These Three Abide
Speaker: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: Faith, Hope & Love
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (ESV)
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Make faith, hope and love priorities because:
1. They are essential.
2. They are personal.
3. They are enduring.
Questions for Reflection
Which of the three (faith, hope and love) is hardest for you? Which is most natural for you?
Do you see faith, hope and love as worth pursuing? Should they be your priorities? Why, or why not? What would be a greater priority for you?
Are there ways you value faith, hope and love as good in themselves, apart from God? Can they be disconnected from God?
How are faith, hope and love meant to connect us with God? How does connection with God bring about the right kind of faith, hope and love?
The description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 has often been considered a personified description of Jesus. Do you believe these words to be true of Jesus? If this is what God is like, how does that help you in each of the areas (faith, hope and love)?
While we “see in a mirror darkly”, how do we relate to God in a way that holds to what is true and also brings change to our lives? What are steps you can take to mature in your walk with God?
What are some ways that faith, hope and love work together? How are they dynamically intertwined?
Prayer of Confession
Our Father in heaven, we love only because you first loved us, we trust because you are good, we hope because you are faithful. Yet we wander and lose our way. We have not trusted you, but have grown cynical because of disappointment from trusting the wrong things. We have not hoped in you, but experience anxiety and defeat because we have confused hope for optimism. We have not loved you, or others, with the quality and form of love that comes from you. We have loved, hoped and trusted the wrong things, and we have suffered and caused suffering. Forgive us. Extend your grace to us so that in seeing you, even as in a mirror dimly, we see what is true and are changed by it. Amen.