“The great majority of the Christian world is still weeping at the foot of the cross. The consciousness of man is fixed on the Christ Who died, not the Christ Who LIVES. They are looking back to the Redeemer Who was, not the Redeemer who IS.”
–John G. Lake
“If the truths of Christianity were seconded by the devoted and pious lives of all her professed disciples, the unbelief of the world would soon cease. Private example of godliness is what the world most needs”
– Ichabod Spencer
“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ”
1 Thessalonians 1:3
Authenticity in a believer is substantiated by the life it produces. Paul is remembering the evident character of the believers in Thessalonica. He is gripped by the substance of their walk and life in Christ! The Apostle is bound by the Spirit of God in him to the authentic expression of Christ in them. Life ever calls out to life, deep calls out to deep as we are inextricably joined to the verity of His life in another. This is the power of the true Body of Christ. The call to relationship, fellowship and active love is the binding agent of all who live and walk in Him. If the Spirit of Christ is ruling within, our heart will be drawn to true relationship with others in Christ. When carnality rules, people are content with exclusive*, powerless and shallow relationships in their lives. In contrast, the threefold cords of love to be found in the true Body of Christ are set forth here with clarity and precision.
Work of Faith
Faith, in order to be living, active and pertinent in the lives of His own, will always be expressive of the person, the glory and the substance of the Living Christ. If there are no works of faith it is because the faith of the individual is dead; it is a faith in word only. It is a faith in a doctrine or a teaching which has no life or power. It is stagnant and sterile. One cannot be vitally connected to the Living Christ and live a non-effectual life in this dark world. The Greek Word used here for “work” is where we get the English word “energy”. There is vitality and power associated with a true and living faith within the lives of His own. The Work of Faith is simply the doing which springs forth or originates from the power of His Faith in our lives (Galatians 2:20).
Labour of Love
The Greek Word used here for “labour” is literally translated “the beating of the breast”. It is a burden which can only be known by the love of God beating within our hearts over the condition of others. It is the very Love of God producing prayers, intercessions and words of encouragement and admonition. It is a labour to see the Kingdom of God arise in the earth and especially in the household of faith. Those who do not have the love of God beating within their hearts will not know this travail of Spirit over the condition of God’s people in this Day.
Patience of Hope
The word “patience” is much better translated “endurance”. Endurance speaks of faithfulness, consistency and self-sacrifice. It communicates a life which is committed to the goal or purpose of God regardless of the obstacles and the apathy of others; it holds true to the mark set before it. The beauty of this grace is born out of a complete abandonment to the promises of God. It is a life which does not falter for it holds the character of God as its surety of recompense. It disciplines the heart to the works of faith and the labour of Love. It is the anchor from which the other graces of faith and love remain constant. The word declares that hope is the “anchor of the soul” to which the wandering tendencies of the human heart is held firm to the end.
This threefold cord is the true revelation of the living Christ ruling and reigning within the lives of His own.
“…a threefold cord is not easily broken”
*Note: Exclusive relationships are closed, secular and carnal. They are the product of the blindness of the religious endeavors of men who seek the preeminence for themselves and the need for association with others to bolster the assurance of their walk with God. People who only find fellowship within the man-made boundaries of teachings, organizations, ministries and associations have become insensitive to the love of God in Christ.
“Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God’ (Rom. 10:17). That is whence faith comes. It is not for me to sit down and wait for faith to come stealing over me with a strong sensation, but is for me to take God at His Word”
– Dwight Moody
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
– Luke 4:4
“To him that hath” that is, useth what he hath, it shall be given still and that more abundantly. Therefore, use your every grace, stir up the gift of God that is in you, be zealous, be active, according to your strength, speak for God wherever you are”
– John Wesley
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself”
– Luke 10:27
“Do nothing that you would not like God to see. Say nothing you would not like God to hear. Write nothing you would not like God to read. Go no place where you would not like God to find you. Read no book of which you would not like God to say, “Show it to Me.” Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like to have God say, “What are you doing?”
― J.C. Ryle
“Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart”
“If it were not for hopes, the heart would break”
– Thomas Fuller
Jesus is the hope of every life. He is the stronghold of all who put their trust in Him. Hope gives strength in the night, it is the anchor in every storm and it is the pillar that hold’s His own in every night season.
A living hope beats with the evidentiary expression of Faith. A living hope is always ratified by a living faith. It is faith which assures hope of its validity.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for…”
Faith and Hope are the kindred graces which inevitably brings the soul into the very Love of God.
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love”
1 Corinthians 13:13
“…in everything commending ourselves as servants of God”
2 Corinthians 6:4
“Ah! If our likeness to God does not show itself in trifles, what is there left for it to show itself in? For our lives are all made up of trifles. The great things come three or four of them in the seventy years; the little ones every time the clock ticks”