On Monday I began using a chart by Ken Boa in his book Conformed to His Image to examine the differences between faith, hope and love.
I pointed out that faith depends on the past, hope looks to the future, and love resides in the present.
Today we examine briefly the intended results of these 3 virtues.
First, the result of our faith is our salvation.
Paul clearly tells us this in Ephesians 2:8,9. It is God’s grace given to us because of our faith that allows us to be saved. We receive salvation when we first come to faith in what Jesus Christ has done for us.
Hope on the other hand, produces joy.
Well-defined hope set on the life that awaits us will bring us joy.
Love causes us to become Christ-like.
Because love is focused on the present…it is love that transforms us to make us holy.
In today’s verse Paul tells us that we are to walk in love…be active in love in the present. Love is not just an emotion…it is an emotion that translates into action.
That emotion and subsequent action in turn has a result in us…making us more like Christ.
Our faith has saved us by God’s grace and our future hope brings us joy. But here in the present, we are called to live a life of love that progressively changes us.
It doesn’t happen all at once the moment we are saved.
It happens slowly…throughout our lifetime.
It is a process…
It is a process in which we will experience setbacks and discouragement. But our discouragement should be tempered by hope and our weakness strengthened by faith.
Build on the foundation of your faith, fueled by joy arising from hope to move forward in love.
Any love will conform you into the image of Christ.
And as Paul reminds us in 1 Cor. 13:8… love never fails.
Prayer: Lord equip me to walk in the way of love as You loved us and gave Yourself for us.