Victoria Fellowship Church (VFC)
International and Interdenominational
House Fellowship for week commencing 6th December 2015
Quarter Theme: Living by Faith
Topic: Faith, Hope and Love
Texts: 1 Corinthians 13; Gal 5:6
Memory Verse: 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”
Faith, hope and love are important godly virtues which are related, but distinct and their manifestation shows evidence of our salvation. They are often placed in the same context in the scriptures to reinforce their importance. For example, Paul reminded the Thessalonians about the importance of “putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8). From our memory verse, 1 Corinthians 13: 13, Paul stated that the three virtues are useful in this present time when we see as in a glass dimly, emphasising that when all else was stripped away, he wanted to find that the church excelled in these three areas.
Faith is a confident trust or belief in God that is based on recognizing God’s nature (substance) and His fidelity to His promises (evidence). In Romans chapter 4, Paul states that it is Abraham’s faith that made him righteous, not his circumcision, or any of the things that he did. It was Abraham’s faith in believing God could do what He said he would, that was awarded to him as righteousness.
When you buy into the gospel, you buy into hope. Hope is the confident expectation and a patient waiting for the fulfilment of all of God’s promises. Faith and hope are intrinsically related. While faith is the key that opens up God’s promises, hope is the tool by which we hold onto them. As believers, we have a living hope in God (1 Peter 1:3.) Our hope is in God, which develops through the word of God (Colossians 1: 5). We must be ready to communicate our hope 1 Peter 3:15
Of the three, love is emphasised as the greatest in the memory verse. That truth in no way minimizes the importance of faith and hope. However, nowhere in the Scripture are we told that “God is faith” or that “God is hope”. We are however told in 1 John 4:8 “…God is love.” It is the love between believers that God has chosen to be the primary evidence that we are Christ’s disciples. John 13:35 “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This evidencing love does not require that we agree on everything. In no other religion is love elevated as the primary virtue as it is in Christianity. Your faith is demonstrated in the love for the brethren, not just those we have natural affinity for.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. 1 Cor 13: 4-8 describes what love is. How can we practically demonstrate these love in our fellowship?
2. 1Peter 1: 3 talks about “living hope”. How can we encourage one another to keep the hope of His coming alive?
3. According to Frances Schaeffer, “When Christians differ, it is an opportunity to show the world how much we love each other. Differences are not the death of love; they are the opportunities for love.” Do you agree with this statement? How can Christians manage their differences and still show love for each other?
Share with the group, what you leant and resolved to do, from this study and the sermon