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Showing posts from February, 2012

Agape

Agape is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself. The Apostle John affirms this in 1 John 4:8: “God is love.” God does not merely love; He is love itself. Everything God does flows from His love. But it is important to remember that God’s love is not a sappy, sentimental love such as we often hear portrayed. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. He loves the unlovable and the unlovely (us!), not because we deserve to be loved, but because it is His nature to do so, and He must be true to His nature and character. God’s love is displayed most clearly at the Cross, where Christ died for the unworthy creatures who were “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), not because we did anything to deserve it, “but God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The object of agape love never does anything to merit His love. We are the undeserving recipients upon whom He…

HOPE

Trustful expectation, particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God's promises. Biblical hope is the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God's guidance. More specifically, hope is the confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future. This contrasts to the world's definition of hope as “a feeling that what is wanted will happen.” Understood in this way, hope can denote either a baseless optimism or a vague yearning after an unattainable good. If hope is to be genuine hope, however, it must be founded on something (or someone) which affords reasonable grounds for confidence in its fulfillment. The Bible bases its hope in God and His saving acts. Words for Hope In the Old Testament the words which are most often used to connote “hope” aretigwa(“to look for something with eager expectation”),batach(“to rely on something reliable”), andyachal(“trust”). In the New Testament “hope” is the proper tra…

Faith

Faith is the simplest of all things, and perhaps because of its simplicity it is the more difficult to explain. What is faith? It is made up of three things—knowledge, belief, and trust.
KNOWLEDGE…
Knowledge comes first. “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:14). I want to be informed of a fact before I can possibly believe it. “Faith comes by hearing” (Romans 10:17); we must first hear, in order that we may know what is to be believed. “Those who know your name will trust in you” (Psalm 9:10)
A measure of knowledge is essential to faith; hence the importance of getting knowledge. “Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live” (Isaiah 55:3). Such was the word of the ancient prophet, and it is the word of the gospel still.
Search the Scriptures and learn what the Holy Spirit teaches concerning Christ and His salvation. Seek to know God: “For he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that dilige…