"...the righteous shall live by his faith"

Habakkuk 2:4

We know that faith is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9).  We know that it is meant to grow, or develop, over a lifetime (Luke 17:5).  We know that it comes by hearing (Romans 10:17).  Among other important truths, we also know that we are saved through faith.  Regardless of these truths which are clearly expressed in Scripture, we often reduce "faith" to a mere expression of belief in God.  This weakened, impotent pseudo faith fails to communicate the joy and passion and hope that faith in Christ is meant to produce.  Stated simply, we deire to lead our students toward faith in Jesus Christ and to do so in an environment which fosters a vibrant, maturing faith which gladly trusts in him.

However, we joyfully acknowledge that God created us in his image.  This means that he created us to be rational, emotional, spiritual and intellecutal beings.  Therefore, while we strive to foster faith in the souls of our students, we likewise seek to challenge their minds for the glory of God as well.  We are commanded to love God with our minds and to gird them up, preparing them for battle (1 Peter 1:13).  For this to be a reality in our lives we must endeavor to be wise and intellectually astute, while simultaneously living by faith.



"...Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we waith for it with patience."

Romans 8:24-25

Our society places its hope in too many places.  While there are perhaps many reasons, it seems for many the reason behind this misplacment of hope is the refusal to believe in what one cannot see with the eye.  We can see our government, thus we place our hope there.  We can see the fruit of an education; therefore, we hope that good grades and multiple degrees will reward us.  We can see the love of family, and it drives us to hope in their support.  However, we must ask ourselves: Is this really hope?

The apostle Paul says no.

Rooting our hope in what we can see with our eyes is not hope because it restricts our ability to long for what God has promised to bring about in Christ.  Government, along with its policy and laws, cannot promise to rightly judge humanity, but Christ will perfectly accomplish this.  Family, regardless of how loving, cannot promise to wipe away every tear, but upon his return Christ will do just that.  An education, regardless of how robust and intellectually stimulating, cannot remove the fear and pain which is a reailty for every human being.

Rather than puruse these inferior options, we strive to instill within our students a confident, reassured hope based upon the gospel of Jesus Christ and his promise to return triumphantly and restore peace and order to his creation.  To say the least this is a hope which is built upon a strong, maturing faith.



"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

1 Corinthians 13:13

Faith not only produces hope, it rightly produces love.  This love is more than a mere apprecation for God and his work on our behalf through the sacrificial death of Christ; it is a heartfelt devotion for him which motivates us to live as sacrifices to him (Romans 12:1-2).

Moreover, this love for God carries over into our daily walk, encouraging us to express this great love towards our fellow man as well.  Just as Jesus teaches us, the world will know we are his disciples when we have love for one another (John 13:34-35).  We work to teach our students that loving others, which includes those who love us in return and those who despise us, is a vital characteristic of every Christian.  It is meant to be a non-negotialbe indicator of faith in Jesus Christ.

Admittedly, these goals - Faith, Hope and Love - are ultimately beyond our ability to produce, but goals which can be achieved apart from the grace and providential intervening of God are simply not worthy goals for Christians to pursue.  Therefore, we pray and persevere, trusting in God to work out his gracious love in our lives and in the lives of our students.