“And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love” (I Cor. 13:13).
St. Paul had been discussing, in I Cor. 13, some of the miraculous signs that were to vanish away as God’s revelation became complete. But faith, hope and love, he declared, would abide as a triune evidence of true Christianity.
These three are all we need in the present “dispensation of the grace of God.” Any church where faith, hope and love are found in abundant measure is a “full” church. It may have but a few members, but what greater blessing could it wish for than faith, hope and love in its fellowship?
Faith, hope and love are a trinity often referred to in St. Paul’s epistles. Each is of basic importance in its way, and none can exist without the other two.
Faith is of primary importance. “Without faith it is impossible to please [God]” (Heb 11:6), and how can there be hope and love without faith?
Hope holds the central place among the three. Hope in the Bible is more than a wish; it is the opposite of despair, an eager anticipation of blessings to come. Hope is the Christian’s experience, his living with eternity’s glory in view.
Love is the crowning virtue of the three; it is the fruit of faith and hope, and is greatest in the sense that it is “the bond of perfectness.” Moreover, love is eternal. Some day, for every true believer, “faith will vanish into sight; hope be emptied in delight” and love will reign supreme.
May God help us, in our fellowship with each other, to evidence a full measure of faith, hope and love.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.