Life Made Better by Faith,
Hope and Love
One of the most well known Bible statements says, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13:13) Likely there is not one of us that do not need some improvement in some way in our spiritual life. Jesus said, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8) The one that is not a Christian can improve themselves by gospel obedience. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30) Confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) Those that are children of God can improve their lives by becoming more Christ like. We must be changed into His glory. Paul wrote, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Our goal should be to improve our life so that we may be more pleasing to God and also a better example to our fellow man. By looking into the Bible and allowing the image of Christ to reflect into our eyes and heart we can be transformed into the same image. Life is hard at best with all its ups and downs. A life of faith, hope and love does not eliminate the struggles of life, but it makes life so much better. Trust in God and lean upon Him and life is improved tremendously.
A life lived by faith. Without faith there is no possibility of being a Christian or of pleasing God. Faith comes from hearing the word of God. Therefore you life is made better by the power of truth. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) The truth frees us from guilt and from all false teaching. We must have the faith that comes from God’s word because “many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) Without this faith it would be impossible to have the Lord Jesus in our life. It is no wonder that the Spirit would inspire Paul to write, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16) Without the faith that comes through the Gospel there can be no salvation. A life lived by faith is prepared to meet God on Judgment Day! The gospel can change the vilest sinner into a person of faith if he will receive and obey it.
A life lived by hope. In Romans 8:24 we read, “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?” The word hope appears about 150 times in our Bible. It is more than 80 times in the New Testament alone. Christianity is a religion of hope. As Paul stood before Agrippia he showed that “hope” has to do with the entire system of salvation through Christ. “And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.” (Acts 26:6-7) The Lord Jesus Christ is our hope. (1 Timothy 1:1) “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:2) Later, in the Roman letter he put it this way, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4) The greatest hope we have on earth comes through our reading of the Scriptures. First Peter 1:13 says, “Wherefore girding up the loins of your mind, be sober and set your hope perfectly on the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
A life lived by love. Your life can be improved through the power of love. Genesis 29:20 tells us that love made Jacob's seven years of work for Rachel seem like only a few days. Love makes work easy and burdens light. Love for God, love for others and love for good things make a person better. Do you have a deep love for Christ and His church? Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) God requires all His followers to love Him and all men. Love is to delight in God and His word. Love is to desire continually to please God. Love is to seek to find our happiness in Him. Love is to hunger and thirst after a stronger relationship with God. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:5)
It is a privilege to become a Christian. Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16) Make your life what the Lord wants it to be.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA