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The Supremacy of Love, Part II

February 23, 2009

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God is nothing in part. He is complete and whole in Himself, He needs nothing and requires nothing to be who He is. This aspect of His being is called Self-Sufficiency, God is not God “because…” God just “is.” In the beginning there was God, (Gen 1:1) and before the beginning was God (1Pet. 1:20) We have a difficult time comprehending that, for where were we when he laid the foundation of the earth. (Job 38:4) In contrast we are only “because” of God, in Him all things were created and all things are in Him. (Jn 1:2-3)

All that we see in this life, on this side of heaven is clouded and obscured by sin. We lack the ability to truly see, and are reliant on God for that ability, that will be revealed. To this fact and to the hope of a different future Paul speaks in I Cor. 13:9-12. In his discourse on love, Paul lays out what love is and what love is not vss.1-8, and then he begins to discuss the effect love (Christ) has and will have on our lives. Of the great truths listed here is that the “perfect” will come. Christ will come again and bring His fullness to bear and all that we struggle with now will then pass away.

Paul likens this coming change in ability to the disparity in understanding between childhood and adulthood. “When I was a child, I spoke like…thought like…and reasoned like a child, when I became a man I gave up childish things.” (vs11) Spend time with children, take them to say… the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. Have them look up at the ceiling some 20 meters above the floor and ask for an analysis. Now after you have explained what the word ’analysis’ means, doubtless you’ll get some ’cool’s, a ‘neat‘ perhaps, maybe no response at all. Children lack, of no fault of their own, the ability to abstractly conceptualize and lack experience to understand what they are seeing. We, as adults, can know that this ceiling is a masterwork of fresco, depicting the glory of God displayed throughout Genesis, done for a tyrannical pope over the course of 4 years by probably one of the most brilliant artists ever to live. We have given up childish ways, and have gained an ability to look past the painted plaster and see the meaning.

Such a fate awaits all those who are in Christ, who receive and live out His love. For the hope that we have in love is that ’when the perfect comes’ though now we act as children, then we will act as men. (vs11) Now we see in a mirror dimly, then we will see face to face. (vs12) And now we know in part, but then we will know in full. (vs.11b)

There will be a day when the faded, cracked images of God, seen in pictures and on ceilings will be replaced with the unveiled beauty of the ‘Son,’ and we will bow in awe of Him who “commands the mornings…and causes the dawn to know its place.” (Job 38:12) It is this great love of which Paul speaks of, in which we have such a hope. Yet even this hope will bow to the supremacy of Christ’s Agape Love, as we will see in Part 3 of this series on The Supremacy of Love.

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