Faith, Hope and Charity

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Faith in its purist form is TRUST. We found in the last study that:

... faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Paul then introduces "Charity" into this equation of Faith and Hope:

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 1 Corinthians 13:13

After the last couple studies on Faith, I was contemplating this verse and wondered why Faith, Hope and Charity were considered together. What is their relationship?

What do you hope for? What are your expectations? What do you want to happen? What do you Hope will happen?

This part of faith (Hope) reflects an optimism based on trust. This optimism can come from no source other than faith/trust.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love יהוה [Yahweh]... Romans 8:28

If we have this faith (trust) and believe this to be true, it will result in an optimism that almost forces us to hope for and expect the best.

If we have no hope (optimism) it is a symptom of having no faith (trust). A lack of optimism will result in fear, the opposite of faith.

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Romans 8:24-25

Hope is not Faith, but it certainly is a sign or symptom or result of Faith.

This explains the relationship between Faith and Hope. But what about Charity?

"Charity" in ALL New Testament occurrences (it doesn't exist in the Old Testament) is translated from the word "agape" usually defined as brotherly love. Agape occurs many other times in the New Testament but is otherwise translated as "love". It could just as easily always be translated as "love".

I propose that Charity (Love) is the acting out (works) of Faith and Hope. It is the good works that prove faith.

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. James 2:17

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? James 2:20

Love IS keeping the law. The law is fulfilled when we love.

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Galatians 5:14

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:8,10

Rabbi, which is the great commandment in the law? Yahushua said unto him, Thou shalt love יהוה [Yahweh] thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:36-40

Also see 1 John 4:7-21

"Works" are an imperfect measure of faith and law. Works are outward and can be faked, can be performed with wrong intent. Works can be performed for selfish reasons, to impress, to gain some advantage, to get some reward. See "Tale of Three Men" for an example of the fallacy and deficiency of "works". "Works" will not save.

Love is perfect and pure. It results in good works for the right reasons. Love is fulfillment of the law. Love is God, God is love. Love is the demonstration of Faith and it will save.

Perfect love casts out fear. Fear is the opposite of Faith, and there we have gone full circle (see "Faith or Fear").

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Love is the best demonstration of our faith, hope and fulfillment of the law. Faith, Hope and Charity. The greatest of these is LOVE.

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