The Greatest of These is Love
The Bible says, “But now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:13).
“Faith” is that which a person has who puts his or her trust in God. It is the assurance and conviction that God will abide by the wonderful promises He has made to those who live by faith. God has kept every promise so far so we are confident of His promise of eternal life. While “faith” is the assurance of things yet unseen, it is still based on solid evidence (Heb. 11:1). It comes by hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17). Justifying faith is an obedient faith.
“Hope “ is the desire plus the expectation of something in the future. Hope gives both comfort and strength to endure. It gives us incentive to live faithfully and therefore it is said that we are “saved by our hope” (Rom. 8:24). We enjoy the “hope of eternal life” (Titus 1:2) and it is a real, living hope based on Jesus’ resurrection (1 Pet. 1:3).
Both “faith” and “hope” are powerful and wonderful attributes, but the greatest is “love.” If not for the love of God our sinful world would have been deservedly destroyed long ago. God is love, and disciples of Jesus love because He first loved us (1 John 4:8,19). Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this; that a man will lay down His life for His friends.” (John 15:13). The following day, He did. “Faith” and “hope” exist only because God loves us. “But now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
By Jon W. Quinn
The Front Page
From Expository Files 20.3; March 2013