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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 13

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-13

1 The "gift of tongues", even when it was a reality, was nothing but a noise unless impelled by the power of love. Even those high endowments, such as prophecy and knowledge, amount to nothing unless love regulates their exercise. Yes, and every personal sacrifice, even martyrdom itself is without value apart from the spirit of love.

8 It would seem that a few were already mature (1 Corinthians 2:6), but the secret wisdom into which they were initiated was not made public until Paul wrote his Perfection Epistles, Ephesians (Ephesians 4:13), Philippians (Philippians 3:15), and Colossians (Colossians 1:28; Colossians 4:12). The writing of these epistles was the signal for the abrogation of the gift of prophecy, as they completed the word of God (Colossians 1:25), for the cessation of the gift of languages, as it was a sign of earthly powers in the coming eon, and we are blessed among the celestials (Ephesians 1:3), and for the abrogation of the gift of knowledge (directly revealed), as there was a final written revelation.

9 These gifts belonged to the time of transition, when the full orb of truth was not revealed. When it was, there came the necessity of withdrawing much which did not accord with its final form.

11 The time came when the apostle admonished and taught in order that he should present every man mature in Christ (Colossians 1:28 ). Epaphras struggled in prayers that they should stand mature and complete in all the will of God (Colossians 4:12). It is evident that maturity came with the last ministry of Paul, when he was a prisoner at Rome. Till then the saints, as a whole, were in a state corresponding to a man who has not yet attained his majority. But then, as was the case when a boy assumed the duties of manhood, there was a vast revolution. As a man discards the toys of his childhood, so they discarded the marks of minority. Chief among these were the gifts, especially prophecy and languages. Those who claim these now cannot avoid marking themselves as immature.

12 At this time the present secret administration (Ephesians 3:9) had not been publicly revealed. The destiny of the saints who had received Paul's evangel was clouded in mystery. Only a little was known. Their celestial allotment was still concealed. Israel's fate was still in the balance. It was not till their final rejection at the close of the book of Acts, that the secret was revealed that the ecclesia which is His body, to which Paul ministered, was not to have a place on earth subordinate to Israel, but was to be blessed with transcendent spiritual blessings among the celestials. Now that maturity has come, we no longer are in an enigma, but realize something of the unutterable grace which is ours in Christ Jesus.

13 Faith, expectation, and love are the abiding trinity in this administration of God's grace. Neither faith nor expectation will remain in the glory. Love alone will abide His coming. Let us believe God. Let us glory in expectation. But, above all, let us charge our hearts to love Him and His with a fervency which His love alone can inspire. These graces will not abide in heaven, to which they are usually relegated. Hope will then be past, faith unnecessary. This is the time of "perfection" or maturity.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Corinthians 13". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/1-corinthians-13.html. 1968.
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