Faith Hope Love – 1 Corinthians 13:13

Faith hope and love - 1 Corinthians 13:13
Faith Hope Love - 1 Corinthians 13:13

1 Corinthians 13:13

In 1 Corinthians 13:13, Paul mentions faith, hope, and love as being three important attributes for us to dwell on. Yet he mentions that love is the greatest of the three. Why is that? What is so important about love?

Through Jesus’ ministry, He focuses a lot on love. When He states the two greatest commandments, they are all about love! He says that if you love God and love others, you have summed up the whole Law and the Prophets. I would say that makes love pretty important.

Apart from these two commandments which sum up the whole Law and the Prophets, Jesus gave a new commandment. In John 13:34-35, Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jesus not only outlines love as the ultimate spirit of the Law; He also says that it is the mark of a true believer! At the center of the Christian’s life is love and at the center of Jesus’ life and ministry was love.

Possibly even more important than this, Jesus tells us to abide in His love. In the well-known John 15, Jesus compares Himself to a vine and His followers to branches. He says this in John 15:9-12: “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.”

This is revolutionary! This means that our source of joy in Christ comes from abiding in His love. If you aren’t joyful, it means you aren’t abiding in His love. It actually makes the concept of happiness and the eternal search for joy very simple! Abide in Christ’s love and your joy will be made full. In fact, Christ makes it clear that without abiding in Him, we can’t do anything. In John 15:5, He says, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” For anything that we wish to do, we must abide in Him first, for apart from Him, we can do nothing.

Abide in faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love. Love is how we show ourselves to be disciples. Love is how we fulfil the greatest commandments. Abiding in Christ’s love is how we find joy and the strength to do His work in His kingdom. How could we ever place love at lesser importance? The greatest of these is love.

King James Version (KJV)

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

New International Version (NIV)

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

New American Bible (NASB)

“But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the [f]greatest of these is love.”

English Standard Version (ESV)

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

The Living Bible (TLB)

“There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”

Summary

Leave a comment