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Jeremy Ham, AiG–U.S., explores the concepts of faith, hope, and love, and shares some interesting insights on what these concepts are like from God’s perspective.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3–5)
Today’s big question: which comes first from God’s perspective—faith, love, or hope?
We previously discussed which of these concepts comes first from our perspective. Love and hope are logical outcomes of faith, but they are also well-integrated with faith. Without faith, we would have no appreciation (love) for what God did and no hope of glorification. Now we will attempt to examine this topic from another angle. Which comes first for God, or does this question even apply?
Thinking from our perspective is easy. We have faith in God and love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). We also have the hope of our future glorification.
God does not need faith or hope. He is God. Therefore, He never fails, He knows all, and He can do anything consistent with His nature—He is perfect. God does not need to have faith or hope because He knows everything, including the future. However, if He did not love, we would not be where we are today.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4–7)
Faith and hope are necessary for us in this sin-cursed world, but they are not necessary for God. He is love (1 John 4:8), and we are created in His image. If there were no sin, we would still love, but faith and hope would no longer be needed regarding salvation.
So in answer to today’s question, God’s love came first. Moreover, faith and hope will be irrelevant to us when we are glorified and live with God forever.
Asking questions such as “which comes first?” is important as we learn truth. They help us define faith, hope, and love, and how each one relates to the others. Let us have faith in the Living Hope—Jesus Christ—as we wait for the time when faith will be unnecessary and hope will be realized.
Today’s big idea: God is love and has no need for faith or hope.
What to pray: ask God to give you patience as you wait for the time when faith and hope will no longer be necessary.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.