In 1 Cor. 13.13 we have the Pauline triad of Christian graces, "Now abideth faith, hope, and love, these three." In Rev. 2.2 we have the Apocalyptic triad, "I know thy works, and thy toil and patience." In 1 Thess. 1.3 we have these two triads combined, "We remember without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." There is no antithesis between faith and works in Paul's mind. Faith shows itself in "work". It is never idle. It never sits with folded hands. Faith is full of energy. It proves itself in ceaseless activity. Even so love "labors." Love never counts the cost. It toils without ceasing. It delights to spend and be spent in behalf of those it loves. It bears any burden; it undertakes any task; it travails without murmuring; it suffers without complaining. Love proves itself in its "labor" for others. It is not content with expressions of affection. It expresses its affection not in words but in deeds, not in sentiment but in service, not in love lyrics merely but in love labors. Faith may be disappointed again and again; but it will "work" on in perfect confidence that in the end it will appear that He is faithful who has promised. Love may be disappointed again and again, but it will "labor" on and never be discouraged as long as love lasts.

 

 

from pages 157- 158, Paul and his Epistles