In terms of a hierarchy of virtue, one is strongly tempted to rank love first. But, I submit that belief (faith) precedes love. “The work of God is to believe in Him whom He sent,” (John 6:29). There may be a very good reason that love follows belief in the traditional order of the three theological virtues. God asks us only for belief because He knows love follows upon recognition and belief. It is impossible to love that which one doesn’t believe.
Love between people is predicated first upon one’s belief in another. What and how we believe determines what and how we love. Just as it is possible to believe in different ways it is also possible to love in different ways. Therefore, suggestion rather than dispute exercises positive influence on how one believes and loves. Belief in the Father is what You seek. He put forth You, in flesh, as the embodiment of what He wants us to believe about Himself. “He who believes in Me believes in Him Who sent Me,” (John 12:44). But this is not to say, nor do I think it was intended to say, that those who do not believe in You do not believe in the Father, or that they are incapable of participating in and sharing His great love.
I’ve said it before, the chosen people of God are all people. That Jews and Moslems do not embrace You as God does not preclude their belief in God. There may enter here a question of “fullness” of belief but not of belief itself. You are in love with Your creation and You would gather them all to Yourself if they but believe in You.
His oversights of all the manifestations and results of faith notwithstanding, Luther’s emphasis on faith was hardly misplaced.