The Meaning of 1 Corinthians 13
(Part 5)

Having revealed to the brethren in Corinth that their current system of imparting divine knowledge via the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit would pass, Paul now reinforces the principle with a comparison with which they all (and we all) could relate. He contrasts the life in one’s childhood with the life in his own adulthood.

1 Cor 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. KJV

As each of us have grown up, being nurtured by our parents, we are usually treated with a level of understanding, that as we are so young, we have both ignorance and inexperience. We are given lateral boundaries for various innocent misbehaviors simply because it is understood that one day we will mature and will know not to behave in such a way, during which time we will be gently guided to better understand, and to avoid such misbehavior. Furthermore, our ability to understand con-sequences of our actions are quite limited. However, in time and with more maturity, that misbehavior is no longer tolerated, and more stern warnings and discipline is used to impress upon us the impropriety of such behavior. There is a period of growth during which many things are allowed, after which we will be expected to understand, and control our behavior.

We often refer to the age of accountability when we discuss one’s obeying the gospel. When one has matured to the point of being able to understand the consequences of his own sins, and that he stands before God condemned because of those sins, then it is at this point that God will hold that one accountable. Before that, he is in a safe condition. But, after that point in time when God holds him accountable, then in his belief and obedience to the gospel he is transferred into a saved state; else he remains in a lost condition, not able to benefit from the sacrifice Jesus Christ paid: the shedding of his own blood upon the cross of Calvary.

After one matures to where he understands that his childish ways are no longer excusable because of his age, then he will put away those “things of a child,” or childish ways.

So it would be with the church. Since the purpose of those miraculous abilities was for the building up of the church till it had matured to become “a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:13b-14); then having reached that goal they would no longer require the aid of those “childish things” and would utilize their knowledge to wisely steer away from false doctrine and the false prophets. At that point in time, that which was merely in part would be done away, and that which is perfect would be embraced.

Next we will continue this study of 1 Corinthians 13 with the last two verses (12 and 13).

Curtis A. Little, Royse City, TX
Curtis A. Little
New Weekly Article
Watch GBN live



Mailing Address