3/22/21 Essential Doctrines # 20 1 Cor. 13:11-13
(6th Study). “Spiritual Gifts.” (My Review)
In last week’s lesson, Paul wants us to know that the more excellent way has now arrived. The complete written revelation of the word of God is a present possession. And the written word of God has replaced “partial knowledge” & “spiritual gifts.” The five operations of God, communication, miracles, hallmark healings, local assembly order, & tongues, would all be accomplished now by the more excellent way, the complete written revelation of the word of God. Amen.
In Chp. 13:13, Paul says, “and now abideth (continues) faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity (Agape Love). The most excellent ministry of the Holy Spirit produces agape love in the believer. Without agape love we are “sounding brass or a tingling symbol” (just an empty noise).
1. In Vs 11, Paul gives us a growth analogy (comparison), from childhood to manhood. In our thinking, speaking, & understanding mental growth takes place when knowledge comes. Paul is saying, when I had partial knowledge of things (like a child in grade school), I spoke, understood, & thought like a child.
2. What Paul is really saying is, “that functioning like a child is OK, as long as you are a child. Playing with toys is OK (natural), for are a child. “But when I became a man (adult) ,…when that which is perfect came,” (vs 10). “When I became a fully educated (spiritually mature) man, the partial knowledge went away. No longer was I speaking, understanding, thinking, like a child, I put away (my toys) or childish things.
3. The Corinthians were children, they were childlike, spiritually. They were babes, immature, desiring sincere milk doctrines. Those childish things, those toys, were spiritual gifts. That is God’s point of view! And it should be our point of view. We didn’t say it, God through Paul said it. When full knowledge comes, partial knowledge vanishes, that’s natural! What isn’t natural is, when you earn your cap and gown (graduation) when Full Knowledge comes, THEN you go back to playing with dolls and toy soldiers like a child, Houston, we have a problem!
4. The more excellent way has come, and Paul is saying to the Corinthians, and you and I today, we ought to be excited that the full, complete, written revelation of the word of God is here. We hold it our hands, we store it our inner man. We should have zeal, excitement, motivation to grow up! To become mature, perfect, men and women. We should be excited we can see God, Face to Face, in His written form, His complete, full blown, revelation. Full knowledge is on display when we read now. “When we read” Paul said, you will understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph.3:4).
5. “For now we see through a glass darkly (partial knowledge) the word was not complete yet. (So, God gave “spiritual gifts”). The eye of understanding was dimmed. “But then face to face,” when the “more excellent way” arrived, the song writer said, “I can see clearly now the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way.”
6. “Now I know in part; Paul is saying: “I know who I am in Christ partially, “but then face to face, when full knowledge has arrived, I can look into God’s face, the complete written revelation of the word of God, “then shall I know even as also I am known.” What do you mean Paul? I mean the fullness of how God sees ME, in Christ is now made known (revealed)..
7. We are not just forgiven, justified, reconciled & sanctified, but the fullness of our identity is revealed. I now know my “Exalted” position “in Christ.” I now know, “I have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.” (Eph. 1:3). WE are known in the heavenly places by the principalities and powers. And Satan trembles because He knows that we, MCBOC are going to repossess the heavenly places. Satan knows that we know, through Paul & the “more excellent way,” that God has “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places, we are seated with Christ, at the right hand of the Father. (Eph. 2:6-7).
8. We have been exalted, our citizenship is in the heavenly places! “for in the ages to come, he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. *When the information about our exaltation was revealed in the complete written revelation of the word of God we are now able to “know even as also we are known.” To God Be The Glory!
Paul concludes chapter 13:13, with the ministries (plural) of the Holy Spirit. “Now abideth (remains) FAITH (“faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). HOPE (“we rejoice in the hope of glory”- exaltation Rom. 5:2). CHARITY (We are Constrained by Agape Love=godliness (2 Cor. 5:14). These three remain, FAITH, HOPE & CHARITY.” All other spiritual gifts have been done away with “but the greatest of these is charity (Agape Love).”
1. Now we turn to the book of Ephesians. Paul is in prison now, near the end of his ministry when he wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians & the Pastorial epistles. As he does, he is going to talk about the issue of completing the word of God, and perfection, and perfect knowledge that he said was coming in 1 Cor. 13 chp.* Ephesians is the doctrine of our exaltation with Christ w/an inheritance that goes beyond eternal life!
2. Paul begins in verse 15 with a prayer for knowledge and power for the Saints. Paul is teaching the Saints how to handle and benefit from full knowledge as perfect (mature) men. Now Paul is speaking in verse 18, “the eyes of their understanding being enlightened, as opposed to “seeing through a glass darkly” (1 Cor. 13:12). Paul now teaches them & us to see themselves in Full Light of understanding.
3. Paul prays for the Saints, not for material things (that would be Israel’s prayer). But Paul prayed for spiritual things such as the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God. *So, Paul is teaching us to pray daily, for God to give us the spirit of wisdom and reveal Himself in His knowledge to us through his written word as we study. “And that we may know the hope of his calling (knowledge to know ourselves as God knows us). God calledus to become MCBOC when we believed the gospel of the grace of God. We were calledby the gospel of his grace & we are His Inheritance.
4. Vs.19, “and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us word who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.” Paul wants to make sure believers understand his knowledge in the mystery. That is why Paul wrote in Phil. 3:10, “That I may know him (knowledge), and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”
5. Eph. 4:7, PROVISIONS FOR OUR FULL EDUCATION: “but unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” (The measure of the gift of Christ is the amount of grace (sound doctrine) we have stored up in our inner man. The Holy Spirit helps us to discern & understand the written Word of God. God was not giving gifts anymore when Paul wrote Ephesians. Paul talked about gifts in the past tense.
6. The goal now is the fullness of Christ, growing up unto all things. Now perfection was being given to the Saints in written form.
Vs.11 “And God GAVE (past tense) gifts to men! Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors & teachers.” FOR WHAT? “For the perfecting (maturity) of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edification of the BOC. Till we all come in the unity of the faith and knowledge of the son of God unto perfect men unto the measure of the statue of the fullness of Christ.” This is the goal of edification.
7. Vs. 14, Paul says, “Be no more children tossed to & fro In your comprehension, understanding, playing with toys, spiritual gifts, childish things. What Satan does not want us to see is our Exaltation in Christ! And no wonder! We are his replacements! The doctrine of our Exaltation keeps Satan an Open shame by men counterfeiting the power of God!
8. Paul is now sitting in prison completing the word of God & he knows his ministry is coming to an end @ Nero’s chopping block (beheaded). Col. 1:25, Paul says “I was made a minister according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for YOU, to FULFILL THE WORD OF GOD.”
2 Tim. 3:14, He tells Timothy “Continue..in the things which thou has learned. Paul was putting the completed written word all together. (Read: vss.16 -17). (Read: 2 Tim 4:6-8). “For I am now ready to be offered, my departure is at hand. Vs. 13, “Timothy bring my cloke, & my books, especially parchments (epistles). It is time to put the Written Word of God together! “That by me the preaching might be FULLY KNOWN & all the Gentiles might hear.” THAT WHICH WAS PERFECT HAD COME folks!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Paul did not & could not die until the Written Revelation of the Word of God was complete! Then he died @ Nero’s chopping block!