Faith, Hope, Love, Grace, Purity…we see these words a lot in our society; for sale on plaques, written in calligraphy on walls, on garden rock art, and even on cosmetic jars. They’re good words as words go, but by themselves they’re meaningless. In a sense they have become mystical words, with illusive meanings that any person, company, or religion can attach their own definition to. They have become cheap and without substance.
Isn’t that just like the enemy’s tactics, to take words with rich meaning from God’s word and water them down to conform to this world? He desires to remove the true substance - Christ - from anything and everything that brings Him glory and take glory for himself. He doesn’t have to change anything else…just remove Christ. All these words: Hope, grace, purity, are rich in meaning when kept in the context of our walk with Him, but taken out of that context they become as useless to transform us as face cream in a jar.
How many “Christian” songs have been sung without the mention of His name, sermons preached, or books written, somehow thinking the world could be lured in by not offending the listener with the name of the Son of God. In doing so, they have conformed to the worlds standards instead of transforming the listener by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:1-2). 1 John 5:4 says, whatever is born of God overcomes the world – not becomes like it.
Christ is the very center of all we do if we are Christians. He is the starting point at which all things begin…he is the heart of everything. Without the heart in a body, the blood cannot beat through the veins. Without Christ there is no life, no power in the words. It is only in Him that life flows through words, and people are transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s be bold and put His name back in the places it has been removed. Let it forever be present on the tips of our tongues and the end of our pens…ready to flow forth with power and life to the listener (1 Peter 4:11).
What did Paul mean in 1 Corinthians 13:13 when he said, “…these three remain - faith, hope, love…?”
If our faith is in Christ, then He becomes the very definition of it. He is the substance of all we hope for, and the evidence in our lives not only of things we see, but also of the things we can’t see. (Hebrews 11:1)
He is also our hope…For it is the God of hope who fills us with all joy and peace in believing that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
And He is our love…”Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
We know Paul did not mean these three remain apart from Christ, because to Paul, to live was Christ. It may be a little disappointing to the world to know they can’t purchase hope in a jar, but the good news is - God sent us hope in His Son. He even paid the price for us to receive it, so that we could have an endless supply through Jesus…free of charge.