How do I obtain faith and love?

Maybe the first question to ask is how do I know I have faith and/or love?

Faith is not so much what you have, but who you have faith in and in this case the simple answer to the question – have you put your faith in Jesus Christ?  If the answer is yes, then you have faith, if not, then you do not.

Love is an outward expression that you give away. The opposite of love is to judge.  So in this case, if you express love for all God‘s people, then you have love and if not, then you do not.

So back to our original question – I believe that the only way for you to have expressing faith and love as a reason or motive to encourage the body of Christ to believe in Christ and to go on believing in Him, and to hold fast the profession of their faith in Him, and to love the church and show it on all occasions and in every case – is because you have a hope in the rich treasure of glory and happiness that is in reserve for you in heaven.

This is what you are hoping and waiting for – this has encouraged your own faith in Christ and enlarged your own love and generosity to the church.  In fact you are thankful, thankful for this faith and love which comes by your hope – and this is not the grace of hope, for that does not get you into heaven, but rather this is hope in the heart.

You will find throughout scripture that these three usually are found together.  For Christ is also the foundation of hope – through His sufferings and death and with that redemption; His resurrection from the dead, His intercessions and preparations; the promise of life in Him, and the promise of Himself who contains righteousness and grace, for He waits for us in heaven to give us what we hope for – everlasting happiness.

What we seek is the object of our hope; it is not yet possessed; it’s in the future, is not seen; is difficult, and yet possible to be enjoyed.  The fact that it is waiting for us denotes the preciousness and valuableness of it, it is a treasure, an inheritance, a kingdom, and riches of glory; and the secrecy and hiddenness of it, it consists of things invisible to the bodily eye, and which are out of the reach of carnal sense and reason, of which faith only has some small glimpse; and also the safety of it, it is hidden in Christ, it is reserved “in heaven”, and cannot be come at, and spoiled by people or demons; and likewise the free grace and goodness of God in laying up and providing things of such a nature for His children and friends: the place where it is, in heaven, where moth and rust does not corrupt, and thieves cannot break through and steal; and so is safe, and must be of a heavenly nature, as it is for heavenly persons: “for you”; the saints and faithful followers of Christ, for those who were chosen in Christ, for whom it was prepared from the foundation of the world; for this is not laid up for any, for everyone, but for the chosen of God, and precious; whom God has distinguished by His grace, Christ has redeemed by His blood, and the Spirit regenerates and sanctifies, and who have faith, hope, and love, given to them; and this was not only laid up for them, but they knew of it, they were made acquainted with it:

This is what Epaphras, a faithful teacher before the writing of this epistle, had to say —

“In the word of the truth of the Gospel; or in the true word of the Gospel; which comes from the God of truth, is indited by the Spirit of truth, is concerning Christ the truth, and which contains nothing but truth, and lies in the Scriptures of truth: or “in the word of truth“, even the Gospel; which explains what word of truth is meant. The law is the word of truth; and many of the words of men, of the philosophers, were words of truth; but it was not in either of them they had heard of eternal life laid up in heaven; of which there were hopes to be entertained by sinful creatures, enjoying it through Christ: this is what only the Gospel brings an account of; life and immortality are only brought to light by the Gospel; which not only speaks of it, but lays that before men, which give them ground and encouragement to hope for it.”

 

 

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