Faith, hope, love remain.

John Farley
December 29, 2019


Faith, hope, love remain

1Co 13:8-13

They were all revelatory gifts. They revealed certain truths that God provided at that time for that audience.

Prophecy and knowledge would be done away by an outside agent (passive voice).

the gift of tongues would cease of its own accord (middle voice).

When would an outside agent do away with the gifts of prophecy and knowledge?

When would the gift of tongues cease of its own accord?

Chapter 14 provides the answer for when tongues would cease.

Verses 9-12 of chapter 13 tell us when the gifts of prophecy and knowledge would be rendered useless.

The gift of knowledge and the gift of prophecy would be done away by the arrival of “the perfect”.

If the perfect came in the past, then the gifts of knowledge and prophecy were done away in the past.

If the perfect hasn’t come yet, then the gifts of knowledge and prophecy are still in operation.

Who or what is “the perfect”?

our Lord Jesus Christ coming back,
or the coming Kingdom,
or the saints in heaven.

the complete revelation that God has provided for the church, the body of Christ.

Since that was completed in the past, that would mean that the gifts of prophecy and knowledge are no longer in operation.

We will use a bottom-up tool (the Greek words) and a top-down tool
(the neighborhood).

If you’re not solid on the question of when these gifts stopped operating, you will probably follow them down a rabbit trail.

1Co 13:10

The Greek word for “the perfect” is teleios.

It means complete, finished, lacking in nothing necessary for completeness, having reached its end.

That which is mature, perfect, full; the complete in contrast to the partial .

And it is in the neuter gender.

The neuter gender is not used for people.
It is used for things.

In other words, “the perfect” in verse 10 is not a person.
“The perfect” is a thing.

Chapters 12-14 do not deal with the end times at all.

So it is unlikely that the perfect is an end times event (like the coming of the Kingdom).

Here we have something now (when Paul wrote this letter), and something in the future.

“will be done away” is the same Greek word that appeared twice in verse 8.

1Co 13:8-10

This means that the gifts of prophecy and knowledge are “the partial” in verse 10.

When that which is perfect comes, that which is in part (gifts of knowledge and prophesying) will be done away.

What was the “something”?

The Lord had new information to give to the church.

It consisted of “mysteries”, things formerly hidden but now brought to light.

So the whole “something” is the complete revelation for the church.

1Co 13:11-13

He provides four different contrasts between one thing and another.

Something at one time ( call it the current time) versus something at some future time.

See handout with table.
Also posted on our web site home page (

The basic contrast is from lacking something to lacking nothing.

In each case he is contrasting the partial (spiritual gifts of knowledge and prophecy) with the perfect (the complete revelation to the church).

Faith, hope, love remain after the partial has been done away.

What is faith?
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

What is hope?

Rom 8:24-25

After the Rapture, we will not need faith or hope any longer.

Yet faith and hope remain after the spiritual gifts of knowledge, tongues and prophecy no longer function.

The gifts of knowledge and prophecy are done away when the perfect comes – the complete revelation for the church.

1Co 13:12

There was only so much that could be revealed through these temporary gifts.

So the final full revelation of the mysteries for the church came by means of Paul’s writings.

The verb for “I know” is ginosko . It means to acquire or possess information about something.

The verb for “know fully” is the Greek verb epiginosko.

It means to identify newly acquired information with what had been previously learned or known. To recognize.

their corresponding nouns: gnosis and epignosis.
The nouns describe the information itself – the knowledge.

If you put Paul’s letters in chronological order, the last letter that was written during the time period covered by the book of Acts was the book of Romans.

The remaining seven letters - four prison epistles, and three pastoral epistles -were written AFTER the time period of Acts.

The noun “epignosis” does not show up until the book of Romans.

But then it appears in EVERY book that was written after the time period of the book of Acts.

Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, Titus, and 1 & 2 Timothy!

In these epistles, Paul completes his teachings by revealing the mysteries concerning Christ and His church.

This occurred sometime between the end of the Acts period (60 AD) and the death of Paul (in 65 AD).



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