You’ll see this as banners in a lot of churches
It comes from 1 Cor 13:3 says “Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.”
Lets look at these real quick…
What is FAITH? We know from Hebrew 11:1-6
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
6 But without 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.
Romans 12:3,4 Says “3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,”
Now that’s was a little on faith. Hebrews 11, which we just read from, gives great examples of Gods people exhibiting great FAITH.
But today we’ll focus on one of the other three.
What is LOVE? A profound question asked very strongly in the 90’s by a singer named Haddaway. “What is love?
Baby, don’t hurt me
Don’t hurt me no more…”
We know from study of the Word that the word LOVE has several meanings.
Phileo = brotherly love. A close friendship with another.
Eros = where we get the word Erotic, is a physical attraction love. Like when a husband is attracted to his wife.
Agape = the form of love that God has for us, Definition: Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible.
We can also note Storge = is family love, the bond among mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.
We know in john 3:16 for God so Loved the world” that the word loved was “agapaō”, a form of the word agape.
In our walk with God here on Earth we know we need or should walk in more agapaō to the world. Amen?
In that most famous conversation Jesus had with our hero Peter, after the resurrection, a type of conversation we need or should have with the spirit of The Lord in prayer often. Where Jesus restored Peter after he, like we do all the time, had forsaken Jesus before the crucifixion. Look at John 21:14-17
14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.
Jesus Restores Peter
15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[b] do you love Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[c] do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
Jesus uses the term “agape” while Peter uses “Phileo”. At times we are just friendly with people where we ought to be filled with agape for them.
Here we learn from both sides, how Jesus will gently restore us as he does Peter here, when Peter humbly accepts Jesus’ words to him and has a repentant heart to obey His Word.
Husbands are called to have agapao in Eph 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”
Quick accompanying note with that, Eph 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Submission to your husband is a form of agape that a wife extends to her husband. The NIV translates this verse as “Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Says “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” That comes from 1 Cor chapter 13, which is called the “Love Chapter”. For more personal bible study on love you should definitely go and check out 1 Cor 13.
All three of these attributes of Christianity, FAITH, HOPE and LOVE are not just pretty, spiritual words that describe maybe pastors Troy and Darlene. They are attributes God and placed on all of us. These should be seen in all believers.
For those of us new in the FAITH, what is a believer exactly? A believer is
Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10 real quick “You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.”
Believers Receive the Word – we receive the Word when we first accept and believe the Gospel. And continuously as God speaks to us through His Word.
Believers Accept Both Tribulation & Joy Brought By Faith – A believer will experience can both be outer tribulation and inner joy in their walk with God. As His word leads and guides us to a better way.
Believers Are Good Examples – We are called to be loving, faithful, people of integrity, witnesses of God and Christ. We are to be Christ in this World. We are living epistles, living letters revealing Jesus and God’s glory to the world. As it says “imitators of the Lord”.
Believers Sound Forth Their Faith – We are called to make disciples. To make disciples we first need to be disciples. We can’t give what we ourselves don’t have. A believer sounds forth their faith, they bring the Word of God into a situation, they share the good news of Jesus with others. I’m sorry, if you don’t have the desire to share Christ with others, please check your Holy Spirit gauge, it may be on empty. But thats another message I’ll leave for pastor Troy.
Believers Reject the Worthless – Believers take the worthless idols out of their lives and put Jesus and the will of God first and it shows. It may not happen immediately and may be a constant struggle, but believers display that God is their all in all.
Believers Wait for Jesus – Jesus, Our Blessed Hope, a hint on what we’ll be going over later.
The church banner or attribute of a Christian I really want to talk about today is HOPE. What is hope?
“Hope” according to the Strong’s concordance, the word Hope occurs 130 times in 121 verses in the KJV.
Transliteration “tiqvah” in Hebrew
Outline of Biblical Usage
ground of hope
things hoped for, outcome
Like other words, the Word HOPE has become watered down, diluted from what the Biblical meaning is. Nowadays Hope is a wavering thing, a flaky thing an unsure thing like Los Angelenos in general… You get invited somewhere and don’t show up. You say I hope to make it or the host would say “I hope people show up”. As if it is a question of whether or not something is going to happen or not. Most people understand hope as wishful thinking, as in “I hope something will happen.”
Biblical HOPE is based on truth, it is solid, unwavering never a flaky Angeleno. Examples of biblical hope in the bible point to individuals who had a definite expectation of things to come. Expecting that God would move or do something in a certain area.
Like I don’t have a wavering in my heart with sister Andrea. I don’t have a wishy washy feeling that “I don’t think she would ever leave me or cheat on me???”. I have a HOPE, an expectancy, that NO she wouldn’t leave me or forsake me because, I’m awesome!!! I’m perfect, why would she ever leave? Just kidding, If I thought like that it would be a wishy-washy thing because I’m far from perfect. We both are. But our biblical HOPE, expectancy, is we are one and she believes as I do that “what God has put together, let no man (or woman) put asunder”.
To understand what biblical HOPE is we have to see it in perspective. We can’t take our current situations in the temporal world or existence as the final truth. we have to step back and look at the big picture. What is our HOPE? It is JESUS our “Blessed Hope” Amen?
Proverbs 10:28 says “The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.”. We as believers, are righteous. Not our own righteousness, Thank God!!!. But the righteousness we are extended by grace through faith in Jesus, our Blessed Hope.
Titus 2:11-15 better describes it as…”For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”
Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Christians, we are called to study the Word of God. It is TRUTH!!! This helps us to keep the issues of life in perspective.
But you may say “Brother Mike, how do I take that truth and apply it to my life and help me make it through?”
Let me give you some help there:
Through your faith let the Word of God encourage you. The Word of God is key to your survival as a healthy Christian. If you don’t know or have a solid understanding of the Word of God you aren’t going to have biblical hope, but maybe a wishy-washy worldly hope. You have to know the Word for your encouragement and for the encouragement of others.
Yes “others”, that is another key in our HOPE, we are to encourage and lift up others with the biblical HOPE we have, that we are made one by.
When you are down, don’t just wallow in it. Thats what the enemy wants us to do. Be down and out, separating ourselves from the flock. Guiding us into rocky places and traps, away from Jesus, our Good Shepard, and the rest of the flock. So he can pick us off and devour us.
A pastor I like to listen to on podcast, Chip Ingram says “We are to aid, help, support, and intercede for each other by means of comforting in
affliction, strengthening in faith, and motivating toward righteousness. In short, encouragement (building up others) is taking the truth of Scripture by life and word in the context of meaningful and caring relationships, to restore perspective and, thereby, provide hope which carries us through affliction and above complacency.
Why Is Encouragement So Important?
• Because God commands it 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”
• Because sin is deceitful Hebrews 3:13 “but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
• Because spiritual growth requires it 1 Thessalonians 3:2 “and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith,”
• Because we lose perspective so easily 2 Corinthians 7:3-7 “I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. 4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation. 5 For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. 6 Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.” There we see that even pillars of our faith get discourage and need encouragement by other believers.
Also, I’ve witnessed myself, the biblical precept of a little can by God be turned into a lot. In Luke 16:10 “”Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” When you are faithful to plant a small seed you will be blessed with much fruit by God later on.
Speaking of seeds and planting, when you have little joy and you stand by faith on the promise we find in Isaiah 61:3 “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”
When we glorify God by praising Him in our low low, empty tank points, as well as high, when everything is “great” points. When we do that by FAITH, we are supernaturally and spiritually blessed by the Lord and lifted up. Give me a show of hands of how many of you have experienced this first hand? Amen?
There is so much on this subject in the Word and I can’t touch on it all today. Please go back in your personal study and get into what biblical hope is and how we need and are blessed by encouragement of one another and ourselves.
Remember and picture our attributes FAITH, HOPE and LOVE are action words (Expound on this).