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I Corinthians Chp. 4

I Corinthians

By Joyce Webb 2016

Chapter 4

Vs. 1 People should think of us Paul and Apollos as servants. We are ministers of Christ. We are stewards.

(A steward a man hired or a slave he was in charge of taking care of a master’s fields or household. He was an overseer. “The boss”. He was the head over other workers. But he was responsible to see that everything was done right, and all supplies, etc. were bought.)

Vs. 2 Paul says: “A steward is required to be faithful.”

There is a wonderful thought here. A steward had to be smart enough to do the job. He had to be able to be in charge over others.

But the one main thing he had to be faithful. He had to be true and loyal to the master. He had to keep on the job and not be lazy or ignore work that needed to be done.

But as a Christian I think of this-----it is required of us as a steward of the gospel that we be found to be faithful.

We are to be true to the gospel. We are to live true to the gospel.

Being “faithful” is more important than being a big successful preacher. Being faithful is more important than building a big fancy church with hundreds of people.

Being faithful to the gospel is more important than becoming a rich, successful business man. Or having a nice house, or family.

Being “faithful” to Christ is the most important thing.

Everyone can be faithful.

Even a person who may be slow of mind can be faithful to Jesus.

A person who has no education can be faithful to Jesus.

Being “faithful” and true is the most important thing.

The word faith-ful means full of faith. Staying full of faith is a choice.

There are many hard things we experience in life that would make us doubt if God is answering our prayers. Things make us doubt if God is watching out for us. We doubt if God likes us and is for us.

Staying full of faith is a decision we must make. We choose to keep faith in God. We choose to keep believing He knows, He cares, He loves, He forgives, He is watching out for us and taking care of us.

Keep the faith. Be faithful.

Vs. 3 Paul tells the people, It is not so very important to him, how the people of Corinth judge him. It is not so very important what any man thinks of him. It is not even so important what Paul thinks of himself.

Vs. 4 Paul says I do not know of anything that I should be blamed for. That does not mean that I have no fault. The Lord is the One who judges me.

Vs. 5 So do not judge others before the time until Jesus comes again. He will bring all things that are secret and hidden to the light to be seen and known.

He will know and see the hidden thoughts of the heart and mind.

Then God will judge and give reward or praise to those who should receive it.

Vs. 6 Paul says: I am using myself and Apollos as examples. Do not think of “men” as higher than they should be. They are servants of God. Do not put them up high in your mind so you feel puffed up and proud because you have learned from one or the other.

Vs.7 Who makes us different from another? God does. We do not make ourselves to be smarter, or better, etc. If we have understanding, and skill, we have been given these “gifts” from God.

So if they are “gifts” from God why should someone be proud of himself as though

he made it happen by himself?

Vs. 8 Now you act like you are full of knowledge. You act like you know so much.

You act like kings or rulers. I wish that were true, we apostles would reign with you.

Vs.9 It seems like God has put us apostles last. We have an appointment with death.

We are shown to the world as a “spectacle” on display for people to look at us.

Even the angels watch us.

Vs. 10 We go here and there preaching and suffer for it we are like “fools” for Christ. But you with your arguments about this and that act like you are so wise about things!

We apostles are “weak”. But you act like you are so strong.

You act like you have so much knowledge and have so much honor.

Yet we apostles who teach others are hated by people.

Vs. 11 Even at this time, we suffer hunger. We are thirsty. We are naked. (Probably with only a loin cloth---around their waist to cover their buttocks and private parts.)

We are hit with sticks and whips. We have no sure place to stay and live.

Vs. 12 We work, we work with our own hands to make money.

When people swear at us and curse us, we bless them.

People hurt us and persecute us, we suffer.

Vs. 13 When people speak so badly about us, we try to reason with them, we try to get them to be kind and treat us with honor and respect.

People act to us like we are dirt. They act like we are the worst people on earth.

They act like we are the most terrible kind of person.

Vs. 14 I do not write about these things to make you feel ashamed. But I warn you.

Vs. 15 You may have 10,000 teachers who teach about Christ. But you do not have many fathers. Through the power of Jesus Christ, I have been the one who has helped you be born into God’s family. I have been a spiritual “father” to you. I have cared for you and prayed for you. I have been a “father” to you.

Vs. 16 So I ask you to follow me.

Vs. 17 This is why I have sent Timothy, who is a beloved “son”.

(Timothy was not Paul’s real son as Paul never married or had children. But Timothy was a young man who Paul led to believe in Jesus. Timothy learned so much from Paul. Paul watched over Timothy and taught him many things.)

Timothy has been faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of the things I have taught you about Christ. I teach these same things everywhere in every church. 

Vs. 18 I know some of you have become rather proud and puffed up thinking I will never come back there to visit you But I will come soon if the Lord lets me.

Then I will know if those who are big talkers are just “talk” or if the true power of God is with them.

Vs. 20 The kingdom of God is not just “talk” but it is the power of the Holy Spirit.

Vs. 21 What do you want me to do? Do you want me to come to you with a rod (stick) to punish you? Or do you want me to come in love and in the spirit of gentleness to speak to you?

(In other words, Paul wants them to think about what they have been doing and acting. He is hoping they will see how wrong and foolish they have been to be proud about this and that and arguing about it. He hopes they will change to a humble spirit and be willing to be taught.

 

 

 

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