1 Corinthians 13:13
And now stays faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
I. FAITH, the fundamental principle of Christianity. It is not mere belief, but trust. It is faith that gives to Christianity its whole name, character, and nature. And faith gives a man a new relationship to God. It makes him son of God and joint-heir with Christ. Therefore, the man who has faith in Christ will be a good living man, showing his faith by his works.
II. HOPE, the consequence of faith. If a man believes in the Son of God, he shall not perish, but have everlasting life. If we firmly believe this promise it will give us hope of its fulfilment. Hope is the anchor that sustains the Christian in all the storms of time, the chain that connects him with the future amid all its difficulties. What would life be without it, even in a worldly sense? The anticipation of something better bears us up amid many of the world's trials. But even the best of our worldly hopes is of a transitory and uncertain character, but the heavenly hope is sure and steadfast. Hope is not only a privilege and a blessing; it is part of a Christian's duty. A man who sits down and desponds loses the very anchor of his ship.
III. CHARITY. First, faith the root and trunk, then hope the branches, then charity the fruit, the highest development of the Christian character, the practical part of Christianity. Faith is the inward union of the soul with Christ; hope is the support which gives us strength to battle with the present; charity the outward manifestation of what we feel within. Only realise that the gospel is love, and then you realise its beauty and realise its glory.
(J. J. S. Bird, B.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.