1 Corinthians 4

1 Corinthians 4:1-21

1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.

4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.

5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.

7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

8 You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us—and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you!

9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.

10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!

11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.

12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;

13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.

14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.

15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.

17 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.

18 Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you.

19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.

20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.

21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

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10 months ago

There is a difference between a wealth of information from multiple sources that only produces the fruit of arrogance and pride and faithful service to revelation acquired from a demonstrated lifestyle in relationship. When judgment of legitimacy is determined by the “cool” factors of material and social success, the goalposts have been shifted from exalting Christ to exalting man. There is blessing in the revelation of promises that are ours in Christ, but as soon as the degree of that experience is idolized as the example to be sought after and followed, there is a departure from the mark set for us in the servant heart of Christ and any true instructor of His life. The abundance He came to give can only have Him as its source. As soon as it is a celebration of man’s abilities or gifting, the service is no longer about the ministry but the minister. There is a need for boldness, confidence, and authority, but it must be driven by a passion for service over that of praise. The reward of the true follower will be the faithful service of those who are influenced and not their faithful praise. It is not the promoted accomplishments of the man that make the minister, but the demonstrated power of a servant’s life that provides the way to be followed.
In the hunger for revelation in the Word, there is great danger in letting the information displace Christ Himself and the simple understanding of the gospel, our free gift of Life. There is safety in separation from judgment based on any worldly assessment. We have one Master, and who we are will be proven out in transparency before Him.

10 months ago

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