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                1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Faith, hope and charity are not ordinarily classed as gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit were given by the laying on of the apostles’ hands.

Acts 8:17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles‘ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,

Faith hope and love were not given by the laying on of the apostles’ hands. From the context Paul is saying that the gifts of the Holy Spirit would cease (because the apostles would die) but faith, hope and love would remain.

1 Corinthians 13:8... whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Faith, hope and love would continue to be the basis of life in Christ until he returns. When Christ returns faith and hope will no longer be necessary but love will endure forever.

Faith is simply a working belief in God and his promises.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Faith comes not as a gift of the Holy Spirit but by hearing the word of God.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The Roman Centurion had faith long before Holy Spirit gifts became available.

Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Hope is a belief in a positive outcome from a life lived by God’s commandments. Like faith it comes from understanding scripture.

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Abraham did not have Holy Spirit gifts yet he had both faith and hope.

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

Romans 4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

Charity or love is an act of will to be striven for; the end point of the commandments of God; the capstone, as it were, with which we are to complete the structure that we build upon the foundation of faith.

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

We need to differentiate between the ‘gifts of the Holy Spirit’ which became temporarily available to the first century Christians by the laying on of the apostle’s hands and the ‘mind of the spirit’ which comes from reading and understanding the word of God.

The scriptures were written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

In reading and imbibing what is written we take the mind of the spirit into ourselves.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Christ lived his life by faith, hope and love.

All three come only from reading and understanding the Bible.

 If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free online Bible study course available on our website, This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort... You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.

I hope this helps.

Glenn Smith