Childish Things – I Corinthians 13:8-10

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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If you have children, or grandchildren, your house has become a warehouse for childish things. Diapers, bottles, swings, walkers, and lots of toys clutter your home. As they grow and mature, they graduate to different levels of paraphernalia and toys. Recently, our oldest grandchild learned how to ride his bike without training wheels. He was so proud when we could put them away, because he didn’t need them any more. Now he rides “a big-boy bicycle.”

The Lord temporarily provided miraculous gifts to the Body of Christ, prior to the completion of the Holy Canon. The Apostle Paul wrote to the believers at Corinth explaining God was going to take these away in their foreseeable future. In I Corinthians 13:8, he stated, “whether there be prophecies [meaning men preaching without Paul’s letters to guide them in new grace doctrine but having God’s divine temporary enablement] they shall fail [meaning to cease].” He continues, “whether there be tongues [meaning the supernatural ability to speak in a previously unknown language], they shall cease; whether there be knowledge [a supernatural enablement to know truth, error, and dynamic discernment], it shall vanish away.” He further explained the time and reason these miraculous provisions would end. They would cease when “that which is perfect [meaning complete or full] is come” (I Corinthians 13:10). This was a specific reference to the Scriptures being filled up with the final God-given revelations to Paul. When this was complete, these miraculous sign gifts would “be done away.” The reason they would be done away is explained in verse 11: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The concept was that these miraculous abilities were for the Body of Christ when yet in an immature state. Now we are to stop depending on, or hanging on, to these things of the past. Instead, as mature believers, we are to place our confidence, attention, and dependence in the completed Scriptures. Like training wheels on a bike, these miraculous abilities were never intended to be permanent. They were only given to serve the purpose of protecting and guiding believers until they could stand and walk in the strength of God’s completed Word.

If you have been clinging to these miraculous things of the past, let them go. Move on to a more mature spiritual relationship with the Lord by following these principles in His Word.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."