Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Explanation and Commentary of 1 Corinthians 13:12. Now, heaven is the consummation of our present happiness. When David thought of his dying child, he agonised in fasting and in prayer; when that child was taken away he found encouragement. (3) Oh I but you say, chemistry settles that. )Heaven a state of perfection in knowledgeH. Will there be those who shall be ready to welcome us? )Now and thenC. It was not only because he had been so careful to receive the revelation that comes from God that the knowledge of God had grown in the soul of the apostle. We have not instinct. "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? As regards —1. )Recognition in heavenR. 2. "To what end, now," perhaps you will be apt to say, "have you given us this very diminutive view of human knowledge? And will all other spirits flit before us unstoried and nameless?II. But in our future state it will be face to face. It will be perfect and complete in its kind; and no longer defective as it now is whilst we know but in part, for we shall then know even as we are known.II. One mountain-peak is the fact of revelation itself. (1) It is partial. Alarm. Only love enables believers gifts to truly help people. We cannot but wonder why. Inaugural Sermon at Bethlehem Baptist. "Now" we maybe happy and successful, but there may a "then" when these will not be our portion any more. My poor heart cries out for the power behind this. If, then, it knows in the style and manner that God knows, there can be no misconception or cessation in its cognition. "Knowing," says the apostle, "that He who raised up the Lord Jesus Christ, shall also raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you." "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child." W. Shedd, D.D. Misunderstandings shall vanish; we shall see "face to face." He that would reach to such intellectual sublimities must have had his soul purified to a meetness for the society of angels, and for approaching the more immediate presence of the Eternal. I push the mystery perhaps one step, and taking that step, I plunge again into the darkness, to ride on as my fathers have been riding through all the past, unsoothed by definitions, and formulas. Then some of us will say, "I have fretted and troubled myself over what was, after all, the richest mercy the Lord ever sent. In a word, by the destination of his Creator and the necessities of his nature, man commences at once an active, not merely a contemplative being. Foreign travel adds much to our stock of ideas, because we go into regions of the earth of which we had known only by the hearing of the ear. David, indeed, proposes an express comfort to himself from such an expectation, when bereaved of his child (2 Samuel 12:29, etc.). Blair, D.D.Was such an obscure and imperfect discovery of another life worthy to proceed from God? But is there an absolute privation? As they and we are but part of the same family, and they the most perfect, their knowledge of us appears to be a natural conclusion. Consider the nature and circumstances of man. Cross, D.D.In this imperfect and preparatory stage of our existence we have just light sufficient to command our belief in matters essential to our salvation, to direct us in the discharge of our duties to God and to one another, and conduct us to a home where we shall see clearly and know perfectly the sublime truths which have so often baffled and perplexed our reason. The first is illustrated by two comparisons. Note that all three of the Christian graces will endure, even though faith will become sight and hope will be fulfilled. Nay; here is an intimation of immortality and of the communings of two spirits in that immortality. Old Testament (1. We have now seen that the darkness of man's condition is no less essential to his well-being than the light which he enjoys. We shall know holy intelligences as they shall know us. A CRIME, when owing to —1. Full and adequate, both in variety and degree, and certain and infallible.3. Let us be very thankful for all we do see. This is by far the most important part of the new acquisition which we gain by the passage from time to eternity, and it is to this that the apostle directs attention in the text. Paul says, "Some day I shall know God as God knows me." Moreover, death was the effect and penalty of sin. )Links1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV1 Corinthians 13:12 NASB1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV1 Corinthians 13:12 Bible Apps1 Corinthians 13:12 Parallel1 Corinthians 13:12 Biblia Paralela1 Corinthians 13:12 Chinese Bible1 Corinthians 13:12 French Bible1 Corinthians 13:12 German Bible1 Corinthians 13:12 CommentariesBible Hub, (2)The love of God in the gift of His Son. Every past revelation has brought to him an increase of faith, of hope, of love, of peace, of happiness, and joy, and has taught him to realise more fully what will be the exceeding bliss of the complete revelation of God to those who are brought to see Him face to face. There is not the least particle of matter we see, or the least dust of earth we tread on, but what puzzles the most penetrating and philosophic minds. Cross, D.D.In this imperfect and preparatory stage of our existence we have just light sufficient to command our belief in matters essential to our salvation, to direct us in the discharge of our duties to God and to one another, and conduct us to a home where we shall see clearly and know perfectly the sublime truths which have so often baffled and perplexed our reason. There will be no veil over the face of things, and many things we use are things for rude childish condition: the condition of manhood will dispense with them as unfit and useless. This law runs through Christian life, and never is suspended, either in time or eternity.1. (2)The love of God in the gift of His Son. But in heaven we shall see, as we have not yet seen, how desperate a mischief was the fall, and the blackness of sin as we have never seen it here. There it stands. Two weeks ago we saw how God gave spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ. SOME THINGS THAT WE DO SEE NOW, WHICH WE ARE TO SEE MORE FULLY AND DISTINCTLY HEREAFTER.1. There is something very solemn in this anticipation of my future being; "Then shall I know even as also I am known"; that there will be a clearness and certainty around me, no prejudice, no distorting medium, no unsettling estimate, no tremulous light; and that this same clearness and certainty will not only shine around, but through me, so that as little possible as it is for me to mistake anything will it be for others to mistake me; I can no longer wear a mask; I can no longer practise an imposition; I intuitively know, and as intuitively am known.2. "Even as I was known." Is not this the secret of the growth of knowledge of God — the getting clearly before the soul the things that He has taught? That there are mysteries both in nature and revelation, affords therefore some presumption that, since in this respect at least the systems are not opposed to each other, both may have the same author. Phillips Brooks.What Paul prophesies for man, Christ already possesses. Now, this implies that all that death has done of evil and of pain shall be compensated. His preparation for a better world required a gradual purification carried on by steps of progressive discipline. Whatever you need is within the compass of the "now": whatever you hope and wish is comprehended in the "then."4. But if we turn our thoughts to other worlds and other species of created beings (of which, without doubt, there are innumerable), all under the wise care and government of the same Almighty and Universal Monarch who is the daily object of our adoration, how do we blush and mourn under our present ignorance, and look upon ourselves and all our knowledge comparatively as nothing, and less than nothing, and vanity!III. )The imperfection of our present knowledgeJ. (1) It is partial. Jesus says, "As God knows me, even so I do now know God." )The joy of revelationR. He would have us walk by faith, which is opposed alike to open vision and to perfect knowledge. )The imperfection of our present knowledgeJ. We are at school now; we shall go soon to the great university of heaven, and take our degree there.(C. Think of Christ’s patience with Peter after the times Peter sinned against Him, and you have some idea of what this means. It is a personal advancement. It is a field of Divine operation into which we cannot enter, and the mode in which the work will be accomplished is among the secrets of the Deity. 2. What is infinity, eternity? Cross, D.D. Let us, then, walk by faith, Let us strengthen this principle of action to the utmost of our power.(H. If there be any principle fully ascertained by religion, it is that this life was intended for a state of trial and improvement to man. Again, there is a moral necessity for individual remembrance at least in the scene of judgment. Such is the plan of Divine wisdom for man's improvement. The pure in heart shall see God. Such an advancement is the one of a plant or a brute, and not of a rational man.4. "Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts." We cannot withstand a thought of the past. Now WE SEE ALL THINGS IN THE "MIRROR" OF OUR OWN EXPERIENCE. Mutual defence and interest give rise to society; and society, when formed, requires distinctions of property, diversity of conditions, subordinations of ranks, and a multiplicity of occupations, in order to advance the general good. Here we are in the universe; somebody brought us here; we did not make ourselves; we cannot trace our pedigree back through the ages. Blair, D.D.Was such an obscure and imperfect discovery of another life worthy to proceed from God? So with us. Astronomy only magnifies the mystery. Thus, why we are permitted to know so little of the nature of that Eternal Being who rules the universe; why the manner in which He operates on the natural and moral world is wholly concealed. Say that it is because the earth revolves on its axis, and moves round in its orbit, but where is the force that drives it along its path? THE PROPERTIES OF OUR FUTURE KNOWLEDGE.1. Here all finite faculties are entirely swallowed up, like a drop in the ocean, and we are lost in astonishment at the poverty of our powers.2. Paul was emphatically a man of one idea. God is a heart-searching God. But is, then, knowledge a joy? This is something that you may call psychology — what can that do after all? WHENCE IT IS THAT ALL OUR BEST ATTAINMENTS IN KNOWLEDGE ARE AT PRESENT SO VERY POOR AND DEFECTIVE.1. "How cruel is Providence!" But our present knowledge is also imperfect in degree. But again; I said that there is a practical consequence of the existence of mysteries in the gospel of our salvation, to be deduced from the expressions of St. Paul in the text. Conclusion: We are not at all, however, unconscious that objections may be raised against this doctrine. Life is a school for it, and everywhere there are suitable means and agents. Again, in Luke 13:28, it is stated as one of the peculiar aggravations of the anguish of lost souls that they should recognise in the realms of glory those who had not been so highly favoured as themselves. The bias of our nature leans so much towards sense that from this side the peril is to he dreaded, and on this side the defence is to be provided. One mountain-peak is the fact of revelation itself. 2. )Present knowledge imperfect but sufficientBp. THE EXTREMES OF LIFE, AS VIEWED RELATIVE TO TIME: — "now" and "then." We are anxious to understand all mysteries and all knowledge. So firstly men cannot speak with angelic tongues. The more distinctly we realise the limits of our knowledge the deeper will be our impression of the grandeur of the Divine mind. His vision has reached the innermost shrine. You shall see better by and by.3. Then, in a sense more complete than the words have ever yet borne, I shall be able to say, "The darkness is past, and the true light now shineth." Again, in Luke 13:28, it is stated as one of the peculiar aggravations of the anguish of lost souls that they should recognise in the realms of glory those who had not been so highly favoured as themselves.3. How, if that is never repaired, can it be said that death has no sting, that the grave has no victory?6. We cannot but wonder why. THE EXTREMES OF LIFE, AS VIEWED RELATIVE TO TIME: — "now" and "then." The few cannot procure it for the many, or the many for the few.2. Lethargy.4. (2) We know but in part even those few things that do fall within the compass of our present knowledge. If man had not sinned, the union of earthly attachments and relationships, for aught we now, had been immortal. But death carries man over into the new and entirely different mode of existence, so that he knows by direct observation and immediate intuition. Hughes.The present life, in and by itself, is imperfect. We have several portions of Divine truth communicated to us, but in many cases without the connecting link — God's justice and mercy: His hatred of sin, and permission of the existence of evil; man's free will and God's free grace. To us, as to him, the knowledge which we have already as a gift from God, will be a pledge that it is the will of God to carry to their highest perfection the revelations which even here have been so full of joy. Then some of us will say, "I have fretted and troubled myself over what was, after all, the richest mercy the Lord ever sent. THE SCRIPTURAL ARGUMENT.1. Thus we know that our hope is not a vain hope.1. TRUE ESPECIALLY OF WHAT MAY BE CALLED OUR RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE. This is all we need, and all that God hath given. A BLESSING, when it causes —1. But not only does the exchange of worlds make a vast addition to our stores of information respecting the nature of the invisible realm, and the mode of existence there, it also makes a vast addition to the kind and degree of our knowledge respecting ourselves, and our personal relationships to God. We have not instinct. The situation, therefore, here assigned him was such as to answer this design by calling forth all his active powers, by giving full scope to his moral dispositions, and bringing to light his whole character. In all three of the body passages in Paul’s letters, there is an emphasis on love. What if I cannot understand the mysteries of the incarnation, the Trinity, regeneration and resurrection — what of all that? )Present knowledge and futureDean Vaughan.I. Now, this is reflected in the persons of those who are in the crowd: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me."5. B. Owen, M.A.I. Yes, indeed, the knowledge of God grew upon his soul because he set himself to use in their fulness and exactness all the Divine utterances of truth. The most glorious and felicitating object of our thus improved and enlightened understanding will be the ever-blessed God Himself. WHAT WILL BE ITS CHIEF PROPERTIES. The knowledge of the saved will be increasing throughout eternity.II. Then shall we begin to know ourselves. From the analogy of sleep, the Scriptural type of death, the persons of individuals, both dead and living, being clearly identified in the dreams of the night, and therefore leading to the inference that such persons would be equally identified after they and we shall have "fallen asleep in Jesus."II. No, he had known God personally, something as one friend knows another; nay, in a manner more intimate. Our present knowledge is not only very confined and indistinct, but very uncertain also. What a sweet and sublime entertainment will the enlarged mind enjoy in contemplating the wise and wondrous ways of Providence!III. If in Christ all the effects of sin shall be abolished, man will be reinstated, though with much superadded glory, in all the privileges which he originally enjoyed, and therefore with a capacity of renewing and perpetuating his communion with them, over whom "death shall have no more dominion." It is a thing of consciousness to its subjects. A cup of cold water given to a disciple in the name of Jesus shall not be without its reward. All the studies and pursuits, the arts and labours, which now employ the activity of man, which support the order, or promote the happiness of society, would lie neglected and abandoned. Then, then indeed, the joy of knowing God will grow more and more upon you. As they and we are but part of the same family, and they the most perfect, their knowledge of us appears to be a natural conclusion. This future knowledge means perfect obedience in the future; perfect harmony between the child's action and the Father's will. Though we cannot define it. Some of the gifts were foundational and only required to establish the Church. As they know us in our trials, so shall we know them in their joys. We know not the wonders either of our external or internal frame; the faculties of our nature; our capacities for service and happiness; the motives and springs of our conduct; the passions that govern us; the conduct and improvement of our superior powers; the influences to which they are liable; the purposes to which they are to be directed, and the manner in which they are to be employed in order to our happiness and usefulness, for which ends we received them. Thus the penitent thief makes the fact of his recognition the burthen of his dying prayer, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom!" 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