Friday, January 06, 2006

When the gifts will cease

Much is made by cessationists about 1 Cor 13:8-13. According to them this points to the end of the first century when the last book of the canon was completed and God literally closed the book.
(8) Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  (9)  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  (10)  but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.  (11)  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  (12)  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  (13)  So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1Co 13:8-13 ESV
Cessationists (maybe not all of them) believe that verse 10, "but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away," refers to the perfection and completion of the Scriptures or to the maturity of the church.
This simply does not make sense to me. The context that verse 10 finds itself in strongly suggests "that Paul is here referring to the Second Coming of Christ."[1] Verse 12 clearly has our face to face meeting with the Lord in mind here which will happen at the 2nd Coming or when we die. It is very clear that we still do see dimly; however, when we stand before Christ we will see Him face to face. It is also quite clear that we currently only know in part, whereas we will "know fully" on that great and glorious day!
The "perfect" of verse 10 can therefore only be pointing to the day that we stand before Christ. The "partial" will then pass away.
End Notes
1. The Reformation Study Bible, R.C. Sproul, General Editor, ESV, Ligonier Ministries, Orlando, FL, 2005, p1662.
Just thinking...

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