Welcome to Bible Answers
DOCTRINE QUESTION 38
In 1 Corinthians 13:10 we read "when that which is perfect is come." Does this refer to the second coming of Christ?
This does not refer to the coming again of Christ as it is not in that context.
In determining what a particular verse might mean, first it must be seen in its context. Chapters 12-14 are speaking about a spiritual and sign and gifts. Whatever "is to come" has to do with these gifts. They will cease when "it comes." Love and gifts were already there so it cannot mean either of them. In 1 Corinthians 13:8 it speaks about "love never failing " but prophecy, tongues and knowledge (revealed directly from God) would cease. "That which is perfect" would replace these. Love faith and hope would continue. (1 Corinthians 13:13). It would appear that the three gifts were temporary and would be replaced by "that which is perfect." In 1 Corinthians 13:12, we are told that they then saw "through a glass darkly." The glass in James 1, and 2 Corinthians 3:18, is the Word of God. At the time of writing; this was obviously the Old Testament. They had little of the New Testament. The word "that" I understand is neuter in gender. This would rule out the Lord and His coming. It is a "thing" that was to come. Since these special apostolic gifts were given to confirm the spoken word of Christ to His apostles. (Mark 16:20 and Hebrews 2:3-4). It means, "that which is perfect" must be the completion of the Bible. "The law (word) of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple." Psalms 19:7.
Have you been born again by the word of God?
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen