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.

The New Man

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When we believe in the inherent truth of God’s healing Word, the Word itself will begin making known to our minds the spiritual realities of having Christ within, whom the Bible defines as the New Man. Christ from within our hearts will then make known to our minds the Creator, our Father ― God. Then as we begin recognizing God as our Father ― He makes known to us the spiritual completeness of the new man (since we have the mind of Christ) that was created in us (Ephesians 1:16–23, 4:22–24). Additionally, God begins revealing to us the spiritual reality of the one body of Christ, of which body Christ is the head, and we are all members in that one body, and this one body of Christ is nurtured and grows in the love of God with the light of His Word.

Romans 12:5: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

I Corinthians 12:27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

The Bible refers to those who walk with the knowledge of the one body as being spiritual (I Corinthians 2:15), for they have the inward man (Romans 8:6, and II Corinthians 4:16), who resides in their hearts ― this inward man is Christ in you (Colossians 1:27). Having Christ within means that we have the hidden man of the heart {Christ}, in that which is not corruptible (I Peter 3:4), for believers have the incorruptible seed of Christ (I Peter 1:23). But though our outward man perish {or gets older}, yet the inward man {the Christ within} is renewed day by day (II Corinthians 4:16), renewed by placing God’s Word in our minds day by day, as Paul wrote, For I delight in the law of God {in His Word} after the inward man (Romans 7:22). For the inward man builds up the believer from within as he or she accepts the renewed mind that the Word of God illustrates and allows this new man or woman to shine with effervescence as he or she reaches out to build up the one body of Christ in love.

Ephesians 4:15–16:
-15: But speaking the truth {God’s Word} in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ {for Christ is the head of the body — Ephesians 1:22–23}.
-16: From whom {Christ} the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part {this is us, see Romans 12:5, and I Corinthians 12:27 above}, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

The most effectual working part of this new body is the head, who is Jesus Christ himself, and we are encouraged to follow his lead by walking in love, and in so doing we will be assisting in the building up of the body, and in this process we will also be discovering the new man! As we learn the Scriptures and allow our renewed mind to reveal what the Word itself teaches us, we will begin supplying (or giving) to the body of Christ and further be edifying (building up) the body in love. Believing the Scriptures is how we bring the Word of God into reality, off the pages of the Bible and into our daily lives. God’s Word can give men and women a true spiritual revival that grows within the heart and supplies the mind with impressions of tangible truths contained in God’s Word. This is what gives men and women a true godly renaissance, and fuels an enjoyment in our rediscovery of eternal light and love.

 Ephesians 4:22–24:
-22: That ye put off concerning the former conversation {lifestyle, behavior} the old man {biblically the old man means ourselves before salvation}, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts {which is latent within everybody, Romans 5:14}.
-23: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
-24: And that ye put on the new man {i.e., the Christ in you}, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

One of the most wonderful things about the church Epistles is that the Word of God never demands that we change our minds without something else to replace old thoughts and actions. Rather His Word always shows us how to replace old thoughts, emotions, and actions with new concepts that come to life by putting on the mind of Christ. We are encouraged to put off the old man and to put on the new man; this must be possible because the Bible tells us so, and God’s Word instructs us about how to do this successfully. Romans 6:6 says that the old man, which is the old nature in man, the nature of sin, “is crucified” with Christ, and this means we can set our old nature aside and put on a heavenly nature to walk in newness with Christ who has been resurrected and spiritually dwells within us.

Often propounded today are the “thou shalt not” sermons imbued with hellfire, brimstone, and condemnation only serving to scare people away from the truth that the new man is available to each and every one of us. In all honesty, God’s Word is always teaching us to have rather than to have not (Matthew 7:7–8, and I Thessalonians 4:12). It is the old man nature that denies the gifts of God and the new life in Christ we have been given. Jesus Christ freed believers from the course of this world (Ephesians 2:1–10), so that they (WE ― you and me) could enjoy our lives as we anticipate Jesus’ return to gather the believers up to our heavenly Father (I Thessalonians 4:14–18). Jesus had borne our sins in his own body and took them to the cross nearly two thousand years ago (I Peter 2:24), so why in the world would anyone want to resurrect and still carry them around and live in condemnation any longer? No ― not us, “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). The new man is in Christ Jesus and in him we may thoroughly enjoy our spiritual freedom (Romans 6:22, and Galatians 5:1).

In Ephesians above, the Word is specifically dealing with the renewed mind, expressing what is in our renewed minds, and that specifically is the new man which is after God, and is created in us and revealed to us throughout the Epistles.

Colossians 3:9–10:
-9: Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
-10: And {you and I} have put on the new man, which is {being} renewed in knowledge after the image of him {God} that created him {him is our created spirit, called the new man}:

The old man is as old as you are, but the new man is only as old as the day you became saved, and at that moment in time you became born again and received Christ in you and this is what God’s Word encourages you and me to enjoy in our day to day lives. By doing so, we will have tapped into a whole new realm of enlightenment and find a spiritual power base to become “more than conquerors” as Romans 8:37 boldly proclaims that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” It is this inseparable love and belief of God’s Word that allows mortal men and women to become more than conquerors over the daily pressures of life.

Colossians 3:12–17:
-12: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
-13: Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
-14: And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
-15: And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
-16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
-17: And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

By putting God’s Word in your believing heart, you will have more than a fighting chance to overcome the obstacles that life throws before you, because you will have the Word of God to stand on and believe. You have the hallowed opportunity to know and understand the new man, and fulfill a heavenly calling, a destiny ordained by God. Did you know that you already are a child of God, a child dearly loved by Him and by Jesus, and you have the heavenly calling to enjoy the new man, the new you, your new life in Christ ― today? Jesus came to give you a more than abundant life (John 10:10b). You have been called to this life by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and this life is realized through the new man. The abundant life is yours because Jesus paid the ultimate price, and he paved the way for you to follow because he loved you then and he still loves you ― now. “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2).

Being a Christian should be the most enjoyable experience in this whole world! You are loved by God! Yes, God loves everybody, but not everyone reciprocates by returning God’s love. This makes you a very, very special somebody ― to God you are precious (I Peter 2:7). You are your heavenly Father’s child, and you are a special individual before His Majesty, and when you believe His Word you have clout with unfathomable power to back it up (Ephesians 3:20)! The world often tries to extract the joy out of the believers’ hearts as though having a life without God and Jesus is practical. Thankfully, the new man, the Christ in you can fend off these unfounded ideas and subtle notions that belittle the believer or cause him to stray.

For you ― Jesus died! For you ― Christ was raised! For you ― Christ intercedes at the right hand of God in heaven until you personally arrive! For you ― God sent His only begotten Son! Oh, yes ― indeed God did this ― for you! Just how valuable are you to God and Christ the Lord? If it was only you in this whole wide world that was going to believe, Jesus would still have offered himself, for that was the will of God, so that you could enjoy the new man in your life with His ever-renewing love, now and for all eternity!

God created within us the means to walk in newness of life, a life that is being renewed in the knowledge of God (Romans 6:4). To walk in the new man is not a command but a request from a loving Father to His beloved children so we could be “partakers of the benefit” (I Timothy 6:2). The benefit is an invitation to have a meaningful relationship with Him Who created life, for His Word shows us how to enjoy life by bringing the Christ within us ― up and out to the forefront of our lives.

II Corinthians 6:2 (The Amplified Bible):**  For He says, In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!

 Ephesians 4:14–16 (The Amplified Bible)**
-14: So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.
-15: Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
-16: For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

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

The Simplest, and Best (Biblical) Answer I Know

“After you have believed and confessed in your heart, Romans 10:9-10, the first thing that God asks you for is to receive and enjoy His many blessings. It is God’s healing Word that shows you His divine presence (and presents) as you come to know the love that He has placed in your heart and life. In order to understand and enjoy all God has given may take a little time and patience on our parts as God slowly and delicately begins revealing His true characteristics to the heart of our hearts. Truly a miraculous miracle has taken place in your life because you have passed from judgment to grace, from a child of the world, to a child of God. These are some of the things that God wants you to know and thoroughly understand, and believe me, this takes patience. So where do we learn about those things that God would have us know, and how can we learn to appreciate them once we know of them? We learn from God’s Word, and our appreciation will grow as we learn to accept the grace of God in our lives. This is the simplest, and best (biblical) answer I know. Still, where is His Word? The Holy Scriptures (the Bible) is His Word, and in His Word we find healing (Psalms 107:20), spiritual understanding (John 6:63), and direction (II Timothy 3:16-17), so dig in and get you some!” ~LMJ~

A Fearless Hope

“Christ returning for the children of God, for you and me, can become our innermost hope (Romans 5:5). There are great fears about his coming that are truly unfounded because according to the Bible the return of Christ brings great rewards, and they will be given out, rather than any Christian ever receiving wrath, condemnation, hell-fire, etcetera (Galatians 1:4, Philippians 3:20, I Thessalonians 5:9-10).” ~LMJ~

Testing – Testing, One, Two, Three

“Have you ever wondered, how can I know for certain if I completely love God, and how will God know that I do love Him? Well, the Bible has a test that will prove your love for God to your heart’s content, and the answer to this assessment is the next two verses:

John 4:20-21:
20: If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21: And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Whenever we actually reach out with God’s love to others, we may prove to ourselves that we indeed love our God, and as well, this is how we know and believe the compassionate love God has for us individually!” ~LMJ~