Faith, Hope, and Charity

I Corinthians 13:13

The local church in Corinth was in serious trouble. Sad to say, the problems did not stay within the church family; they were known by the unbelievers outside the church.

To begin with, the church at Corinth was a defiled church. Some of its members were guilty of sexual immorality; others got drunk; still others were using the grace of God to excuse worldly living. It was also a divided church, with at least four different groups competing for leadership (1 Cor. 1:12). This meant it was a disgraced church. Instead of glorifying God, it was hindering the progress of the Gospel.

In every chapter of this epistle we find the apostle Paul correcting the church either in doctrine or practice. In chapter twelve Paul corrected their misunderstanding of spiritual gifts. In the final verse of chapter 12 he tells them that he will show them "a more excellent way".

The more 'excellent way' is the way of charity or love. The Greek word Paul uses here is 'agape' which speaks of unselfish and unconditional love for others. Chapter thirteen has become known as the 'great love chapter' of the Bible. Our text for the message this morning is found in verse thirteen.

Paul gives us what I believe are three virtues that sum up what it is to be a Christian. Let's take a closer look at them this morning.

I. The Necessity of Faith cf Hebrews 11:1

II. The Importance of Hope…

III. The Greatness of Love

We cannot love others until we have personally known the love of God. Do you know the Lord today? Have you come to Him for salvation? He loves us so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, to die in our place so that we might have eternal life. Why not come to Him today?

Christians, are we accurately representing our Lord to this lost and dying world in which we live? Through our faith, our hope, and our love? Do we need to come and spend some time with Him today getting things right? Why not come now.