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The Permanence of Love

"Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love."
I Corinthians 13:8-13 

Good Morning Beloved,
Welcome to worship, we're so glad that you're here today.
Thank you for joining us

Let's bow our heads in prayer. 

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for bringing us all together today, its a real joy to be together, we are so grateful for those whom You gathered from afar. Thank You Lord, for demonstrating to us, the qualities of a love that endures all things, a love that never fails, that is really the pinnacle of Your love.

Father, we thank You for Your Word for us today, for the love You have given us in Jesus Christ, and because of that love, we can offer our love back to You in return. Lord, we pray that the Holy Spirit, will minister to us through the love of Your Word, Your people, and the love of Your Spirit, so that we might truly love others as You have first loved us. That the world unbelieving might see You in us, that they may know You are worthy to be praised, and therefore, that You might be praised. 
All for Your glory
We pray this in Jesus’ precious name

Junior High Ministry | Junior High Bible Lessons - JUNIOR HIGH MINISTRY  LESSON ON GOD'S LOVEToday, in our continuing study of the book of I Corinthians, we have arrived at the end of chapter 13.
Following the elaboration of the preeminence of the love, in verse 1-3, the elements of the love in verses 4-7, chapter 13 concludes with a discussion of The Permanence of Love. A love that lasts. The message is clear, its not only a love that lasts throughout our temporal life, but through all of eternity. For it is love that will never end.

Many of the Corinthians had their focus on the wrong things. They were overly concerned about the temporary and had little concern about the permanent and eternal. Every right thinking Christian will want to build his/her life upon the permanent and the preeminent. Why? Because the gifts of the Spirit are temporary. Even when compared with the other two eternal virtues, faith and hope, it is the gift of love, that reigns supreme. Love is God’s gift, a gift above of all gifts. Love is the most excellent gift we can receive. It is because of His love, we are offered the gift of salvation through Christ, and it was that same love that allowed Christ to suffer in our place on the cross. Oh what a love He has for us, who are so unworthy, so undeserving of such an incredible love.

Whether consciously or unconsciously, there are many people who tend to put pastors on a pedestal. It as though they do not see you as a human being, who struggles with the same temptations and life problems as they do. And I can't tell you how many times I've been having a conversation with someone and they at some point say, "I know I shouldn't be telling you this...but" 

For many, there is this sense that you have to act a certain way, speak a certain way and only talk about certain things when you're around a pastor. Because, they could never really understand. I have spoken with people about mental health issues, domestic violence or marital challenges, however, often times, pastors are often the last ones to know there is something serious going on. Some people want to make sure their pastor doesn't figure out they aren't perfect Christians. Uh hello, we already know that!! And guess what, neither are we! Yet, there is this unspoken, and sometimes spoken, expectation as a pastor that we, and our families, are supposed to be perfect. As such, we often deal regularly with people who are, shall we say, less than authentic. God knows of our imperfections and yet, He loves us. Talk about an incredible love.

Today's Message:The Permanence of Love

Open with me, your Bibles to the book of I Corinthians chapter 13, today we'll be studying verse 8 through 13. Following along with me if you would, as I read to you from the marvelous epistle of love. I Corinthians 13:18-13. 

"Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part;  but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love." 

We see that verse 8 begins to distinguish what is of eternal importance from what is of earthly importance. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 

Love never fails. Think about that for a moment. Fails has the basic meaning of falling, particularly that of a flower or leaf that falls to the ground never to get up but withers and decays. The word never refers to time not to frequency meaning that at no time will divine love ever fall, wither or decay. Aren’t you grateful that this is the way God loves us? Love, the only true motive for the exercise of these "gifts", will never fail but will endure throughout history even into the coming age.

Beloved, divine love never drops out of existence. It was not designed and adapted as were spiritual gifts to the present state of existence, but for our future and immortal state of being. Love is permanent and will never be terminated, eliminated or abolished. Love is singled out as the supreme possession for a very remarkable reason, it lasts. Love never fails.
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Paul then runs over a representative list of things important to spiritual Christian that are all fleeting, temporary, and passing away. He contrasts love’s permanence to the impermanence of three spiritual gifts: prophecy, tongues and knowledge. But if there are prophecies they will be done away. The great and needful gift of prophecy is the forth-telling of God’s Word.

To proclaim and interpret the Word of God. Some even proclaim the future. What blessing it is to speak in agreement with the very voice of God. Yet all the prophecies of the Word of God have either been or will one day soon be fulfilled.

If tongues, they will cease. The Corinthians had given tongues, the least of the gifts, a special significance just like some do today with the unbiblical claim that you must speak in tongues to be saved, equating tongue speaking with salvation. But tongues will cease themselves, Greek reflexive if middle voice or be ceased if passive voice. Instead of tongues being the supreme gift it is a temporary one. Tongues of whatever kind, ecstatic or otherwise are not the language of heaven.

If there is knowledge, it will be done away. Knowledge was another prized gift. Yet even a child in school today has more knowledge of science than Sir Isaac Newton. How so? Because Newton’s knowledge has passed away. Buy an old edition of the great encyclopedias for a few cents and you will find their knowledge has passed away and has since been superseded. The carriage done away by steam. Look how electricity swept hundreds of inventions into the dark. Look at the scrap yards and see the pride of scientific knowledge of just 20 years ago. Though it is seen far better with scientific fact, much of what people have sustained as fact, like the earth having "literal corners" has also passed away. Even the special secret knowledge some claim which gives them special privilege or ability or station, God will do away with them all.

All the charismatic gifts are divinely bestowed powers or endowments that enable the church to function as the body of Christ during this present age. However, they are not intended to go beyond it.

So, in verses 9 and 10, are the explanations for why earthly spiritual gifts will cease. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. The apostle Paul’s first emphasis is the incompleteness of knowledge and prophecy. Those gifts mentioned are representative of all gifts indicating all spiritual gifts will one day be done away with.

The word parts is plural and emphatic. Its meaning is a little here, and a little there. At best, even the most gifted and wisest of us have a fragmentary understanding of God, Jesus Christ and the Gospel. We know and can say so little concerning the conditions of life that are to come. At best, our preaching, godly wisdom and knowledge give only mere glimpses of the realities of heaven.

I'd like you to notice that Paul says, we including even the apostles. They too knew in part and prophesied in part. Scripture is full of references to the unfathomable and unsearchableness of God.

For example: I Corinthian 8:2, Job 11:7-9, 26:14, Psalm 40:5; Romans 11:33-34, Isaiah 55:8-9, to name a few.

Knowing Christ better was Paul’s supreme purpose and joy in life, yet even near the end of his life he insisted. In Philippians 3:7-11, Paul says "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."

And in verse 12, he says, "Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus." 

What is heaven like? - Denison Forum Paul said that when the perfect comes the partial will be done away. In the 'perfection' of eternity, all that is 'in part’ now will be ‘abolished.' The need and the opportunity for the exercise of these 'gifts,' even the highest of them, will have passed. Even prophecy and knowledge lift only a corner of the veil which covers the plan of God and its final accomplishment. When all mysteries are disclosed in the full light of heaven, what need have we of earthly glimpses?

Just what and when is the perfect complete, the ultimate perfect, without defect when used of animals, that is to come? The perfect that is to come is the eternal heavenly state of believers. This allows for the continuation of knowledge and prophecy during the present, the tribulation and the millennial reign. The word kataregeo means to be abolished completely and finally. The point is that spiritual gifts are only for time but that love will last for all eternity.

When we see Christ "face to face," we will be glorified, we will become like Him. I Corinthians 13:12 says, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known."

The eternal state in the Old Testament, began for believers at the first resurrection, in Daniel 12:2, when they were raised to be with Him forever.

"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt."

For Christians however, the eternal state begins either at death, when they go to be with the Lord, or at the rapture, when the Lord takes His own to be with Himself.

The thought of development and transformation continues into verse 11, in which Paul says, "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things."

What is he saying here? In other words, a small child has indiscernible speech, therefore he cries. He does not yet understand or think, and so he reacts. Neither does he reason but he can emote. That is to display emotion. This was exactly how the Corinthians were reacting. You might expect a child to understand, reason and speak like a child but you also expect the child to mature and begin thinking, reasoning and speaking like an adult. Therefore, come the day, when he or she must put away childish things.

The adult stage is that of Christian love, as one grows in the grace, knowledge and service of the Lord Jesus Christ. They will no longer feud, fight and fuss like little children but will grow, develop, and build up one another, in Christian love. Children live in and for the temporary. Mature Christians, however, are to live for the eternal and the permanent. Love endures and what it produces will endure.

In verse 12, it contains a comparison of earthly understanding with heavenly understanding as we receive a glimpse into the future. for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

Notice Paul's contrasting here, indicating our present earthly condition, and then, our heavenly state. In this present life, even with God’s Word and the illumination of His Spirit, we see in a mirror dimly.
In the ancient world, they didn’t have the clear vision of mirrors that we have today. In the polished mirrors of their time, the reflection was dim and distorted. Their mirrors reflected only blurred images. What was seen in a mirror was only an imperfect representation of what would become clearer, if only it could be seen more directly.

The idea though is not simply a dim or blurred seeing of ourselves, but that in the our present, seeing of God and His Spiritual values. The word dimly, or enigma in Greek, indicates that our current spiritual perceptions, in our earthly state are at best, impaired.
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We can compare this to people who must wear glasses to see clearer images. The use of glasses help with the natural degeneration or impairment of our eyes. However, in the present, our spiritual vision is also impaired.

In the present, our understanding is but limited. Our current spiritual vision is impaired. God’s plan and divine things are seen obscurely, indistinctly. However, in eternity, we will see things much more clearly. We'll see Jesus "face to face." When we enter into the Lord’s presence. we will see Him as He is. Then instead of a distorted, blurred reflection of God, we will stand before Him face to face, we will see Him in the reality, instead of our limited concept of God.

Scripture uses the boldest conceivable parallel, identifying the knowledge which we will have of God with the perfect knowledge He has of us. God knows us fully, then, in eternity, we will fully know Him, understand Him as He is. This suggests not only complete knowledge but a perfect fellowship. Notice the switch to the first person singular "I." This individualization emphasizes the personalness of this relationship knowledge.

Each of us will have a distinct personal relationship and know His perfection and glory. We will see and know Him as perfect love. This perfect  will be the pristine vision of God, unspoiled by sin and unbelief. When "the perfect" comes, we shall know God as we have been known by God and we shall love God as we have been loved by God. An absolute, utter love for God. What an amazing day this will be, isn't that true? To know God as He is, fully, just as we are now known, Hallelujah Amen!

The apostle Paul offers a mere glimpse into the future, to encourage us, to give us hope that one day we will be complete when we see God face to face. This magnificent truth should strengthen our faith, though we don’t have all the answers now, however, one day we will. Someday we will see Christ in person and be able to see with God’s perspective.

If you have questions about what God is doing in your life, continue to trust Him, continue to seek clarity through prayer, His Word and the Holy Spirit. For now, we see Jesus Christ, through the pages Bible, but in eternity will see Him face to face. What a glorious day that will be!

That brings us to verse 13, which sets before us all what will remain when the fullness of eternity begins. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

The apostle Paul concludes this chapter by setting forth not simply the three greatest spiritual virtues, but the three virtues, faith, hope and love, the magnificent triad, that abide eternally. At the end of the age, the spiritual gifts will pass away. This passing has nothing to do with their loss of power, however, they will have fulfilled their reason for existence. Only faith, hope and love will remain forever.

How marvelous are these eternal gifts? How magnificent are faith, hope, and love which abide forever. Faith makes all things possible. Hope makes all things bright. Love makes all things light.
What an incredible reality we have to look forward to.

Paul closes this passage by way of a comparative superlative. Scripture states that this agape, this love, is the greatest of all. Actually faith and hope are encompassed by love, which believes all things and hopes all things.
What Is Faith? - Life, Hope & Truth
Faith presently concerns the authenticity and content of God’s message. It is the will to believe God’s truth is true, even when we have not yet seen it with our natural eyes. Faith eternal is seen as a confidence in God. Faith is eternal because the trust and surrender that are the bases of our relationship with God is eternal.

Hope is the earnest expectation to the point of assurance that what we believe will be become reality. It concerns our attitude and focus. Expectancy in God will continue throughout eternity, forever. Hope of an ever advancing and enlarging blessedness of the redeemed.

Faith and hope are eternal because our relationship with God is dynamic and living, always will be growing. Some exercises of faith and hope are limited to time, while others will never cease. Love is the link God gives us with His eternal self. Our faith will save us, but our love will benefit others and even lead them to salvation, for love moves us to action. So love is the greatest not only through out eternity, but here and now in this earthly life. It is inherently greater because it is part of the nature, the very essence of God.

Beloved, our greatest and best efforts, if bereaved of love, ring hollow and profits us nothing! However, in contrast, it is the smallest loving act, which can hold eternal significance. Regardless of our age or status in life, we all can strive to love others as God loves them, as He first loved us. We may accomplish great things in our life, things that may gain us fame and fortune, however, it is love, which is the greatest of all. For of all that we have done, or ever will do, only what is done in love will endure through out eternity. We depart, but what is done in faith, hope and love will abide forever.

In Closing......

I'd like to remind all of you, that change happens by inches, not by miles! You won't get there overnight nor will others either. Even when change seems simple, and small, remember it’s rarely ever easy. The only way we can break old habits is by the formation of new ones! And that, takes time and practice, lots of it! You can’t tell people something only once and expect them to get it.

No, they need to hear it over and over again, before they can make the adjustment. Parents, think how many times, you have told your children not to do something... And how you tell them, they look in your eyes, hear the tone of your voice, can determine whether they freeze in fear or soar above the obstacles. It can also determine the coping skills we hand off to our children. So this is no small matter.

Beloved, we must be persistent! We must never give up trying to help someone improve, and we must express gratitude for every step of progress they make. Believe me, if we fly off the handle, yelling and screaming, it will not help them or you. The way to get lasting results is through kindness, patience and most of all love. Remember, it is love. . . always hopes, always perseveres. . . never fails.

One day soon, we will see our Lord Jesus, face to face. And, on that day love will not be over for us, it will just be beginning. For when we see God, we will become like Him, and God is love, pure, Holy, unfailing, undying love.

God wants us to become like Him even today, in this life. He wants us to learn to love, especially to love others, and the brethren.

Before we conclude, I would to challenge all of you today. To join me in reading this chapter, at least once a week, for the next 90  days? I want to challenge you to learn what true love is, and I am confident, this will help us learn to love, as we are so loved. Get these truths into your life then everything that you do is eternal. I believe is it is challenge worth our doing. It is worth giving our time to. Through prayer, meditation and practice, we can each learn to love better. And in the end, isn't any cost worth it, if it helps us to exchange our character for Christs'? It is my prayer that you will not only consider it, but that you will arise to the challenge!
May it be so... 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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