Love Is The Goal

Studies in First Corinthians – XXIII

“And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Faith. Hope. Love. These three are constantly found together in Scripture. Where one is found, the other two are often found lending support.

“Being justified by faith…we rejoice in hope…because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts” (Romans 5:1-5).

“…we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven” (Colossians 1:4-5).

“…your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

Faith is trust that rests upon evidence and leads to action. Hope is confidence in the future. Both are related to love. In fact, it is impossible to separate them. Faith looks back, claiming the saving work of Calvary. Hope looks forward and lays hold of a future glory. Love dominates the present. Faith says Jesus Christ came to save me; hope says He is coming again to take me to be with Him; love says He abides in my heart today.

Faith is nothing but an intellectual conviction without hope and love. Hope is just a dream without faith and love. Love is just a feeling, a temporary emotion, without faith and hope.

Paul says that the greatest of these three is love. Why? Because faith and hope are means to the end, but love is the goal. You cannot rest in faith and hope, but you can rest in love.

Love is greatest of all because God is love. God has no need for faith; He knows everything. God does not hope; He possess everything. But God loves, because He is love.

Love of God, eternal love, shed Thy love through me!
Nothing less than Calvary’s love would I ask of Thee.
Fill me, flood me, overflow me,
Love of God, eternal love, shed Thy love through me!
-Amy Carmichael

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