Maybe during worship or right after the opening prayer, but this time was different—the prophecy came after the sermon! That should tell you the kind of sermon it was. On this 12th day of April, 2017, the immediate past PENSA president was the vessel through which God spoke vehemently to his church on the intriguing topic, “these three things”.
Mr. Edward Nketsiah served as an executive in PENSA for two consecutive years and he mentioned that “these three things” were very vital lessons God taught him throughout the period. It was important he shared them with the church.
“Christ wants to present a church unto himself that is without spot or wrinkle,” he stated as he started, drawing reference from 2 Corinthians 7:1. Even as a bride prepares herself to the pleasure of the bridegroom in our weddings, so must we (the bride of Christ) prepare ourselves for the coming of our bridegroom (Christ).
In our preparation for the bridegroom, “these three things” are extremely crucial. They are very much related to one another and they test our readiness for God. They are clearly enlisted in 1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest is love.”
Faith is an extremely important virtue in our Christian walk. The Bible states this innumerably. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), for the just shall live by faith, we live by faith and not by sight, by faith the universe was formed at God’s command (Hebrews 11:3) and many more.
Even like Abraham demonstrated in Hebrews 11:10, we cannot walk the Christian life unless we have faith. Let us, however, be mindful that trials and temptations will come to test our faith. As Luke 18:8 asks, “When the son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Will he find us still walking in faith? We must always have this question at the back of our minds.
In this quest of living by faith, the Bible again admonishes us with a striking verse from Galatians 5:6. We must express our faith through love for that is the only thing that counts. Interesting! Faith must go with love! Scripture also supports this with Philippians 1:9, Ephesians 3:17 and Colossians 2:2.
But what is love? 1 Corinthians 13:4 teaches us: “love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, is not rude, not self-seeking, is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs.” In verse 6, the Bible says, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres” That is to say, love has faith and hope!
And now watch this: 1 John 4:16-17 says, “…whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment.” That means when we walk in love, we will have no fear on the Day of Judgment, but we will rather have confidence. This is simply amazing!
Even as faith is expressed in love, love must end in hope!
Hope is not wishful thinking, but a firm assurance and confidence towards the future. As Romans 5:5 says, “Hope does not put us to shame because love has been shared abroad in our hearts.” So what should be our hope as Christians?
- A blessed hope which is the appearing of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2)
- We must have a hope of becoming like Christ when he finally appears. And also to take on his glorious body. (1 John 3:`1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:4). This hope will help us purify ourselves for the coming of Christ.
If we don’t have hope, we are the most pitied of Christians.
How will these three things help us?
1 Thessalonians 1:3 admonishes that we must work out of faith, labor out of love, and hope out of endurance. Everything we do in the house of God must be out of love, faith and hope; otherwise it is all cos(90)!
This was how this glorious sermon was concluded as the preacher led the congregation through a deep moment of prayer. God bless his word!
[Written by the Excerpt Crew of the Editorial Committee]