face to face” means when we meet Christ “face to face,” because of our hope in his imminent return. “Now I know in part;” is again in reference to our believing faith, to believe what we do know. “But then shall I know even as I am known” is again in reference to our hope, when we will receive all that we have hoped in because then we will have been perfected and will be enjoying our lives with God and with Jesus Christ in eternity.

Charity, the love of God we have will activate our faith, our believing faith to love as God’s Word encourages. Charity energizes our believing faith, and our believing faith will appropriate the revealed promises of God. Our believing faith energizes our anticipation in the hope of Christ’s return for us, and our hope is a necessary ingredient for living charitably. This is why all three are so wonderful and worthy of our taking the time to understanding them more clearly, and I am sure they will give you great inspiration, as well as great expectations.

The vehicle to help facilitate our believing and inspire our hope is charity, yet all three of these are important to living our lives in true godliness. “And now abideth {remains here for you} faith, hope, charity.”