“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.“ 1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV)
Have been wondering a bit why faith might not be the greatest but the truth of the matter is that by grace we are saved … and born again … through faith.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
And it is in the midst of being born of God and knowing God that the love of God is poured out on us … that the love of God is made manifest among us.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:7-9 (ESV)
And the evidence is found in our belief of the love that God has for us and that we abide in love … for God and for neighbor …
“By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.“ 1 John 4:13-16 (ESV)
Which leads us to the greatest commandment and the second greatest commandment …
And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall LOVE your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:35-40 (ESV)
You know, I can’t help but think that the good works which God has prepared beforehand for His children to walk in are not only acts of service but more importantly are intended to be acts of love.
I also can’t help but wonder how many acts of service I have performed in the name of Jesus through the years have been about doing something rather than about loving someone … how ’bout you?
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.“ Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
Yes indeed, the greatest of these is love.