There are a few scripture references in the Bible that have done for us a great job of summarizing and simplifying the christian faith – at least for practical reasons. These scriptures answer the question – what shall we do now we are saved? What’s the bottom line… or the make it easy for me to do.
Most of them are penned by Jesus Himself and the others by Paul. The one we are considering today is that of Paul’s and I think it carries the same idea with those stated elsewhere in the scripture. A common Pauline triad (cf. 5:8; Rom. 5:2–5; 1 Cor. 13:13; Gal. 5:5–6; Eph. 4:2–5).
In 1 Thess. 1:3 we find this same summary – work … labor … steadfastness. These are the practical out working of the Thessalonians’ conversion. The “work” the Thessalonians do is a result or consequence of their “faith.” So, too, their “labor” flows from “love,” and their endurance or “steadfastness” comes from “hope.”
- The Work of Faith
- The Labor of Love
- The steadfastness of Hope
What do these really mean?
work of faith–This is simply the working reality of your faith; its promptness and readiness in receiving truth, and revealing itself by its fruits. 1Th 1:5-10; Jas 2:22; 2Th 1:11; Jas 1:4).
labor of love–The Greek implies toil, or troublesome
labor, which we are stimulated by love to bear (1Th 2:9; Re 2:2; Ac 20:35; Ro 16:12; Heb 6:10).
Steadfastness of hope…patience–the word is translated, “endurance of hope”; the persevering endurance of trials which flows from “hope.” Ro 15:4 a hope that looked forward beyond all present things for the manifestation of Christ.
When God calls us He always equips us. When He commands us to be Holy – He alwayss gives us the grace to be holy. God is always working in our lives to help us attain the goals He sets for us. And I believe one of the ways He does that is by making it clear and simple and to the point. It is almost as if He is saying here is your roadmap to spiritual success:
- the work of faith – becoming doers, not just hearers. Faith that expresses itself in works and deeds. So be prompt and ready to not only receive truth but also to apply it in your daily christian life as well.
- the labor of love – love has much toil and labor, not only in performing the several duties of the faith, both towards God and man; but in bearing all things, the burdens of other Christians; the infirmities of weak believers, forbearing them in love, forgiving their offences, and covering their sins.
- the steadfastness of hope – a hope that is embedded in the finished work of Christ – He who said it is finished… a hope that is sure, steadfast and firm… a hope that will not give up, cave in and be denied… one that will help us triumph over all odds and even death itself.
I pray that you make these three your daily companion!
As part of a series from 1 & 2 Thessalonians.
- 2 Thess 1:3-4 – Paul’s Debt of Thanksgiving (readingacts.wordpress.com)
- Motivated by the Promise of His Coming – Series Summary (mindrenewers.com)
- Remaining Steadfast In Hardship (jantzika.wordpress.com)
- 25 Famous Bible Verses (christianpf.com)