Q. I understand the Pentecostal movement greatly relies on 1 Cor 13:10 referring to the Second Coming so that they don’t have to deal with the whole context of verses 8 – 13. That being the fact that the whole Word of God is now with us, complete and full and thus there is no longer a need for partial revelation through tongues, prophesies, and knowledge. Since the gender in the Greek of “perfect” in vs 10 in neuter, seems like Paul is referring to God’s complete Word rather than His Son at His second coming. What do you think the Lord is saying in these verses?
A. The opinion that the canon being complete was the fulfillment of Paul’s phrase “when perfection comes” cannot be found in Church history prior to the birth of the Pentecostal movement, around 1900. Mainline denominations including their seminaries were not experiencing the Gifts of the Spirit and had to find a response. What you’ve stated is what they came up with.
While I’m neither Pentecostal nor Charismatic I do have eye witness knowledge of the exercise of Spiritual gifts as well as personal experience of my own and can attest to their continued presence in the body of Christ. Sadly, I also believe there are many counterfeit demonstrations. But the fact remains that if even one bona fide experience occurs then the gifts are operable today.
I don’t agree that “perfection” refers to the 2nd coming. In the context of the passage it has to refer to the rapture, when we’re perfected. Then, instead of seeing a poor reflection we’ll see face to face and instead of knowing in part we’ll know fully, as we’re fully known (1 Cor. 13:12). That’s when the exercise of Spiritual Gifts will no longer be necessary.
Every believer has been invested with at least one Spiritual Gift (1 Cor. 12:11). If you’re not exercising yours it may be due to the fact that this false teaching has caused you to think you don’t have one.