Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Faith Is the Chief

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
—Deuteronomy 6:5
Because you set your love on me,
from danger I will set you free;
because to you my Name is known,
on high I'll set you as my own.
—Psalm 91:14
Suggested tune (Ely):
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith.
—1 John 5:2-4
Of all graces faith is the chief, and is chiefly to be labored for. There is a precedency or preëminence peculiar to this above all other. It is among graces, as the sun is among the planets. Though every grace has done virtuously, yet you, O faith, excel them all. The apostle indeed gives the precedence to love, and sets faith on the lower hand. 'Now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.' Yet, you may observe, that this preference for it above faith has a particular respect to the saints' blissful state in heaven, where love remains, and faith ceases. In that regard love indeed is the greater, because it is the end of our faith. We apprehend by faith what we may enjoy by love. But, if we consider the Christian's present state, while militant on earth, in this respect love must give place to faith. It is true, love is the grace that shall triumph in heaven. But it is faith, not love, which is the conquering grace on earth.
—William Gurnall
What is before us, we know not, whether we shall live or die; but this we know, that all things are ordered and sure. Everything is ordered with unerring wisdom and unbounded love, by thee, our God, who art love. Grant us in all things to see thy hand; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
—Charles Simeon

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