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Featured "that which is perfect..." 1 Cor. 13:10

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonShaff, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    So, in another thread, @1689Dave submitted that "that which is perfect..." is the Bible. And because he believes that Paul is referencing the bible, that is his conclusion: Perfect = Bible. Yes, we know the Bible is complete/perfect. But the Question remains, however, is that what Paul is referencing here? Could it be Christ, the eternal state, God's Love, the complete state of glorified man, etc?

    Regardless of whether you are cessationist, how do we breakdown Paul's intended meaning of the passage using exegesis? What is the context? How do we come about a particular conclusion regarding the following passage:

    8 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.

    11 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.

    13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love

    Chapter 14
    Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.


    And in light of that, what are some conclusions we can draw from this passage?
     
  2. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    We've been through this.

    I challenged some Pentecostals on how the gifts were better than scripture. It was obvious they were not. Scripture does more and in a better, more reliable way.
     
  3. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    I propose that you do not understand the importance of gifts per the last several posts of yours. Scripture is not against gifts, you are promoting a false dichotomy. It's not either gifts or Scripture. It's both/and. The Spirit of God and the Word of God both work to bring us into the fullness of the Stature of Christ.
     
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  4. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    We have the scriptures only. And they out do the gifts any day.
     
  5. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    First of all, I’d like to explain what I mean by the word, Cessationism.
    1. I do not believe that all miracles have ceased today. Every time someone is saved it is a miracle of God’s power and grace, and He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. However, I do not believe that there are ‘workers of miracles’ (1 Cor. 12:10) today.

    2. I believe that God sometimes heals today according to His will. I have some experience of this which I am happy to relate if anyone is interested. I think many people have testimonies of God healing in answer to prayer. However, I do not believe that there are miraculous ‘gifts of healing’ (1 Cor. 12:9) today.

    3. I believe in prophetic ministry today. I believe that preaching is prophetic in that it ‘tells forth’ the words of God. What I do not believe remains today is the gift of ‘foretelling’- seeing the future. I do not believe that anyone can bind the conscience of a Christian by anything outside the Bible.

    What I understand as Cessationism is the belief that certain gifts which were given to the church were never intended to be continued indefinitely but were for the infancy of the Church. A parallel to this is God’s dealings with Israel in the wilderness. They received miraculous supplies of manna, water and quail; their feet did not swell and their shoes did not wear out. The day they crossed into Canaan, the manna ceased (Joshua 5:12) and the other items are not mentioned again, so I assume they did as well. I believe that the same principle applies in the N.T. Certain gifts were supplied to the infant church which were discontinued when it reached maturity.

    Now let us consider 1 Cor. 13:8. ‘Love never fails. But whether there are prophesies, they will fail (Gk. katargethesontai. (Literally, ‘Be rendered useless’ or ‘be abolished’); whether there are tongues, they will cease.’ This seems rather clear to me, and those who would make the text mean that prophecies will not fail and ‘tongues’ will not cease have the burden of evidence on them. It is suggested that prophecies and tongues will indeed disappear, but not until our Lord’s second coming. What then of faith and hope, which are said to ‘abide’ along with love? ‘Hope that is seen is not hope’ (Rom. 8:24) and ‘Faith is…..the evidence of things not seen’ (Heb. 11:1). When the Lord Jesus returns, ‘every eye shall see Him’ (Rev. 1:7) and we shall have no need of faith or hope, so they will ‘abide’ only until then. Therefore prophecy and tongues must pass away before the Second Coming. When were they to end? The answer is in verse 10. ‘But when that which is “perfect” has come, then that which is in part will pass away.’ The Greek word teleios, translated ‘perfect,’ can also mean ‘complete’ or ‘mature’ (as it does in 1 Cor. 14:20). ‘Mature’ seems to be the best translation as Paul goes on to talk about childhood and adulthood. What he is saying is that the sign gifts were given in the infancy of the Church, but in its maturity they would not be needed and the Corinthians should prepare to leave them behind as they had the things of childhood.

    [Taken from my blog article: Cessationism. Have the Sign Gifts Ceased?]
     
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  6. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    If we take that train to the station (your analogy), then gifts won't cease until we get to the "promised land" (heaven--unless of course, one thinks canaan is a metaphor for the Christian walk) ;)

    Just trying to be fair
     
  7. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    OP asks for solid exegesis...what you have given is subjective. Once again, why are you pitting the Scriptures against the Holy Spirit? The gifts are the outworking of the Holy Spirit of God to accomplish the Will of God--edifying the Body of Christ and causing it to be built up to the fullness of the stature of Christ.
     
  8. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    There is quite a lot of the O.T. after Joshua 5:12. :)
     
  9. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    LOL--I know that!

    I understand what you are saying, but the metaphor may only be applied to America, UK--as the church is in "infantile" stage in China.
     
  10. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    Sorry, either i missed this or you added to after i quoted you the first time.

    So, you're saying that once the church becomes mature, gifts will cease?
     
  11. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    No. I think the Church (capital 'C') reached maturity towards the end of the 1st Century when the canon of Scripture was complete and the Apostles had passed on, leaving others to carry on their work. I note that in the Pastoral Epistles, where one would expect Paul to give instructions about the Spiritual gifts, he says nothing whatsoever about them. What does he tell Timothy? "Preach the word!"

    One hears from time to time of alleged miracles, though they're usually in the Congo or somewhere it's very hard to verify them. I don't necessarily rule them out (see my post #5), but I do not believe that there are workers of miracles today in the sense of Acts 19:11-12. Even in the very early times, the miracles were done only by the Apostles and possibly one or two others (Stephen). But see how Luke separates the Apostles from the rest of the church:

    Acts 2:43. 'Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders were done through the apostles.'
    Acts 4:33. 'And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was on them all.
    Acts 5:12. 'And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.'
     
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  12. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    This subject has been beaten to death on this forum. But, there is still hope some minds and hearts will be opened.

    Tongues, as practiced today by the false teachers the bible so clearly warns us about are a lie straight out of the pit of hell.

    Paul made it abundantly clear in 1st Corinthians 13 that "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."

    Paul makes it abundantly clear that the miraculous sign gifts were temporary.

    The giving of the gift of prophecies will end.

    The giving of the gift of tongues will end.

    The giving of the gift of knowledge will end.

    "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."

    The early church, in Paul's day, only had part of God's reveled word through tongues, prophecy, and knowledge. (A synecdoche where part is used to indicate the whole - in this case the revelatory and confirmatory gifts given to reveal and confirm the word of God being inscripturated.)

    But when the perfect (complete) (reveled word - bible) came, the partial (revelation in the form of tongues, prophecy, and knowledge et alii) was done away with.

    When the complete βιβλω, in the form of the Holy Bible, was completed the sign gifts went away.

    The rule of Greek grammar demands that "perfect" and "partial" have the same antecedent. The antecedent cannot be "Christ" for He is never mentioned in the preceding context, and "Christ" is a masculine noun and both "perfect" and "partial" are neuter. Christ is not a neuter. Nor is "eternity." Nor any other word so far offered.

    In fact the only neuter noun that fits the context is βιβλω, the neuter noun that is the (understood) subject of the sentence.

    "11 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."

    Paul says those sign gifts were only for the infancy of the church, but when the church reached maturity, with a finished bible, the toys of childhood were set aside.

    "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."

    Now we can look into the "Perfect Law of Liberty" - the bible - and see ourselves as we really are, our partial understanding, given through tongues, prophecy and knowledge (et al), has been replaced by the mature, complete knowledge we have from the bible, and we can know the thoughts of God, from the bible, just as He has always known ours.

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

    Notice Paul says, at the time of the writing of 1st Corinthians, the gifts of tongues, prophecy and knowledge were no longer being given to new converts, so he says "now abide faith, hope, and love, these three." He did NOT say, "now abide faith, hope, love, tongues, prophecy, and knowledge, these six." To suggest the sign gifts are still active is to call Paul a liar, to call the bible a lie, and to call the Holy Spirit of God, Who inspired the bible, a liar.

    Paul spent the entire 12th chapter exposing the selfish, unloving, ungodly use of spiritual gifts, then, in verse 31 he says "But have a strong desire for the better gifts. And now I make known a more excellent way."

    Then he pens chapter 13, the "Love Chapter" where he outlines the superiority of love over any of the temporary gifts. And in verse 13 he says that the sign/confirmatory gifts are no longer being given. Only faith, hope, and love remain, and again he establishes the superiority of love.

    Then in chapter 14 he answers the question "What about those who already have the gifts?" Pursue love. Desire the gifts (embodied in the already gifted men) and, until God calls them home, do not forbid them to exercise their spiritual gift (verse 39).
     
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  13. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I added rather a lot to my O.P.
    I am saying the Church became mature and the gifts ceased. God did not bring back the manna etc. because the Israelites fell into sin and foolishness.
     
  14. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Honestly brethren we should cease from looking for "signs" and live by faith.

    If perchance we begin seeing "signs" coming upon the spiritual scene once again then we IMO could expect that the age of grace has ended and something else is just over the horizon, possibly the worst time of misery this world has ever seen.

    But it could be bitter/sweet.

    Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

    But until then we should live by faith and not go along the ups and downs and valleys and mountain tops by which the preachers of emotion carry us upon. That doesn't mean we shouldn't have a bible oriented prophecy conference.

    Luke 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

    Know this - every day that passes Jesus return is one day closer. That works for me. That is not to say I don't eagerly expect Him on a daily basis.

    Let us walk by faith, He will return in His own time.
     
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  15. percho

    percho Well-Known Member
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    Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him;for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Cor 13:12

    Someone convince me that which is in bold is not when perfect is come.
     
  16. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    It can only refer to Christ if you think Christ is a neuter. I think He is Masculine, but that's just me. In this day and age I suppose there are some who believe He was a cross dressing transvestite. :(
     
  17. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    The gifts came only through the hands of an apostle other than in the two outpourings. I can prove this because scripture mentions no other way of distribution than this. Try to prove this wrong using scripture. And when the apostles died, the distribution of gifts ceased.

    I can also prove from scripture today's "gifts" are not genuine. Possibly in another thread.
     
  18. atpollard

    atpollard Active Member

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    EVERYONE agrees that the gifts will cease. All attempts to state a definitive WHEN involve eisegesis of the scripture rather than exegesis. Nowhere does it explicitly state that "when the perfect comes" means "the bible" and nowhere does it explicitly state that "when the perfect comes" means "our glorification".

    If you REALLY want to sway opinions, try to prove one of those points with definitive exegesis of scripture.
     
  19. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    Easy. Just compare scripture with scripture.

    “so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye be unreproveable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom ye were called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:7–9)

    The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John;” (Revelation 1:1)

    All of the gifts expired, and history confirms this, as John published Revelation.


    602. ἀποκάλυψις apŏkalupsis, ap-ok-al´-oop-sis; from 601; disclosure:—appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation.

    Strong, J. (2009). A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Vol. 1, p. 14).

    used for Revelation by Paul and John
     
  20. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    The neuter part refers to "that which".
     
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