From Lifeless to Lordship | Christian Sermon by Matt Carter
1 Corinthians 13:12
Have you ever been in an environment or situation in which something you had to do was so difficult you wanted to quit, but you hung in there because the result of enduring was worth it? In other words the pain was worth it because of the outcome. That is the point of this text.
In 1 Corinthians 13:8–10 (NASB) Paul wrote, “Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” Verse 12 (NASB) says: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully.”
Paul is saying to exercise spiritual gifts in love because it’s going to be hard loving the body of Christ, and enduring in the church. But, Paul says, heaven is coming, and it’s going to be perfect. These spiritual gifts are necessary, but they’re absolutely temporary, designed to show an eternal reality.
You’re not going to need the spiritual gift of prophecy in heaven. There is no sin in heaven and the Truth is sitting there on the throne.
If you have the spiritual gift of service and you choose to go and serve in a homeless shelter, the Scripture has taught us the Spirit starts showing up there. And what happens is all the people in that homeless shelter get this view of God.
But what Paul just taught us there is that view is limited. There is only so much you are able to show of God to other people. There is a bigger view of God we eventually will see.
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” He’s saying there is coming a perfect reality in which our little partial views of God will no longer be needed. What’s the perfect? It’s heaven.
When we’re in heaven we will have an unobstructed view of God. When we’re in heaven, we are no longer going to have a partial snapshot of God.
In heaven, we will have a front-row seat for all eternity to God pouring out His grace, kindness, and mercy toward us in Christ Jesus. But here on earth we see through a mirror dimly.
We’re getting a dim view of God as we walk through life and operate in our giftedness, but there is coming a day where that is going away and we will be standing there with Jesus Christ face to face.
Paul believes that it is better for him to depart from this world so he might be with Jesus. When other religions talk about heaven, what fires them up? They talk about virgins; they talk about earthly pleasures on steroids.
But when the guys from this Book talk about it, they can’t quit talking about Jesus.