Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Corinthians 13 - Part Eight

I Corinthians 13:8b-12 – As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth]. For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded). When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside. For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God]. (AMP)

Prophecy, tongues, and knowledge – things that are highly valued in the Church – are temporary because we will not need them anymore when we are fully joined with Christ. Those things currently exist to guide us in our earthly existence. A day will come when we reach full maturity in Christ and we put those things aside. We will realize their fulfillment in our complete union with Christ. However, love is eternal, will always be necessary, and is its own fulfillment. Prophecy, tongues, and knowledge will become obsolete and therefore will be done away with, but love, along with truth, will never become obsolete, and so will never be done away with. Love, the outward expression of God’s heart, cannot be done away with. It is perfect.

1 Corinthians 13:13 – And so faith, hope, love abide [faithconviction and belief respecting man's relation to God and divine things; hopejoyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; lovetrue affection for God and man, growing out of God's love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love. (AMP)

Faith and hope would not be possible without love. Love is the one quality that will abide forever unchanging. The nature of faith and hope will change once we enter eternity with the Godhead. Faith and hope may even become obsolete in some respects, but love will never be obsolete.

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