The Difference Between Faith and Hope – Luther

49-29588_Tin_Plaques_Faith_HopeIs there any difference between faith and hope?  At first glance, this question looks like a no-brainer.  But when you stop and think about it, you begin scratching your head and you go “Hmm, yes and no?”  Well, let’s let Martin Luther help us out here.  Here is what he had to say in response to this question in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians:

The question occurs to us, What difference is there between faith and hope? We find it difficult to see any difference. Faith and hope are so closely linked that they cannot be separated. Still there is a difference between them.

First, hope and faith differ in regard to their sources. Faith originates in the understanding, while hope rises in the will.

Secondly, they differ in regard to their functions. Faith says what is to be done. Faith teaches, describes, directs. Hope exhorts the mind to be strong and courageous.

Thirdly, they differ in regard to their objectives. Faith concentrates on the truth. Hope looks to the goodness of God.

Fourthly, they differ in sequence. Faith is the beginning of life before tribulation. (Hebrews 11.) Hope comes later and is born of tribulation. (Romans 5.)

Fifthly, they differ in regard to their effects. Faith is a judge. It judges errors. Hope is a soldier. It fights against tribulations, the Cross, despondency, despair, and waits for better things to come in the midst of evil.

Without hope, faith cannot endure. On the other hand, hope without faith is blind rashness and arrogance because it lacks knowledge. Before anything else a Christian must have the insight of faith, so that the intellect may know its directions in the day of trouble and the heart may hope for better things. By faith we begin, by hope we continue.

Would you like to interact with Martin Luther?  Please post your comments below.  Blessings in Christ!

Assorted – December 25, 2014

Opening doors, hearts and minds:  Meet Josh. Known as the “doorman” he would hold the entrance open for all his classmates as they arrived. His simple morning welcome turned into so much more.  Thank you Josh for inspiring us to go ‪#‎aboveandbeyond‬.

My FREE Gift to You:  Because I am so generous:), I thought of giving you the opportunity to download (for FREE) my book, Born to Die:  Exploring the Real Meaning of Jesus’ Birth. Note:  This FREE offer is only good for today (December 25, 2014).  Get it on Amazon before the offer expires. God bless you.

How Can We Best Understand the Bible Today?  In this video, Dr. Michael Horton of the White Horse Inn talks about the centrality of Christ in all Scripture.  He rightly argues that, “The Bible is an unfolding drama with Jesus Christ as the central figure.”

Michael Horton_Ordinary Quote

The Big Man Syndrome!!

The Christian life is a paradox. You go up by going down; you gain by losing; you live by dying, etc. Jesus Christ was very careful and concerned that His first disciples understood this. He wanted them to learn that Christian discipleship is all about servitude not status. But this goes against every grain in our natural constitutions as fallen beings – everybody wants to be great – first and the important man. And yet, this is the life to which the Lord Jesus Christ called His first disciples and to this same life, He calls all of His disciples today – a life focused on servant-hood and not status. I was helped in thinking about this in a recent study in the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 9:30-41. I have been preaching through the Gospel of Mark in our local congregation over the past year or so and we are now towards the end of chapter 9. I preached on THE BIG MAN SYNDROME last Sunday and was greatly helped by the LORD in delivering His Word to His people. If you would like to listen to that sermon, please click on the image below.

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Oh! I Love God’s “Shalls” and “Wills!”

Charles Spurgeon on Matthew 8:11:  “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.”  

Oh! I love God’s “shalls” and “wills.”  There is nothing comparable to them. Let a man say “shall,” what is it good for? “I will,” says man, and he never performs; “I shall,” says he, and he breaks his promise.  But it is never so with God’s “shalls.” If he says “shall,” it shall be; when he says “will,” it will be.   Now he has said here, “many shall come.”

The devil says “they shall not come;” but “they shall come.” Their sins say “you can’t come;”  God says “you shall come.” You, yourselves, say, “you won’t come;” God says “you shall come.”   Continue reading