Faith is overrated

faith is overrated

This is a tough one because Jesus spent most of his time upbraiding his disciples for not having enough faith. So faith was very nearly the characteristic he most cultivated.

So to dismiss faith’s importance borders on heresy. Faith is not unimportant! It is just lesser important than love.

Paul is resetting Corinthian theology, which was heavy on the sizzle and bang of show-off spiritual gifts. He forms a chaismus with chapter 12 and 14 talking about spiritual gifts. Then he says: But I will show you a better way. In the middle, he talks about love.

The ancients didn’t have all caps or highlight to draw attention to their writing. They didn’t have exclamation marks. So they made up the chiasmus, a rhetorical device that repeats a them twice, with the highlighted material in the middle. (It’s kind of like a hamburger. It’s not the two breads on top and bottom. The tasty important part is in between the breads.)

In the middle, then, Paul says, Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. — 1 Cor. 13:2.

In Christianity, love is the pinnacle of perfection. Holiness is not so much resisting temptation as it is having compassion on those who have fallen into temptation.

16 responses to “Faith is overrated

  1. I am really enjoying this series!

  2. Interesting! What a great point you make. There is genuine truth behind these words, “though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.” I suppose without love, faith could easily become misplaced. Love can become a way of helping you to discern when you are putting your faith in the right direction.

  3. Excellent teaching!

  4. gretahartmann

    I LOVE this truth!

  5. And also, Paul said something about abiding the three: hope, faith and love. But the greatest of these is love.

  6. As always, I love your blog! ❤

  7. At first I was a bit cautious with the title but reading your nuance explanation I say amen! It is biblical.

  8. yee of little faith…you speak of things and write them of something you WILLL NEVER HAVE

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