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Going to the Next Level

12.19.17 | Victorious Living | by Doreen Comis

Going to the Next Level

    Introduction  
    This is a year the Lord said our church would go to the Next Level. Many of us have testified that God is truly taking us there, both corporately and individually. We are seeing the Spirit of God confirming His Word to us on an unprecedented level.
     
    While preparing for our retreat this year, I was thinking about what the Lord would have us study that can help us go to the Next Level. I was reading a verse found in 1 Corinthians 13:13 which states:
     
    “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love…”
     
    Have you ever read something that seems to jump off the page?  That’s what happened to me when I read this verse. I became curious to understand more deeply what the Apostle Paul meant by this, and how this could be used to help us as a church body go to the Next Level.  Over the next several weeks, I want to share with you the things that I discovered.
     
    Prior to making this statement, in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul had just come off the heels of teaching about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12. He went on to say how one Christian may receive one type of gift while another receives a different gift. But in Chapter 13, he mentions that there are three gifts (or virtues) that are common for all Christians: they are faithhope, and love.
     
    What struck me is what he said about them in Verse 13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love…” He goes on to say: “…but the greatest of these is love.”

    In the original Greek, Paul uses a singular verb for remain which should be literally translated “remains.” Interestingly, he chooses this verb for a plural subject. 1 Corinthians 13:13 could be literally translated “faith, hope, and love remains.”
     
    The use of this verb shows us that the Apostle Paul sees faith, hope and love together. Paul’s point here is that faith, hope, and love are to be seen as ONE – because in some way they are connected. Somehow these three gifts work together and affect one another.  
     
    Remember I mentioned earlier, that Paul is teaching this on the heels of teaching extensively about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12. In 1 Corinthians 13:8, he lists for us a set of three spiritual gifts that would not remain: “Where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away” (1 Corinthians 13:8).
     
    Paul is giving us insight as to the eternal value that faith, hope, and love carry. Unlike spiritual gifts that will pass away, faith, hope, and love will always remain.
     
    Paul felt it necessary to teach this to the church at Corinth, because the Corinthian church was over-emphasizing the temporal gifts and neglecting the gifts that would be with them forever. Think about that for a moment. Paul is emphasizing the three gifts that are most important because these three gifts – faith, hope, and love remain. 
     
    Now that we know this, isn’t it worth taking the time to learn how to take our faith to the Next Level? How to stretch our hope to the Next Level? And…how to see our love for Christ and one another grow to the Next Level? 
     
    Be sure to check back regularly for the next installments to study this together.