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.”

Faith, Hope, and Charity (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Through this study, we will be looking at the words ― 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 first study, we will briefly look at all three words.

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

Once I was told by an individual, “charity was the best gift a person could receive from God, and everything else was insignificant in comparison” and he got this idea from the verse above. However, the Bible does not say that charity is the best gift; rather the Bible says the greatest of these is charity. Jesus said, “my Father is greater than I” in John 14:28, and this is the same Greek word that is translated greatest, though no one would say Jesus is insignificant in God’s eyes! Also, the Bible does not teach “faith and hope are not really as good.”

Let us use the earth, the sun, and the moon for a parallel example; the earth supplies the substance that sustains our lives, but still without the moon and the sun, the earth would be about as barren of a planet as you could find. In truth, we need all three to sustain ourselves and flourish in our physical lives; it is the same truth with faith, hope, and charity, we need all three to sustain ourselves and flourish in our spiritual lives.

The reason why charity is called the greatest is because it is a God-given master key for unlocking our faith, and faith opens, reveals, and insures our inner souls of “the hope of His calling” (Ephesians 1:18), which is to be with Christ for all eternity. So with charity, our faith and hope are energized.

Faith is the Greek word pistis, and means believing or believing faith and without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), so faith is significantly important.

Hope is the Greek word elpis, and it means future hope (Romans 8:24–25); it is usually in the context of the hope or anticipation that men and women have for the return of Christ (still a future event), and I Timothy 1:1 says that Christ is our hope. Only the believer has access to the hope of Christ’s return in order to patiently wait with joy to be eternally with our Savior in heaven. Hope encourages the Christian believer to continue standing for God even through any present adversity because the future has rewards for our believing and loving in this current time of grace, so hope is also significantly important.

Charity is the Greek word agapē and means the love of God. The word greatest in I Corinthians 13:13 above would be much better understood if it were translated as the first, or the elder, or the commencement, or the foundation, as this is the proper and greater meaning of the word, because God loved us from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). God’s love for us has always existed while faith and hope both have a beginning in our lives, faith comes to the individual by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17), and man had no spiritual faith until he knew Christ (Galatians (3:22–29). And as well, our hope began growing in our hearts from the moment of our salvation when we became the children of God, a hope that we at one time were without (Ephesians 2:2; I Thessalonians 4:13). Thus, as (and when) faith and hope begin living in the heart of our understanding, then charity will magnify itself greater and greater in our lives as a viable part of the spiritual serenity we can enjoy walking with God.

Charity – being the love of God is a part of God Himself, and this part – His love – He has given to all believers (Romans 5:5; 8:36–39), while our hope and believing faith is something we learn to aspire to utilize in our daily living. We learn to believe in the promises of God through our believing faith, and we learn to hope more and more through knowing what the Word says regarding our Savior returning for us.

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 faith}, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7). The next words, but then face to face is in reference to when we meet Christ face to face, because our hope is in his imminent return. Now I know in part; is again in reference to our believing faith, to believe in what we do know from God’s healing Word. 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 and anticipated, because then we will have been perfected (Philippians 3:20–21), and we will be enjoying our lives with God and with Jesus Christ through eternity.

Love – God’s love – motivates our endeavors, faith – believing faith – appropriates the promises of God, and hope – Christian hope – anticipates the return of Christ. These three form a complete whole and enhance Christian character in an individual’s life. “And now abideth {or ― remains here for you} faith, hope, charity.”

Philippians 3:20–21 (The Amplified Bible):**
-20: But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior,
-21: Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself.

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Rejoice and Be Glad in God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The greatest experience in all of life is the day that a man or a woman realizes that God is real. Even children wonder if God exists and some people go through their entire lives ever wondering. Others who have taken the initiative to seek God out in His healing Word and begin to believe with their hearts find that God graciously begins revealing Himself to them.

Hebrews 11:6: But without faith {believing faith} it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

When we “believe that he is:” He is most pleased! When we “diligently seek” God: God rewards!

Psalms 70:4: Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.

When we seek to find and know God, then rejoicing and gladness will begin flowing into our lives, and our love of salvation will increasingly grow, and our God becomes ever more “magnified,” ever more real, and ever more realized by us as a present-tense reality. For He has said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5b). We now bask in the comfort of knowing that God is with us and for us, and He becomes the joy and rejoicing of our souls, and He will be our inner gladness throughout eternity.

Psalms 34:1–4:
-1: I WILL bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
-2: My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
-3: O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
-4: I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

One of the major fears that we can be completely delivered from is the fear that God is not real. The fear of life simply ending without God can be excruciating and even horrifying; however, God can and will deliver us from this fear. For we are among those who have sought the Lord, we are among those whom He has heard, and we are among those whom He has delivered from all our fears. Praise God!

Psalms 9:2: I will be glad and rejoice in thee {God}: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

The Psalmist boldly proclaims in the songs written on his heart that he will be glad and rejoice in God. Why? Because he knows Him, he is among those who have sought God out, and he has discovered as we can, that God indeed is real. One wonderful reward for this search is that God gives to us gladness and joy, and these will strengthen the searching believers in their daily fellowship with Him Who created all things.

So today, enjoy the gladness, experience the joyfulness we have received by obtaining our salvation. We certainly can love our salvation, for salvation is one of the rewards we receive for seeking out God, our heavenly Father.

Psalms 40:16: Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.

A Case for the Realization of God

“The greatest experience in all of life is the day that a man or a woman realizes that God is real. Even children wonder if God exists and some people go through their entire lives ever wondering. Others who have taken the initiative to seek God out in His healing Word and begin to believe with their hearts find that God graciously begins revealing Himself to them.” ~LMJ~