"Whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away ..." I Corinthians 13:8-10.
Those who oppose gifts of the Spirit frequently quote the passage above to defend their position. Though an invalid claim, it is their only defense. The assumption is, "That which is perfect", is a reference to the completed New Testament and that tongues were removed when the canon was complete. I find great conflict in believing that Paul's Corinthian letter was written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit"( I Peter 1:21) but when ‘the Bible was perfected’--completed--those ‘perfect’ writings about prophecy, tongues, knowledge, became imperfect. My question is this: How can the Bible qualify to being 'that which is perfect' if it contains passages which are erroneous and unsafe for us to believe? If this claim be so–that perfect Bible writings became imperfect when "that which is perfect had come"--we have a crisis that throws us completely out of authentic theology and into irrationality.
The key is the word "then"–which is used three times in the text–and in all three instances referring to the same future date. Observe the times it appears: "When that which is perfect has come, Then that which is in part will be done away ... For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but Then face to face. Now I know in part, but Then I shall know just as I also am known." I Corinthians 13:10,12. All three times the word 'then' appears, it points to the same future perfection. Question: Have we come to the time when we no longer ‘see in a mirror, dimly,’ "but 'face to face'?. No. Have we come to the time when we no longer know 'in part' but 'as I also am known'? No, Then we have not yet come to the time when 'that which is perfect has come'. Thankfully, knowledge has not yet vanished away.
The Following Scriptures Speak Of The Holy Spirit’s "Gifts". Which Ones Are You Willing To Discard?
Acts 2:38. Then Peter said to them,"Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:20. 20 But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
Acts 10:45. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
Acts 11:17. If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"
Romans 1:11. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established —
Romans 5:15. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
Romans 5:16. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.
Romans 5:17. For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
Romans 5:18. Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even. So through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:7. So that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Corinthians 7:7. For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.
1 Corinthians 13:2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
2 Corinthians 9:15. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
Ephesians 2:8. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 3:7. Of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
Ephesians 4:7. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.
Philippians 4:17. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.
1 Timothy 4:14. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.
2 Timothy 1:6. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Hebrews 6:4. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit.
James 1:17. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
My final word is this: "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." 1 Peter 4:10. As a conscientious Christian, you want to serve God and His people by allowing the free demonstration of His gifts in you. Being religious is not what He seeks from you. He wants genuine spirituality to be the hallmark of your life. That can only happen when His gifts are free to glorify Jesus through you. Do it!