Harold S. Paisley
Question: It would be appreciated if an explanation could be given of the following. What is "that which is perfect" and "face to face"? (1 Cor. 13:10, 12).
Answer: The full statement of the first question should be considered, For we know in part, and we prophesy in part but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." The expression "in part" is mentioned three times. It applies to the partial nature of the special gifts functioning in the early church day. With the completion of the Scriptures, the whole body of truth was now available. Jude describes this as "the faith once for all delivered to the saints." Surely this clearly defines "that which is perfect had come" and temporary gifts were done away. The context adds weight to this interpretation. The further statement "now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face," illustrates the truth of verse 10. Partial vision in a mirror, "in an enigma," refers to the beginnings of the church age. "But now we see," the verb means to see clearly, face to face as God spake to Moses "mouth to mouth and not in dark speeches" (Num. 12:8), it should also be stated that the same principle may be applied to the future state of complete knowledge to be enjoyed when our Lord Jesus receives us unto Himself. His presence will take away the enigmas of life and bring perfection of understanding of all His ways.