THE HOUSE OF GOD: OUR DESTINED DWELLING PLACE
In Matthew 6:19-21 Yeshua [Jesus] says, “Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal. Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal. For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.” Further apostle Paul explains that we are citizens of heaven, and it is from there that we expect a Deliverer, the Lord Yeshua the Messiah. [Philippians 3:20]
Faith, Hope and Love are three heavenly gifts in the Christian life that give opportunity to occupy place to live in Father’s house and store up wealth for self in heaven. They were spoken about frequently by Yeshua [Jesus] and his disciples, the greatest example of these virtues can be seen in the life, death and resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah [Jesus Christ]. In 1 Corinthians, apostle Paul describes various spiritual gifts and ways we can demonstrate Godly living in the world. He touches on the gift of KNOWING [discerning of spirits, word of knowledge, word of wisdom], SPEAKING [divers kind of tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy] and DOING [healing, miracles, faith]. Yet somehow, he passes all of these things for just one thing: Love. In 1 Corinthians 13:13 he says, “Three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love.”
Most of us have found ourselves skipping over this verse with a thought of “Yep, got that one down.” We have heard it and read it so often that we forget the application and power of it. What is this for? Why are these the things – faith, hope, love – that last forever? The greatest power of our lives is contained in this verse. We just have the task of unfolding the purpose behind it in order to connect to it and request Yeshua the Messiah [Jesus Christ] to ensure places in Father’s house for us in Heaven. In John 14:1-4 Jesus says, “Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in me. In my Father’s house are many places to live. If there weren’t, I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you. Since I am going and preparing a place for you, I will return to take you with me; so that where I am, you may be also. Furthermore, you know where I’m going; and you know the way there.”
2.0 FAITH – RECEIVE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONLY WAY TO SURVIVE AS CHRISTIANS
In the New Testament, faith is the belief in God and the conviction that Yeshua [Jesus] is the Messiah through whom we obtain eternal salvation. “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11) “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Messiah [Christ] may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:16-17). Faith, as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, means living our life in accordance with God’s will at all times. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Faith is one of the first things we learn about as Christians. It often starts with the quote from Yeshua [Jesus] in Luke 17:6 where He says, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you!” In Matthew 17:20 also we read that Yeshua [Jesus] said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Hebrews 11:1 gives this clear definition of faith: “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
The purpose of faith is not to influence my own comfort. The purpose of faith is to lead us to know the heart of God and then trust His ways to guide us. It is practical exercise reminding us of our place on the vine. We are the branches, and we can do nothing apart from the vine (John 15:5). Hebrews 11:1 is a great definition of faith, but Hebrews 11:6 gives us the life application of it. It states, “For we come to God in faith knowing that He is real and that He rewards the faith of those who passionately seek Him.”
In fact, the Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:6 that, “…without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God, must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” The value of faith cannot be disputed. Without it, there would be no Christianity. Without faith, we couldn’t come to Messiah [Christ] or walk in obedience to him. Faith is what motivates us to move forward even when the odds are against us. And faith is closely related to hope.
The core principles of the gospel are repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Spirit, which are the steps [ladder] of faith & salvation. By having faith in Yeshua [Jesus], Christians believe they receive favour in the eyes of God. This means they believe God has blessed them, which in turn gives them the strength to live a good Christian life. Ultimately, salvation from sin was the purpose of Yeshua’s [Jesus’] life, death and resurrection.
3.0 HOPE – ONLY WAY TO BE FRUITFUL, DAILY LIVING ON FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Hope keeps us moving forward. No individual can imagine life without hope. Hope fuels us to face impossible challenges. Hope is the expectation that we will obtain what we desire. Hope is a special gift given by God through his grace to combat the day-to-day monotony and the most difficult circumstances.
The way that faith, which is the seeking of the Lord, connects with hope, which is the expectation of finding Him, is through wisdom. Proverbs 24:14 says, “In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.” Yeshua [Jesus] is our model of constantly seeking wisdom. Often in our spiritual development, we hit a place of complacency where we are good with what we have. It is a great thing to be grateful, but there is more for your life when you continually seek wisdom. At each level we should be graduating, moving, and growing, constantly adding to what we understand. This is what keeps hope alive. As we seek more, we learn more, and we store up confidence in who we are on the vine. In Luke 2:52 we get a subtle, yet powerful, picture of Yeshua’s [Jesus’] character that reveals the foundation of his influence and confidence. It says, “Yeshua [Jesus] kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.” Yeshua [Jesus] is our leader and we should follow his lead by constantly seeking wisdom and relationship with others.
The New Testament idea of HOPE is the recognition that in Messiah [Christ] is found the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises (Matthew 12:21, 1 Peter 1:3). Christian hope is rooted in faith in the divine salvation in Messiah [Christ] (Galatians 5:5). Hope of Christians is brought into being through the presence of the promised Holy Spirit (Romans 8:24-25). It is the future hope of the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:6), the promises given to Israel (Acts 26:6-7), the redemption of the body and of the whole creation (Romans 8:23-25), eternal glory (Colossians 1:27), eternal life and the inheritance of the saints (Titus 3:5-7), the return of Messiah [Christ] (Titus 2:11-14), transformation into the likeness of Messiah [Christ] (1 John 3:2-3), the salvation of God (1 Timothy 4:10) or simply Messiah [Christ] Himself (1 Timothy 1:1).
The certainty of this blessed future is guaranteed through the indwelling of the Spirit (Romans 8:23-25), Messiah [Christ] in us (Colossians 1:27), and the resurrection of Messiah [Christ] (Acts 2:26). Hope is produced by endurance through suffering (Romans 5:2-5) and is the inspiration behind endurance (1 Thessalonians 1:3; Hebrews 6:11). Those who hope in Messiah [Christ] will see Messiah [Christ] exalted in life and in death (Philippians 1:20). Trustworthy promises from God give us hope (Hebrews 6:18-19), and we may boast in this hope (Hebrews 3:6) and exhibit great boldness in our faith (2 Corinthians 3:12). By contrast, those who do not place their trust in God are said to be without hope (Ephesians 2:12, 1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Along with faith and love, hope is an enduring virtue of the Christian life (1 Corinthians 13:13), and love springs from hope (Colossians 1:4-5). Hope produces joy and peace in believers through the power of the Spirit (Romans 12:12; 15:13). Paul attributes his apostolic calling to the hope of eternal glory (Titus 1:1-2). Hope in the return of Messiah [Christ] is the basis for believers to purify themselves in this life (Titus 2:11-14, 1 John 3:3).
4.0 LOVE – ONLY WAY TO HAVE ABUNDANT LIFE
Apostle Paul makes it very clear in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that the greatest of all spiritual gifts is love. Based on this, we know that love is the result that we see of our faith and our hope. Love is the goal. How wonderful is it to understand the goal! When you start a new game, the biggest hurdle is often obtaining an understanding more than physical limitations. If you understand the goal, you can use what you have to get there.
The purpose of love is evident in 1 John 4:7-8 that it is the clearest picture of God that we have. It states, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” It goes on to say in verse 19 that “we love because God first loved us.”
So the purpose of love is twofold. First, it is revelation of identity. It tells us who God is and who we are in God. Second, it is the very power that allows us to do the work of Yeshua [Jesus] and even greater works as Yeshua [Jesus] described in John 14:12. He says, “Whoever believes in me will also do the works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” Love has the power to help us believe again and restore hope in others. It is the engine that drives our spiritual lives.
FAITH is tool and weapon we need to fight. When we live by FAITH, we have the place to believe, instead of being adrift, which meets our human need for security. This defines the Kingdom. HOPE is energy and victory we need to keep going. When we are the voice of HOPE, we have the destiny, instead of despair, which meets our human need for meaning. This inspires the Kingdom. LOVE is power (fuel) and reason we need for serving. When we are known by LOVE, we have the place where we belong, instead of being lonely, which meets our human need for relationship. This fuels the Kingdom.
If faith, hope, and love are the things that last forever, it becomes clear that these are the things we should pursue with our lives. Unless we put these three into action we will be tossed about, up and down in our feels and unproductivity.
Finding faith, hope, and love for ourselves does not mark the end of anything. It can mark the beginning for someone else. If you have ever been in a broken place, you know the power of someone else showing you kindness or believing in you. When you are shown love, you ignite a new belief of what you could be. Then you become hopeful that there is still good in this world. Then you love yourself. Then you share love with others and spark this cycle over and over again. This is our beginning, our new beginnings, and our forever, both for us and our fellow human beings.