I Shall Know Fully

Paul is telling the Corinthians that they should love. They should love one another. They should be one, all together as one. They must continue in their love because this is the highest value. It should move us, motivate us. Love should animate all that we do.

At the end of chapter 13, Paul is explaining that there is a time that is coming when we will be able to see everything clearly, and love will be on display in Christ.

Previously – specifically, in our times today – we had prophecies that looked forward to a future time that would yet be fulfilled. But when those times arrive, when Christ returns, the need for prophecy will cease. No more prophecies will be needed because they will be fulfilled.

Previously – specifically, in our times today – we had demonstrations of the movement of the Holy Spirit in our midst. People spoke in other languages that they didn’t know except through the Spirit. We were cognizant of the miraculous in our midst because our broken world didn’t see God with the regularity that we will when Christ returns. At that time, we will dwell with him. He will rule and reign over all people, over all things across the earth.

Previously – specifically, in our times today – we sought to gain knowledge of the things of God, of the ways of God. We read through the Bible. We listened to the Holy Spirit. We listened to teachers and read books. We desired more understanding. But when Christ returns, everything will be clear because the day is coming when he will be here. No more seeking for knowledge will be required because we will be in direct connection with God once again.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:8-13

When Jesus returns, the love relationship that God has previously had with his creation will be fully consumated once again. We will be fully back together in communion with him. Jesus is returning to fully restore his kingdom and his glory, having purchase with his blood as a result of his love for us and his desire to bring glory to his Father. And we also will do the same. As his people, we will continue in our love and our desire to bring glory to God.

And so this is the “most excellent way” that Paul refers to at the end of chapter 12. He has been instructing the Corinthians that they should end their divisions, and now he explains that they must instead unify in love. They must come together because this is the way that Christ has loved us.

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