Tag Archives: 1 Corinthians

Three Key Truths for this Year

In 1 Corinthian 13:13, we find these words. “Now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” These three items are described in many ways. They are called:

  • Three Christian graces
  • Spiritual gifts
  • The primary and fundamental dispositions of a believer
  • Theological virtues
  • A three ingredient formula for Christian character

In the context of their appearance in Scripture, we need to see these three expressions are expressions of a genuine believer. We express faith, we have hope, and we are able to love as God loves. Over the next several days, each afternoon we will look at these three truths. We will begin with faith, move to hope, and end with “the greatest of these” which is love. We will see …

  • Faith is the foundation
  • Hope is ongoing, and
  • Love is the capstone of the three.


Financial Freedom Principle #5: Be free of debt

Debt has become basic to the fabric of our culture. Our government is in deep debt and many people are in debt. If you have the courage, check out the real time debt situation http://www.usdebtclock.org. Many people have bought the concepts “To drive a nice vehicle I must lease or have an installment loan” and “To live in a nice house I must have a mortgage.” Those beliefs have led many down the path of endless debt.

There are several problems with entering into debt. I will mention two. First, it is presuming upon an unknown future. People enter into debt “today” with the presumption that the future will be the same if not brighter. When future events beyond their control change, they regret they entered into the debt. This gives the enemy much room to put stress, grief, and depression in the heart. As we find in Proverbs 12:25, “Anxiety in the heart causes depression.” This tells us when we worry we will be depressed. Many people worry themselves into deep depression and physical illness over debt.

Second, it puts us under the lordship of another person. Proverbs 22:7 reminds us, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” We are to be servants of God not man. In 1 Corinthians 7:23, Paul reminds us “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” In Romans 13:8 he wrote, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Here are a few other verses on debt: Luke 16:5; 2KI 4:1; Neh 5:3; Deut 28:1-2; 12, 15, 43-45; Psa 37:21a; Prov 3:27.

Being debt free is associated with paying vows. When enter into indebtedness we vow or promise someone or an entity we will wipe out the debt at a point in the future; whether those days are a few or many. When we sign our name to a credit situation, small or large, we are making a vow, a promise, to pay the debt.

In Deuteronomy 15, we read about the principle of the forgiveness of debts after seven years. That would be nice. Could this be our Lord’s perspective? Should all debts be paid-off within a seven-year period? In our day, too many times the plan is “How long can I stretch out this debt to make the payment as small as possible?” The problem here is, we could be saddling others (children, grandchildren, and those who come behind us) to pay off a debt we vowed to pay.

To be financially free, one must desire and strive to be debt free. It will take time, sacrifice, and determination. It could require us to eliminate some outgo so we can do more with our income toward eliminating debt. As one man put it, “My outgo has exceeded my income and my upkeep has caused my downfall.” Being debt free is possible. Strive to be free of debt. That is a huge step toward financial freedom.

Financial Freedom Principle #4: Be a good steward

There is a phrase most Christians want to hear some day. They want to hear this phrase when they arrive in heaven and stand before the Lord God. It is “Well done good and faithful servant.” Have you considered the fact that the only time we have these words recorded in Scripture, it is in the context of a man be commended for his stewardship. It is in Luke and in Matthew. Here is Matthew 25:14-30.

For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.  And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.

After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Here are some other references about stewardship: Genesis 39:4-6; Psalm 8:6; Hebrews 2:6-8.

Adding to all this we also see in 1 Corinthians 4:2, Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. A steward is a person who cares for the possessions of another. As we already know, we do not actually “own” anything. Everything we have in our stewardship belongs to Him. We are to be stewards of His possessions.

The evidence is overwhelming. God calls us to be good and faithful stewards of His possessions. When this principle is actively and consistently practiced, we are on the right path of financial freedom.