NOW ABIDE FAITH, HOPE & LOVE
(1 Thess. 1:3)
1. 1 Cor. 13:13 - Faith, hope & love abide as cornerstones of the Christian's life.
a. Faith - Gal. 2:20
b. Hope - 1 Pet. 1:3
c. Love - Eph. 5:2
2. 1 Ths. 1:2-4 - F, H & L of Christians commended.
3. 1:4-7 - God's election (via gospel) is why we must have F-H-L!
4. How can we equip our lives (daily living) with F-H-L?
I. WORK OF FAITH - 1:3.
A. Faith Is Active: It Is A "Work" - John 6:25-29.
1. 6:27 - Labor for the food which endures unto eternal life! The "labor" Christ commands is faith (6:28-29)!
2. 6:33-35, 44-48 - Faith in Christ as the bread of life means to believe His teachings (hear & learn from the Father)!
a. Must feed on Christ to have eternal life - 6:57-58.
b. Must feed on words of Christ to have eternal life - 6:63,68
3. The work of faith we must accomplish is to obey the words of Christ! - Jas. 2:20-22
4. The Thessalonians:
a. Conversion - 1:8-10 - Turned to God & away from sin (example of faith which taught others).
b. Continuation - 2:13-14 - Welcomed gospel & obeyed it with endurance.
c. Commitment - 3:6-8 - Faith was standing fast! (Phil. 1:27; 4:1)
a. How strong has our conversion been? (Gal. 4:8-9, 19-20)
b. How active have we continued to be in the gospel in the face of opposition? (Heb. 10:36-39)
c. How committed are we that the gospel is right! (Gal. 2:20)
II. LABOR OF LOVE - 1:3.
A. Love To The Point Of Fatigue.
1. Labor: kopos - "a striking, a beating toil resulting in weariness, laborious toil, trouble" (Vine, 349)
2. Love until you're 'worn out'! - Gal. 5:6
a. Love God - Mk. 12:30 (all your strength).
b. Love neighbor - Mk. 12:31 (as yourself).
c. Love God's truth - 2 Ths. 2:10.
d. Love God's people (brethren) - 1 Pet. 2:17.
3. The Thessalonians:
a. Blameless hearts - 2:12-13 (5:25-26) - Genuine love (1 Pet. 1:22).
b. Bountiful deeds - 4:9-12 - They did many things which showed their love for each other (1 Jno. 3:18).
c. Beneficial service - 5:12-15 - They were respectful, kind, concerned, comforting, thoughtful of each other (Heb. 10:24).
a. Are our hearts blameless in love? (Rom. 12:10)
b. Our love must abound more and more, too! (1 Ths. 4:10)
c. Does our love benefit others before ourselves? (Gal. 5:13-15)
B. God Remembers Our Labors Of Love - Heb. 6:10.
III. PATIENCE OF HOPE - 1:3.
A. Hope Produces A Patient Lifestyle - Rom. 8:24-25.
1. "in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings" (Thayer, 644)
2. Enduring present trials & waiting for something which is desired & expected, but not yet realized.
3. Their hope (& ours): Coming of Lord Jesus - 1:10; 2:19-20; 3:13; 4:13ff; 5:23.
4. The Thessalonians:
a. Perseverance - 1:6; 2:14; 5:8, 14 - Resolve to obey Christ in face of opposition because our hope is sure!
b. Praise - 2:19-20; 5:16 - Rejoice in hope of Christ's return. Faithful Christians can & do anticipate His return!
c. Prayer - 1:2; 3:11-13; 5:17, 25 - Prayer is an expression of our patient endurance & reliance upon God!
a. How deep is our resolve to persevere? (Rom. 5:2-4)
b. How much praise does our hope produce? (Rom. 5:2)
c. How often do we pray with confidence? (Rom. 5:5)
1. There is always room for growth & improvement in our faith (1 Ths. 3:10), love (1 Ths. 4:10) & hope (1 Ths. 5:23-24).
2. 1 Ths. 5:9 - God did not appoint us to wrath - He elected us to obtain salvation (1:4).
3. Therefore, live in faith, love & hope!