By Submitted Article on June 20, 2020.
Faith, love, hope
First of three parts
Jacob M. Van Zyl
Whatever the circumstances are, all people need faith, love and hope (1 Cor. 13:13, 1 Thess. 1:3).
A man and woman feel mutual attraction, share time together and develop trust in each other. Friendship becomes love; they marry and hope for a long and happy family life.
Students get interested in certain careers, believe they can reach their goals, prepare themselves through study and training in the subjects they love, hoping they will achieve success and maintain high standards.
All workers labour in faith, love and hope, contributing something to society and sustaining their families.
Some accept Christ in faith as their Saviour and start practising love to show their gratitude (Gal. 5:6, Eph. 2:8-10). They hope their lives will have a positive effect and that they will end up in the Father’s house.
Since prehistoric times, humans believed in someone or something. They worshiped forces beyond their control, like sun, moon, stars, seasons, lightning, rain, rivers, mountains and fire.
As mankind became more enlightened and sophisticated, worshiping things was replaced by worshiping deities. In their zeal to please the gods, humans often resorted to gruesome forms of sacrifice, including children.
In the East and West, man created multiple gods in their imagination, like those of Greek mythology.
Hebrew faith introduced a new form of worship in which one supreme God takes the initiative (John 6:44). He called the childless Abraham and Sarah to start a new nation. They waited 25 years for the promised son, Isaac. Their grandson Jacob fathered the 12 tribes of Israel.
God revealed himself to Moses as Yahweh, meaning “I am.” He inspired Moses to write the first five books of the Bible.
In Hebrew Scripture, God speaks of himself as Father (Ps. 103:13), Son (Ps. 2), and Spirit (Num. 11:29, Judges 15:14).
God made his first promise of a Saviour in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15). He repeated that promise over the centuries (Deut. 18:15, Is. 7:14, 9:6, 53:3-6, Mic. 5:2, Mal. 3:1).
The Christian faith that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah is built on those prophecies. Christians believe that the Son of God became a human being so that he could give his body as atoning sacrifice, enabling sinners to be reconciled with God.
Faith in Christ and his redemptive work is central to Christianity (John 3:16, 14:6). This faith consists of knowledge and trust. First, people hear or read the gospel and accept it as true. Second, they put their trust in Jesus as their personal Saviour (Rom. 10:13, 14, 17).
They receive assurance of faith when they trust Christ’s word of honour and act on it: “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37).
Jacob Van Zyl of Lethbridge is a retired counsellor and the author of several faith-based books.
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