Wednesday, April 18, 2007

1 Thessalonians 1:3 --- Cause & Effect

Scripture:
3We continually 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.

Insight:
What a wonderful picture of how all the good we are called to do comes from God. However, this verse is so easily passed over as just a nice little introduction from Paul to the Thessalonians. But it is full of incredible truth and important doctrine.

This verse is a fabulous depiction of the principle of cause and effect. When we have true faith in Christ we will produce good work; when we are truly filled with love for God and others we will be prompted to labor for the Kingdom; and when our hope is firmly in Christ we will be inspired to endure to the very end.

Wherever there is a true faith, it will work; it will affect both the heart and life. Faith works by love; it shows itself in love to God, and love to our neighbor. And wherever there is a well-grounded hope of eternal life, this will appear by the exercise of patience; and it is a sign of sincerity, when in all we do, we seek to approve ourselves to God. - esv commentary from biblegateway.com

So we had better ask ourselves; are we producing good works, are we laboring for the Kingdom, and are we enduring in our faith? If not, we need to examine our faith in Christ, our love for God & others, and our hope in Christ. It doesn't start with works, labor and endurance, but when we are in Christ (surrendered to him) these characteristics will be the fruit. This is really important stuff and has eschatological (eternal) ramifications.

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