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Faith, hope, love

1 Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].

2 For by this [kind of] faith the men of old gained [divine] approval.

3 By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

When you read these words from Hebrews 11:1-3 you are entering the Hall of Fame of Faith, as it is most commonly referred. Today I am using the Amplified Bible to provide you with some additional understanding. Those early verses set the stage for what is to follow as the writer uses the examples of those who walked by faith in God from the Old Testament.

13 And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.

Here we read the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:13 again using the Amplified Bible as he comes to the end of what is most commonly referred to as the Love Chapter. The Apostle Paul speaks to the importance of love in our lives. You see faith leads to hope. Faith is assurance of what we hope for and that is found in Jesus Christ.

Both of these texts are critically important for us today. Well, they always have been but if you look and listen each day you will find that faith and hope are being placed by so many in the wrong things. That love is at a premium because many today do not know how to love. Humanly it is difficult to love others. The truth is that we have this problem because loving others requires that we place our feelings, emotions, and judgment aside. We often are unable to love others because we judge them and it is not ours to judge. In Romans 12:19, again using the Amplified Bible we read-

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.

That person may be doing something that they shouldn't. Most specifically from a Bible perspective, it may well be a sin. However, we as Christians are to love the sinner. We can be bothered by sin but the sinner is loved. Remember what Jesus said in John 3:16?

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus loved us in our sins and died for those sins. Then He defeated death as He rose on the third day. That is the reason we celebrate Resurrection Sunday. Listen, everybody dies and Jesus did but He rose from the dead so we might live. That is why He continued to say in verses 17 and 18 that-

17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

That is love and through faith and with hope we can then love others as Christ loved us.

As I am writing this today there is an old hymn of the faith that comes to mind. "On Christ the Solid Rock" also known as "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less".

1 My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.

This weekend will be what many know as Easter Sunday. As Christians, we refer to it as Resurrection Sunday. There are many good reasons. It is not about celebrating bunnies and candy but rather celebrating a risen Savior in Christ Jesus.

Our faith and our hope are in Him. Our ability to love others is an outgrowth of what He has done for us.

Wishing you and your family a very exciting and celebrative weekend remembering that "He is risen, He is risen indeed!". Have a great resurrection Sunday as you worship our Lord with others.

In God's Grace,

Elbert Nasworthy

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