This is a great passage that relates some of the precious gifts God is giving us this Christmas
(1Cor 1:5) For you were made rich in every way in him, in all your speech and in every kind of knowledge –
(1Cor 1:6) just as the testimony about Christ has been confirmed among you –
(1Cor 1:7) so that you do not lack any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1Cor 1:8) He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1Cor 1:9) God is faithful, by whom you were called into fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thank you Jesus for your revelation and for your grace (charisms – spiritual gifts)
(1Cor 1:7) So that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
The first gift He gives is His son.
This is somewhat obvious at Christmas we celebrate His birth. But I often get distracted into thinking we are supposed to give Him a gift. It is His birthday after all.
Our response is our gift back to Him. To accept Him and believe and have fellowship with Him is our gift back.
Through Jesus and the Holy Spirit God gives us many other gifts. I am going to focus on one – hope. The Corinthian passage alludes to this when it says ‘as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus.’ This refers to two things in my mind. The first is the revelation of Jesus at the end of time when He comes again. This is also associated with His revelation at the end of each of our lifetimes. The second thing is the revelation of Jesus more deeply each day.
First I want to quickly summarize the other spiritual gifts that God gives us each day and especially as Christmas presents.
(1Cor 12:8) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
(1Cor 12:9) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
(1Cor 12:10) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another various kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
(1Cor 12:11) But in all these works that one and same Spirit, dividing to every man individually as he will.
word of widsom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, working miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues = 9
(Isa 11:2) And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
(Isa 11:3) And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord.
Next I started looking into the fear of the Lord because I struggle with addiction and one of the articles I read said that fearing God could help.
What is the fear of the Lord?
It confirms the theological virtue of hope. -http://catholicism.about.com/od/beliefsteachings/p/Fear_of_the_Lord.htm
Faith Hope and Love = 3
This brought me to hope:
(Rom 8:23) And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body.
(Rom 8:24) For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for?
(Rom 8:25) But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
“Likewise, if we continue to believe in God, but come to doubt His omnipotence, goodness, and/or fidelity, then we have fallen into the sin of despair, which is the opposite of hope. If we do not repent of despair, then we reject hope, and through our own action destroy the possibility of salvation.”
(Acts 2:26) Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
(Acts 2:27) Because you will not leave my soul in hades, neither will you allow your Holy One to see corruption.
(Acts 2:28) You have made known to me the ways of life; you shall make me full of joy with your countenance.
(Ps 16:7) I will bless the LORD, who has given me counsel: my heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
(Ps 16:8) I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
(Ps 16:9) Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
(Ps 16:10) For you will not leave my soul in sheol; neither will you allow your Holy One to see corruption.
(Ps 16:11) You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
(Rom 11:29) For the gifts and calling of God are unchangeable.
Hebrew = H983 (Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)
H983 בֶּטַח betach (beh’takh) n-m.
1. (properly) a place of refuge
2. (abstract) safety, both the fact (security) and the feeling (trust)
3. (often, adverb with or without preposition) safely
KJV: assurance, boldly, (without) care(- less), confidence, hope, safe(-ly, -ty), secure, surely.
Greek = G1680 (Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)
G1680 ἐλπίς elpis (el-pece’) n.
2. (abstractly or concretely) confidence
[from a primary elpo “to anticipate, usually with pleasure”]
KJV: faith, hope
Hope is not just a wish like ‘I hope it doesn’t rain.’ It is a confident expectation and a security. Like being sure that your friend will come through for you.
How is it different from faith? It contains a joy. It is kind of like an effect of faith and it is more like an attitude. I fear God along with having faith in Him. I retain the appropriate position toward Him of thankfulness and smallness in the overwhelming bigness of His presence.
(Gal 5:5) For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
(Gal 5:6) For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.
(Heb 11:1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
I hope and expect good things from God. I know He is good and I live accordingly – in joy not despair.
I know I am receiving what He promised whether I see it or not.
An example: work is hard and yet I delight in it because I know it is for my good. I can hope for a good day and know that no matter how ‘hard’ it is it will be good because God is good.
“The relationship between faith and hope can be illustrated in the joy a child feels when his father tells him they are going to an amusement park tomorrow. The child believes that he will go to the amusement park, based on his father’s word—that is faith. At the same time, that belief within the child kindles an irrepressible joy—that is hope. The child’s natural trust in his father’s promise is the faith; the child’s squeals of delight and jumping in place are the expressions of the hope.”
(Titus 1:2) In hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the ages began;
In hope of more gifts. God is good.