Class Notes: 9/12/2010
The spiritual life that is comprised of "faith", "hope" and "love" is the more excellent way that is to be emphasized in the post canon phase of the Church Age.
In our continuing study of the doctrine of love, we are presently discussing virtue love that is based in humility as compared with pseudo love that is based in arrogance.
Last time we left off our discussion at verse 6 of 1Cor 13; where the characteristics of virtue love are listed along with a brief parenthesis about the temporary spiritual gifts.
1Cor 13:6; "does not rejoice in unrighteousness" those with locked in negative volition rejoice in unrighteousness. Rom 1:32;
but "rejoices in the truth," this refers to Bible doctrine. The filling of the Spirit produces a desire for the Word. "Rejoice" refers to an inner mental happiness directed toward the Word of God. This is the Happiness of God that comes from Bible Doctrine. Jer 15:16; Net note 38 and the Filling of the Spirit Gal 5:22;
1Cor 13:7; "protects all things," the word translated "protect" also means to cover, it was used originally for a roof which keeps out the rain. It is also used for keeping things confidential, which is one of the characteristics of the filling of the Spirit. It means not to betray a confidence.
"believes all things," the principle here is the filling of the Spirit actually activates the faith-rest technique in it's four stages.
"hopes all things," refers to expectation of the future. This includes dying grace and the understanding of what the Bible teaches about the eternal state.
"endures all things," means to be oriented and stabilized in time of pressure with the result that there is inner peace no matter how great the pressure or the suffering. This means to be relaxed and to have happiness and peace in the midst of pressure. This is also one of the characteristics of the filling of the Spirit. Gal 5:22;
1Cor 13:8; the first part of the verse summarizes what has been previously stated.
"Love never fails" The word translated "fails," is a word that was taken from the Geek drama. It meant "to be hissed off the stage". One of the worst things that could happen to an actor in Greek drama was to be hissed off the stage.
Paul is saying that Love that results from the filling of the Spirit, is never hissed off the stage of life. When you are filled with the Spirit you are fulfilling the purpose for which God leaves you on the earth after salvation.
Whether you are actually producing in some area such as giving or witnessing or prayer is inconsequential. Simply being filled with the spirit is capacity for production when the opportunity is presented.
When the Holy Spirit controls your life no matter what you do, you always produce.
In the middle of the verse Paul states the fact that temporary gifts were to be removed. When Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers they hadn't yet been removed but in the near future they were to be completely removed.
1Cor 13:8; "but if there are prophecies, they will be set aside; if there are tongues, they shall cease; if there is knowledge, will be set aside."
"prophecies," was a gift of explaining doctrine that had not been written yet. The New Testament had not yet been written completely and so there was a spiritual gift of preaching which dealt with things that would happen in the future.
Included in this would be the doctrines related to the Rapture of the Church, the events of the Tribulation, the second advent, and the Millennium. Since these things had not yet been written down so they could be studied and understood there was a special spiritual gift to provide this information that was ultimately recorded in the scripture.
Remember this was written in about 57 AD and the New Testament would not be completed until about 96 AD. This means that most of the New Testament was not available in writing.
There would be approximately 40 more years before the New Testament canon was completed. So the gift of prophecy was given to provide the necessary information until the Bible is completed, but there comes a time when the gift of prophecy is going to "fail" or become inoperative.
When the canon of scripture is completed then the gift of prophecy would no longer operate because it would not be needed.
"if there are tongues, they shall cease."
"Knowledge," refers to the gift of knowing doctrine that had not ye been written in the scripture.
Examples of these includes the doctrines of positional truth and the filling of the Spirit.
Believers who had the gift of knowledge had these doctrines revealed to them ahead of time. The gift of knowledge also ceased so all knowledge today comes from studying the scripture or listening to those who have the permanent gift of pastor-teacher.
Paul hadn't written Ephesians where he addresses positional truth. But believers with the gift of knowledge were teaching positional truth long before it was available in writing.
The gift of prophecy and the gift of knowledge were similar except the content of the doctrine that was communicated was different..
"will be set aside," means that when the canon of scripture is completed there is no longer a need for any of the temporary gifts.
The Greek word used to describe the cessation of the gift of prophesy and knowledge implies a fading away because of lack of need. The Greek word that is used to describe the termination of the gift of tongues refers to an event that causes a sudden stop.
1Cor 13:9-13; place emphasis on the more excellent way. Verse 9 begins by referring to knowledge in the pre-canon period with the words "we know in part," the word for part in the Greek means a part as compared with the whole.
The whole is the canon of scripture that will be completed in 96 AD. The "part" they had in those days was the Old Testament, followed gradually by the New Testament epistles as they were written and distributed.
The word "part" means they were moving toward the whole and when the New Testament canon was completed they would go from the part to the whole. In the early church only part could be known and the rest could be learned as it was revealed through the use of the temporary spiritual gifts.
Paul is saying that at the moment there was the partial knowledge, but at some future time the knowledge would be completed.
"we prophecy in part" refers to the teaching and declaring of the doctrine of eschatology, and while certain parts of eschatology were known from the Old Testament all eschatology was not yet known because, the books of Revelation and Second Thessalonians had not yet been written.
1Cor 13:10-11; discuss knowledge in the post-canon period.
Verse 10 starts with the word "but" that is a conjunction of contrast, and the contrast is between the pre-canon period and the post-canon period. In verse 9 the knowledge in the pre-canon period isn't complete because the Bible isn't complete.
All of the information is not available yet because the canon isn't finished. "But" is the contrast between the partial knowledge in the pre-canon period to full knowledge that is available now in the post-canon period.
Full knowledge doesn't mean that everyone understands everything, it just means that it is complete and available in writing and can be understood.
"When the perfect comes," The book of James that was written in AD45 explains in James 1:25; what the "perfect" means. James calls the Bible the "perfect" law of liberty. He uses "perfect" to refer to the word of God or the Bible.
1Cor 13:10; "the partial will be done away," in other words, once we have a completed canon of scripture we will no longer be under partial knowledge and the gifts associated with partial knowledge will be terminated.
1Cor 13:11; is an illustration of this. A child needs to understand and to learn, and God provides temporary things that teach the child as it grows up.
At some point the child grows up and no longer needs the initial support system. In the same way when the church had the completion of the canon there was no need for the initial support system to be perpetuated.
"when I became a man," refers to the post-canon period that started when the canon of scripture was finished. The analogy here is that the pre-canon age is childhood; the post-canon age is adulthood of the church.
"I put away childish things," and in the case of the church, the childish things refer to the temporary spiritual gifts.
A child knows in part, understands in part. The Church that is now in its maturity with a completed canon of scripture this renders the temporary gifts that are analogous to childish things non-operational.
1Cor 13:12; introduces knowledge in eternity. "For now," referring to the time between salvation to physical death or the exit resurrection, referring to each believer's life on this earth after salvation; "we see by means of a mirror".
Corinth was a manufacturing center of mirrors in the ancient world. The Corinthian mirrors were some of the best available at the time but the mirrors of the ancient world were not very good compared with modern mirrors.
They were usually made out of a brightly polished metal. When the mirror was furnished to the purchaser, along with it came a pumice stone for the purpose of cleaning the mirror.
The more you polished it the better you could see yourself, but when it was well polished all you still saw an obscure form, that is, obscure compared to seeing someone directly face to face.
The obscure form, as it were, is Christ. The mirror is the Word of God and the only way you can see Christ in this world at all is through the Word of God.
The more you know the Word the more you know Christ. The less you know the Word the less you know Christ. The whole point is that we can only see Christ through the Word.
"now I know in part, but then I will see just as I am seen." This is used as an illustration. It brings out the contrast between our life on the earth as it is compared with life in eternity.
The comparison Paul is making is as the pre-canon period corresponds to the post canon period as is the post-canon period corresponds to eternity.
1Cor 13:13; "And now, faith, hope and love keep on abiding. The temporary gifts are set aside but faith, hope and love remain.
"faith," the faith-rest technique.
"hope," absolute confidence in God and his word.
"Virtue Love," a product of the filling of the Spirit and metabolized Bible Doctrine
"but the greatest of these virtue love" that is the result of the filling of the Holy Spirit. and metabolized Bible Doctrine
This is the more excellent way and what is to be emphasized in the post canon phase of the Church Age.
Previously in our study we saw in 1John 4:19; that we have potential for this love because God first loved us. This means that the believer can take the love that God initiated and parlay it into virtue love.
This idea is also presented in Jude 21; "Guard yourselves by means of love for God, as you wait with anticipation for the lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ with reference to eternal life."
The Greek verb "tereo" that is translated "guard" or "keep" is military word for the Roman security system of guarding an encampment. It means to guard or to keep watch over something. We are guarding ourselves in relationship to a system of security.
This is a mandate for each of us to have as a part of our spiritual life our very own security system given to us by God. We are mandated to have true love in our soul as a system of security to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
We are to guard ourselves, so that we can have momentum in the spiritual life. The constantive aorist means that this is something we do day-by-day. We are to guard ourselves. No one can guard your spiritual life except you.
© Copyright 2019, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.