Concerning the Miraculous #2
(1 Corinthians 13:8-13)

A. The charismatic movement is one that is very prevalent in the world today
1. It is a movement that we face almost on a daily basis
2. Correctly understanding 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 is vital in apprehending the purpose and duration of spiritual gifts
3. The text before us has suffered as the play toy of would-be miracle workers who seek to justify their experiences

B. It matters little how long a list of illustrious names can be cited to support a given position of doctrine
1. For we in the churches of Christ would find ourselves almost always in the minority of such subjects as the nature of the church and the purpose and form of baptism
2. Does the majority always rule in religion?
3. Can any doctrine be proved simply because man says so?
4. We must not simply rely on sound biblical commentaries, but more so on good biblical exegesis

C. In the lesson of this hour we are going to look carefully at 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 to answer the question: “Do miraculous gifts exist in the church today?”

1. Students of the New Testament realize that many Christians in the first century possessed spiritual gifts
a. Jesus foretold of these gifts… Mark 16:17-18
b. Notice a couple of biblical examples miraculous gifts:
1) Acts 2:1-4, 16-18
2) Hebrews 2:3-4

2. Paul listed 9 such gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
a. He then explained how those gifts functioned in the church at that time… 1 Corinthians 12:28
b. Paul then says in the same context that the gifts of “prophecies,” “tongues,” and “knowledge” would be done away (1 Cor. 13:8) – and this would happen “when that which is perfect is come” (1 Cor. 13:10)
c. Therefore, to answer the question, Do miraculous gifts exist in the church today? – we must know what is that which is “perfect,” and has it already come?

3. At the outset of this study we need to realize that 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 is found in the middle of a section dealing with spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:1-14:40)

4. The main purpose of 1 Corinthians 12 is to show that spiritual gifts were diversified among the members and not all had miraculous gifts… 1 Corinthians 12:11, 29-30
a. Paul then moves his subject on to a further point by saying, “a more excellent way show I unto you” (1 Cor. 12:31)
b. With these words, Paul introduces the quality of love in 1 Corinthians 13 as a contrast to spiritual gifts.
c. Paul points out that love is more important than spiritual gifts, and proceeds to show why in 1 Corinthians 13:8-13

1. 1 Corinthians 13:8
2. After setting forth the various characteristics of love (v. 4-7), Paul then explains that love is superior to spiritual gifts because – “love never faileth” in contrast to spiritual gifts that would “done away” (fail – KJV, NKJ; pass away – ESV ) “cease” and “done away” (vanish away – KJV, NKJ; pass away – ESV)

3. ASV – “Done away” and “pass away” – the root word katargeo
a. Meaning: to condemn to inactivity, to destroy, to remove from the sphere of activity, make completely inoperative
b. Notice the same Greek word used in other verses:
1) 1 Corinthians 15:26
2) 2 Corinthians 3:13

4. “Cease” = pauw – Meaning; to stop oneself
a. This shows that “tongues” were to stop themselves, whereas “prophecies and knowledge” had to be done away
b. “Prophecy and knowledge” did not cease they were abolished being replaced by the “perfect”
c. But the “tongues” ceased of themselves, not being replaced with anything, since they were signs to prove prophecy and knowledge were of God and that the speaker was a man of God

1. 1 Corinthians 13:9
2. Here Paul states the reason why these gifts were to be done away
3. “In part” is contrasted with the “perfect” in verse 10
a. “In part” (ek meros) means partially
b. Paul at this time knew God’s will partially through spiritual gifts, but would later know fully when all the parts were put together
c. Each spiritual gift enabled the person who had it to only know and teach a part of God’s intended revelation
d. God’s revelation had always come as is said in… Isaiah 28:10
1) No man was able to reveal it all
2) All these gifts were progressing toward a completion

1. 1 Corinthians 13:10
2. We have noted that which is “in part” is spiritual gifts, and here we are told that spiritual gifts will no longer exist when the “perfect” is come.

3. “Perfect” in context
a. “Perfect” (teleion) – brought to its end, finished; having attained the end or purpose; to be complete or mature.
b. Verse 9 mentions something that is partial and verse 10 mentions something that is complete – that which is “perfect” is a completion of that which is in part.

c. What is that which is in part? – knowledge and prophecy

d. In Paul’s time the gospel had not been fully proclaimed
1) The “knowing” and the “prophesying” – only in part
2) Divine revelation was looking forward to a completion
3) Paul knew that there was coming a day when no more mysteries of God would be revealed – no prophecies would be uttered – because all of God’s intended revelation would be complete
4) We know that this completion had to occur in the time of the apostles, for Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would guide them into “all truth” (Jn. 16:13)

5. Therefore, that which is “perfect” is the New Testament – the New Testament is the completion of miraculous knowledge and prophecy… James 1:25

1. 1 Corinthians 13:11-12
2. Here are illustrations which portray the same point
3. Spiritual gifts served during the time of the infancy or childhood of the church
4. The church is now mature since we has all God’s will in the Bible – and therefore do not need the childish things, miraculous gifts
5. When there were spiritual gifts those of that day could not see clearly all of God’s will – but we now see clearly because we have God’s full will in the New Testament

1. 1 Corinthians 13:13
2. Paul tells us that faith, hope and love abide – because after the spiritual gifts are gone these still will remain
3. “Faith” is that which is revealed by the apostles and prophets. “Hope” is the expectation and patient waiting for the unseen… Romans 8:24-25
4. “Love” is to want the highest good for another
5. Why is love the greatest if these? Because “faith” becomes sight, “hope” becomes reality, but “love” is eternal

A. Love is eternal but spiritual gifts are not
B. Spiritual gifts will cease when the “perfect” is come
C. The “perfect” is the Bible
D. We have the Bible; therefore, spiritual gifts have ceased

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531

About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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