Jesus is "the perfect" one who will come<BR>
The Bible says, "We know and prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away (1Cor 13:9)." What is "the perfect?"
The term "perfect" is defined, "wanting nothing necessary to completeness." Some good men believe the perfect refers to the completion of a book that today we call the bible. Verse 12 indicates, although believers two thousand years ago did not know everything clearly, a time would come when they would see more clearly, as though face to face.
I believe the perfect refers to Jesus Christ whom we will one day see face to face. There are some things about scripture that today we still do not clearly understand even though we have bibles. Daniel saw future events which God told him to conceal (Dan 12:4). John was told to seal the meaning of the seven thunders (Rev 10:4). There are some aspects of the future one thousand year reign of Jesus described in Ezekiel 40-48 that are clear as mud. We still have only partial knowledge concerning some areas, albeit we do have bibles.
Another reason I believe the perfect is Jesus is because of what Paul told Timothy. He told Tim to fight the good fight of faith and continue proclaiming the gospel until the appearing of Jesus Christ (1Tim 6:12-14). They lived as though Jesus were coming for them any day. There is no indication they were waiting for a book. With 1 Corinthians written around 55 AD and Revelation near 90 AD I find it difficult to believe early Christians assumed a book called a bible would be completed years into the future, while at the same time expecting Jesus anyday.
The word "perfect" here can also speak of a man, or full grown adult; and "comes" refers to one making one's appearance." Thus I believe Paul was referring to Jesus as the perfect.
I encourage people to be students of scripture, yet I believe the things we do not fully comprehend today are things God knows we do not need to know for living today. God reveals in His time. Martin Luther lived in a time that obviously did not require knowledge of the rapture as much as ours does. This generation that sees the revived state of Israel with Jerusalem for her capital ought to pay close attention and be found living for Christ every moment (Luke 21:24-27).
It is the theme of 1 Corinthians 13 that is really important. This is the chapter describing what agape love really looks like. Love is patient, kind, not jealous or arrogant, nor is it ever provoked. The list is long, but if you want a good hearty laugh, just read verses 4-7 inserting your name in place of love. What a hoot! We soon realize how short we fall in the area of real love.
No wonder we love God because he first loved us (1John 4:19). Nobody would know how it goes if He didn't start first.
Until the perfect Jesus Christ appears, let us who are Christians be representing our Messiah well. God loves people (John 3:16) and their opinion of Christianity is being formed by our behavior. What we are speaks as loud as what we say, so may our light shine before men that they see our good works, and thus glorify our Father who is in heaven (Mat 5:16).
(Huck Kusner pastors the Calvary Chapel Church in Black Canyon City. Write Pastor Kusner at The Calvary Corner, PO Box 1816, Black Canyon City, AZ 85324. Email is email@example.com.)