Things Paul Wrote About

Paul, as the Apostle to the Gentiles, is responsible for many of the Books of the New Testament. Because of all of the different Churches, his circumstances, and the various needs of the people, he addresses many topics.  He likes to list things in his writings, and we love to form our beliefs around those lists.  But he does vary those lists according to the Churches/people he is writing too.  In this post I want to explore two topics he lists and how they are related.  The topics are: 1. “Armor” 2. “Faith, Hope, Love”.  I have previously written post on these topics, so if you want to see them they are: Faith, Hope, and Love; Putting On.

I think it would be safe to say that Paul’s habit of listing things has its foundations in the Old Testament.  One that he expounds on for this study is Isaiah 59: 17.  Isaiah is stating that the Lord was displeased because no one intervened for the sake of justice, so He clothed Himself with righteousness, salvation, vengeance, and zeal.  We love to use Ephesians 6: 14 as the Armor of God that we are to put on, but Paul uses the idea of armor and “putting on” in other Letters.  I think we focus on this one because it is a more complete list, and who does not want to be dressed up in armor!

1 Corinthians 13: 13 is our favorite verse for faith, hope, and love.  This in part is due to the beautiful explanation of love, and maybe because he uses the word “greatest.”

In 1 Thessalonians 5: 8 Paul brings these two themes together; faith and love are the breastplate with hope of salvation as the helmet.  In 1 Thessalonians 1:3 faith is paired with works; love prompts labor; and endurance is from hope in Jesus.

He weaves faith, hope, and love together in Colossians 1:4+5 with what is stored for us in heaven.  Changing ideas slightly Colossians 3:12 uses the idea of “clothe yourself” with a list that sounds like the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5: 22.

To keep this mix going, in Romans 13:11 – 14 Paul tells us to “put on the armor of light” and “clothe yourself” with Jesus in order to “put off” deeds of darkness, which are listed.

Trying to “split hairs” over these lists is not in the spirit of Paul’s writings, and it would be better to combine all of these various thoughts to get the big picture/message.  One “big picture” I saw in doing this post is from 1 Thessalonians 5: 8 faith and love covers your heart, and hope covers your mind.

Faith, Hope, Love

Faith, Hope, Love

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faithhope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Colossians 1:5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel

1 Thessalonians 1:3 We 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.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

  • Faith has its definition and examples in Hebrews 11.
  • Love has its descriptors in 1 Corinthians 13.
  • Does Hope have a chapter or verse?
  • Hope as defined in the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary is:

HOPEnoun [Latin cupio.]

  1.  A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety.
  2.  Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises; a scriptural sense.

HOPEverb intransitive  To place confidence in; to trust in with confident expectation of good.

A chapter or verse just for Hope – no.  It’s not even a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).  Well, maybe there is one place but it is a stretch – 2 Peter 1:5-7(NIV) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your

  • faith
  • goodness; and to goodness,
  • knowledge;and to knowledge,
  • self-control; and to self-control,
  • perseverance; and to perseverance,
  • godliness;and to godliness,
  • mutual affection; and to mutual affection, (early editions have brotherly kindness)
  • love.

 In defense of my thinking.  No, those six things are not really in the definition of hope but you are not going to have hope if you do not have those qualities.

For more on the word HOPE (Just click, it is a previous post.)

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Home?word=Hope

Verses were retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=faith+hope+love&qs_version=NIV

All verses used are New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®

 

1 John 4:7

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  This is a beautiful statement just as it is but if we do a search in the concordance and replace a few words it deepens the message of love just a bit.

Dear friends, let us actively love (agape) one another, for active love comes from the one true God (theos).  Everyone who loves activity has been born of the one true God and knows the one true God.

On a side note John uses the word born more than any other New Testament writer.

Any look at the word love needs to go to John 21:15; this is where Jesus is asking Peter if he loves Him.  The first two times Jesus ask about Peter’s love he uses the word agape and Peter answers with the word phileo. Phileo means affection or very high regard and though it is related to agape it does not have as deep a meaning.