“That Which is Perfect”

“That Which is Perfect”


During the First Century, miracles were common.  They were performed by Jesus and the Apostles.  There were also others given this power as well.  The power to do the supernatural could be passed from an Apostle to someone else by the laying on of hands.  However, that person could not pass on the gift.

The main purpose of miracles was to support the word being taught, not to be used selfishly or for gain.  In Acts 8 we have the account of the conversion of Simon the Sorcerer. He was baptized and then offered Peter money in exchange for the gift of being able to pass on the Holy Spirit.   But Peter said unto him, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.  Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.”  (Act 8:20-21 KJV).

These spiritual gifts were to come to an end.  Paul didn’t explain what “perfect” is in 13:10. As a result, the phrase has been understood in different ways.  Bible scholars focus on three explanations.

·         Since Paul speaks of “love” as never failing, some have argued this is what is meant by “perfect”.

·         Others believe that the completed canon of the Bible was what was perfect, the Bible being “perfect”.

·         Still others believe it is “eternal life.” Paul was referring to the life yet to come.  


Since questions arise in connection with each of these views, it is best for us to let “perfect” stand as the fulfillment of what had been “in part.”  Paul used the miracles of revelation, the immaturities of childhood, and the incomplete knowledge of ourselves as illustrations of those things that will fail or cease.  Love has an eternal, constant, abiding character.  The miracles of revelation have ceased.  The immaturities of childhood pass away with adulthood.  The incomplete knowledge of ourselves will fade.  Standing in contrast is the eternality of love.