• Matt Beaney

#629 (23/6/22) I SHALL KNOW FULLY


‘For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.’ (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Yesterday, we saw how Paul likened us, in this age, to being immature children who, only at Christ's return will become mature; now, he uses the illustration of a mirror to express the same idea of only having a measure of the fullness that is to come. This era like a mirror, although a good image, is, nevertheless, a fraction of the real thing. This era, before Jesus’ return, is a fraction of what we will experience and what we will be when Jesus comes. At that time we ’shall see face to face’. Any revelation of God in the present is fractional compared to seeing Him face to face!


Incredibly, we are told that ‘then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.’ We shall know God fully! Whatever this means, it at least means that we will have as full an understanding of God as it is possible for limited humans to have.


I love this image that we are given of worship that is taking place in heaven:

‘Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” Whenever the living creatures give glory, honour and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”’ (Revelation 4:8-11)

All of creation worships God. I wonder if the symbolism of these angelic beings being covered with eyes speaks of a desire to see as much of God as possible. I don’t believe that, in glory, we will be covered with eyes, however, I do believe that we will want to see and will be enabled to see more of the glory of God than is now imaginable. Jesus, in fact, has prayed for this:

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.’ (John 17:24)


RESPONSE

I hope that we are excited about knowing God fully. Glory will be eternal but will never be boring. The glory of God will satisfy us eternally. Together with all the saints and all angelic hosts, we will worship.

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians, looking at 13:8-13. The title of this message was 'LIVE NOW IN LIGHT OF THEN'.


Please read 1 Corinthians 13:8-13.


Let’s remember what Paul is doing in this chapter: He’s correcting the church at Corinth. They are misusing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He is reminding them that love is the be the motivation and goal of the gifts.


He begins by reminding them that ‘love never fails’ - Love is eternal; we will love one another and God eternally; however, the gifts are temporary and only for this passing age. Through these verses, we see this back and forth comparison between 'now' and 'then'; In this age - 'now' - we have gifts; these help us to 'know in part'. However, in the future age - 'then' - we won't need the gifts because we will see God and know God fully.

Paul uses the two illustrations of a child growing into maturity, and the incomplete nature of a reflected image in order to teach and contrast between now and then.


LIVE NOW IN LIGHT OF THEN

All of the glorious things that we will have at 'completeness' (when Christ comes) we can experience, in measure, now. We are to live now in light of then. For example:

i. 'Then', people will face judgement for sin; 'now', we are to receive Christ and be ambassadors for Christ.

ii. 'Then', we will be perfected in holiness; 'now' we are to seek and encourage sanctification.

iii. 'Then', we will be assured of our identity as loved and adopted; 'now' we are to seek to know our identity; we are to use our gifts to encourage others to know their identity.

iv. 'Then', all sickness and sorrow will pass; 'now' we can pray for the sick and bind up the brokenhearted.

v. 'Then', we will 'know fully'; 'now', we can know and enjoy God. We can use our gifts to help others to know and enjoy God.


Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) Although the gifts are passing away, what does this text teach us about what the gifts are for?

iii) When will the gifts pass away?

iv) What does this text teach us about that future age?

v) What does it mean to 'live now in light of then'?

SIV - What effect will 'living now in light of then' have on our witness?

SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.










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