FAITH, HOPE and LOVE are FOREVER

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) 
If we read this verse quickly, we may miss the glory of it. 

  • We know the love of God is forever. 
  • We know eternal life is saturated with eternal love. 
  • We know we need faith now because we must trust where we cannot see God face to face. 

We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV) 

  • We know there is a better world and a better life to come and we hope for what we have not yet seen.

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:24-25 (NIV) 

  • We live in hope for God’s process of complete salvation to unfold in supernatural perfection.

While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 2 Corinthians 5:4 (NLT)

  • If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 1 Corinthians 15:19 (NIV) 

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NIV)

But my hope is not only for myself, to leave this world for a better world in heaven. 

  • I pray for my loved ones and friends, my workmates and neighbours, that many others will come to know this wonderful new life in Jesus, with this wonderful hope of a better life in a better world.

But even that is not enough. I see this whole world belongs to God and He has an amazing plan to restore all things to goodness and peace.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. Revelation 21:1 (NASB) 

  • So when all these things come to pass, we will be united with God in perfect love.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4 (NIV)

  • So when Paul writes of FAITH, HOPE and LOVE, does he mean that love is eternal but faith and hope will one day no longer be needed? 

1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (NIV) 12 NOW we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13  And NOW these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 

The repetition of the word NOW would seem to indicate that Paul is only speaking of our PRESENT need for faith and hope.

  • But Paul uses a different Greek word for NOW in verse 13. Paul is actually saying that FAITH, HOPE and LOVE are all eternal.

When you see God face to face, you love Him with perfect adoration, just as He loves you. You will also trust Him with complete trust. 

  • Not only that.

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end….Isaiah 9:7 (NIV) 

  • There will always be something new and something more to expectantly hope for.

God is the eternal CREATOR. Creativity means new things all the time. The nature and character of God never changes but that also means that with God, there is never mere repetition but always new creation.

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