Tough Questions for Christians March 17 Devotional
by David Joynt on March 17, 2023
1 CORINTHIANS 13:8-12 | 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part, 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see only a reflection, as in a mirror, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.
Engagement with skeptics or adherents of other religions requires a quality of patient modesty. Consider these compelling verses from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Remember that Paul was a theological genius, one of the great thinkers of the western tradition. He was also a spirit-filled dynamic leader and a saint. He could make truth claims in the strongest terms about the uniqueness and supremacy of Jesus Christ. His Christology, or view of Jesus’ nature and person, is the highest in the New Testament (see Philippians 2:5-11 or Colossians 1:15-20). Yet, here he also acknowledges that the prophecy, knowledge, and claims we make now are partial and incomplete. He describes his own views as childish and like the dim reflections of ancient mirrors, before the invention of properly reflective glass. This does not discourage him, of course, because full knowledge, of a divine kind, is part of the future of God’s children. In the meantime, the genuine love we experience is indeed a foretaste of heaven.
Do you find modesty or bold affirmation easier?
Give me a confidence as strong as Paul’s in the truth and power of the gospel—it is the power of salvation for all who believe. Yet, let me remember my own limitations and be a humble and modest witness.