Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12b
This thought is similar to what John writes, “Now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known” (1 John 3:2). Living by faith requires that we acknowledge that we only know “in part.” We know we are children of God but we won’t know “fully” until Jesus comes again.
I only have to look at my garden to know that God’s kingdom hasn’t fully come. I still have weeds! And when God’s kingdom fully comes not only won’t I have weeds but, “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).
Heaven is described in terms of a city. God isn’t taking us back to the garden but rather to a “city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). A city with foundations speaks of permanence, of security, and of community. The garden was a graceless state—one wrong decision and Adam and Eve were out of there. Heaven is a permanent destination.
God’s grace is so amazing that we gain more than we lost in the Garden. The forgiven person is better off than before they sinned, because God not only forgives us but credits us with righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). We start our Christian lives with a righteousness we could never have achieved for ourselves.
Sadly, this doesn’t make us perfect and we still live with the difficulties and inconveniences of a broken world with broken people where nothing works as it should. Nevertheless, let’s look forward to that time when we will fully know.