HAS THE PERFECT COME YET?
1 Corinthians 13:8-10 reads, “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. ” There are many who read those verses and say that all these gifts have ceased. Is that what the context says? Let’s see because we do not want to read into God’s Word what God is not saying.
First, what or who is the perfect? There is only One perfect and that is God/Jesus. Has Jesus returned? That’s easy, no He has not. He will soon but He has not returned yet. Another is that we still know only in part so that is proof that the perfect has not come.
Now let’s see what the next couple of verses say, verses 11-12 “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” First God has the Apostle Paul use himself as an illustration, showing that as we grow older we do not see things as we used to. Then he switches to a mirror, and he shows us that for now we do not see as clearly as we will when we see Jesus face to face—this is how we know for sure that the perfect in verse ten is Jesus. Then he says that for now we only know a portion of what we will know when we get to Heaven, that is, when Jesus returns or we die, which ever comes first as long as we are saved—having submitted ourselves to Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Then in chapter 14 God has the Apostle Paul spell out how these gifts are to be used properly. So thereby, we know the gifts of the Holy Spirit, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, will not cease before Jesus, the perfect, returns since God tells us how to use them?
This is the difference between extracting the truth out of God’s Word, (exegeting) and reading into God’s Word what is not there, (eisegeting).
Pastor Merwin Rhoades
Chemult Bible Fellowship
February 7, 2020