Partial and Perfect
James Smith, 1861
The present appears to be the twilight state of the believer's existence. He knows a little of many things — but is not profoundly acquainted with anything. All here on earth is imperfect and partial — but we are looking forward to the perfect and complete. As Paul says, "When that which is perfect has come — then that which is in part shall be done away." 1 Corinthians 13:10.
Our Present State."That which is in part."
We know in part — we have a partial knowledge of the nature, mind, and love of God.
We love in part — God's saints, and God's truth.
We enjoy in part — fellowship with Christ, peace of mind, and certainty as to our state and prospects.
We obey in part — the demands of the law, and the requirements of the gospel.
We possess in part — spiritual blessings, Heavenly enjoyments, and earthly good.
We conquer in part — the world, the flesh, and the devil.
On none of these points have we reached perfection
— but the perfect is coming, and when that which is perfect has come, then
that which is in part shall be done away.
Our Future Prospect."That which is perfect."
Our knowledge will be perfect — and yet we shall ever be adding to its stores.
Our love will be perfect — and yet it will ever be expanding and increasing.
Our joy will be perfect — and yet it will ever be deepening and widening.
Our holiness will be perfect — and in purity we shall shine forth forever.
Our obedience will be perfect — no duty will be omitted, nor any precept be violated.
Our possessions will be perfect — for we shall inherit glory, and possess God himself as our portion forever.
Our victory will be perfect — every foe shall be completely and forever overcome.
Our satisfaction will be perfect — not one uneasy desire, or anxious wish, remaining.
Blessed state! Glorious prospect! Delightful anticipation! We shall then be perfect! All about us will then be perfect. Every enjoyment will then be perfect.
Once, we knew nothing at all of spiritual things, all was darkness. We were in darkness; nor only so, we were darkness itself. Thank God, that is not our state at present. Our present knowledge is all of free and sovereign grace. By the grace of God we are what we are.
The present is preparatory to the future. We are not what we were. We are not what we shall be. We are in a kind of intermediate state. The end will crown the course. The perfect day will soon dawn upon us. Heaven and all its glorious realities will be ours in possession. The partial will soon give way to the perfect. Whatever we may possess or enjoy at present — God has provided some better thing for us.
Friend, do you possess in part? Have you any spiritual knowledge of God? Do you love God sincerely, though not perfectly? Do you enjoy spiritual things more than you ever did carnal things? Do you obey God's commands from your heart? Do you possess the Spirit of Christ? Do you gain any victories over the world, and Satan, and your own fallen nature? If so, that which is perfect will soon come, and then that which is in part shall be forever done away!
But if you know nothing of these things, your future is dark, and eternity will to you be darkest of all.
Believer, you will never meet with perfection here below — all within and all without, is imperfect. There is perfection only in Christ, keep the eye fixed on him. That which is perfect is coming, be daily on the lookout for that. When that which is perfect is come — then that which is in part shall be done away. Holy Savior — fix our minds on that. Ever blessed Spirit — daily fit and prepare us for it. Father of mercies — we bless you for the prospect of perfection.