Faith, Love, and Hope: A Review of Sunday’s Sermon
Our world is a pretty unsettled place right now. Yet God calls us to pray that His kingdom would come to this world. How do we as believers–as the Body of Christ–partner with God to bring His kingdom to our troubled world?
Through faith, love, and hope, which are wellsprings of God’s kingdom. When we drink deeply from these wells, we find security, a place to belong, and meaning for our lives and our world.
This past Sunday, I shared three central tenets of God’s kingdom and discussed how this triad of faith, love, and hope are actually wellsprings of life and God’s plan for our troubled world. In his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul states that prophecy, spiritual gifts, and knowledge (all things to be pursued) will eventually be put aside. However, three things remain: faith, love, hope. (1 Corinthians 13:8-13)
In fact, Paul and the other New Testament authors teach this core understanding of faith, love, and hope throughout their letters. For those who may want to explore these concepts more deeply, check out these Scriptures: Galatians 5:5-6, Ephesians 1:12-18, Ephesians 4:2-5, Colossians 1:4-5, 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:8, 1 Timothy 4:10-12, Hebrews 10:22-24.
Together, the words of faith, love, and hope form a poetic phrase that can cause us to gloss over a deeper understanding of their significance. But exploring further, we begin to uncap the richness of these eternal wells.
Faith is much more than an understanding of what we believe, which we might call “the faith.” However, if we live by faith, we put these truths into action, which shapes our thoughts and lives. Living by faith defines our life in God’s kingdom, providing security and direction rather than leaving us adrift in a sea of questions and uncertainty (Ephesians 4:13-16).
If faith defines the kingdom, then love fuels the kingdom. God’s eternal hope for us was birthed out of His love. “For God so loved the world…”, “We love God because He first loved us…” Love birthed the kingdom and love fuels the kingdom. As believers, as the Body of Christ, love should drive us. We should be known by love. We are to live by faith (which will shape our beliefs and our actions) but be known by our love. Active faith causes us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Radical, sacrificial love.
Just as we are to be known by love, we can be a voice of hope. Drinking from the well of faith–active faith demonstrated through love–will always release hope. Jesus, His gospel, and His kingdom is hope. He brought hope to a hopeless world. Hope infuses meaning, significance, and purpose to a world in despair. We should be inspired by hope; we should inspire others by the hope emanating from us.
Ponder these thoughts. Consider how God’s plan for His kingdom to come to this world may flow from the eternal wellsprings of faith, love, and hope.
At the end of my message, I displayed a matrix I know many of you were trying to capture the information displayed in it. I’ve attached it here for your use. Also, after seeing the matrix on Sunday morning, Erik Johnson translated it into these three rich phrases. Thanks, Erik. Let’s all continue to drink from the living water of these wellspring to life.
When I live by FAITH, I have a place to believe, instead of being adrift, which meets my human need for security. This defines the Kingdom.
When I am known by LOVE, I have a place where I belong, instead of being lonely, which meets my human need for relationship. This fuels the Kingdom.
When I am a voice of HOPE, I have a destiny, instead of despair, which meets my human need for meaning. This inspires the Kingdom.