Saturday, March 20, 2010

When the perfect arrives, the imperfect will disappear.

I've been taking Greek so that I can better study the grammar and structure of Scripture. Today was our last day of class, and we each presented a 10 minute message on the verse of our choice. The following is what I presented, and I thought you might be blessed by it... a little exegesis action. :)

I Corinthians 13:10
The Glory of God

Paul is speaking to the Corinthian church. He just finished clarifying that the Spirit gives spiritual gifts in order to knit the body together, so they can build up and encourage one another in love. This church had become so wrapped up in the gifts that they were being practiced for selfish reasons, glorifying themselves or making themselves out to be extra spiritual.

Matthew Henry said: "Without love, the most glorious gifts are of no account to us, of no esteem in the sight of God. A clear head and a deep understanding, are of no value without a benevolent and charitable heart.This love is a clear proof of regeneration, and is a touchstone of our professed faith in Christ. In this beautiful description of the nature and effects of love, it is meant to show the Corinthians that their conduct had, in many respects, been a contrast to it. Love in its fullest meaning; true love to God and man, is an utter enemy to selfishness; it does not desire or seek its own praise, or honour, or profit, or pleasure."

In the verse I chose, Paul pulls together the work of the Spirit and the love for each other by refocusing their sight on the glory of God, reminding them that who they follow is beyond worthy of all the glory. In that light, he reminds them of his imminent return.

"but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away." (NASB)

"...but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears." (NIV)

In context:
(v.9) For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
we know = nosko - we perceive with certainty, we are aware of, we understand
prophesy = propheteuo - we speak with divine influence
part = meros - division, share, piece, portion

(v.10) but when the perfect comes*, the partial will be done away*.
when = hotan - whenever, implying hypothesis or uncertainty
the perfect/that which is perfect = teleios - complete in labor, growth, mental/moral character
comes = (see below)
the partial = the piece of understanding of him that we have
will be done away = katargethesetai/katargeo = rendered entirely useless/void

*COMES: elthE
3rd person, singular, 2 aortist, active, subjunctive
he/it, punctilliar (boom!) - reality of an action without emphasis as to elapsed time, second aorist = heightened expectation of something in the future, the subject performs the action, mood is start doing, begin
same as: erchomai and 2064
Thayers: equivalent to: come into being, arise, come forth, show himself, find place or influence

amplified: at the moment that He arrives and is from then on arrived

*WILL BE DONE AWAY: katargethEsetai
3rd person, singular, future, passive, indicative
predictive future - punctilliar action, being done by someone/thing, mood of reality as something really happening
same as: katargeo and 2673 - to render useless or unproductive, to make empty, to annul

amplified: at that moment in time it will absolutely be rendered useless by him who comes

Amplified Verse:
While we have some understanding of him now , and though we speak and walk and operate in the Spirit, what we have now is only a small glimpse of the overwhelmingly glorious perfection of the Lord. Whenever it will be that he finally arrives and reveals himself in all his fullness, our limited concept of who he is will be absolutely rendered useless by the completed intimate knowledge that he gives us.

While we are here in this life, we know that we should always be walking in the Spirit with our eyes set on God. We've heard that we should be keep our focus on spiritual things and not on worldly things. But even in our clearest sense of who we're looking towards, even in our most Spirit-filled moments, we haven't seen anything yet. His coming glory is so much more than our minds can fathom. Even bigger than the comfort we have that all things work together for good, and that He has a plan for us, is the knowledge that the source of all of these things is One who's nature is so good, so pure, and so holy, we can't even comprehend it. It puts things into perspective when we remind ourselves that we are going to live eternally with Him.

Cross References:
1Co 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

2Co 5:6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 2Co 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

1Co 2:9 But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"--

Job 26:14 Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?"

Psa 40:5 You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.

that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, Eph 3:19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
Rev 21:23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

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