In 1 Corinthians 13, the famous Love passage, Paul says there are only three things that abide with eternal significance and those three things are faith, hope and love. In Colossians 1, verses 3 thru 5, Paul puts those three crucial ingredients together in his prayers of thanksgiving for the saints. He writes, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.” He clarifies these three traits for us. When he talks about faith it’s “Faith in Jesus Christ.” When he talks about love, it’s “Love for each other.” Both Faith and Love are motivated by the hope that’s laid up for us in heaven.

We see faith, hope, and love linked together often in Paul’s writings. Paul presents them as the supreme marks by which a church is measured, and by implication, by which a Christian is measured. It’s not the spiritual gifts, the abilities, the personality or the passions that God measures believers by. It’s faith, hope & love. Look at these other verses written by the Apostle Paul.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 says, “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Galatians 5:5-6: “We eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus … the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Ephesians 1:15-18: “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.… I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you …”

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13