1 Corinthians 4:9-21
– In 56 AD, the People were Exalting the Apostles as if they were Somehow “Above” the People.
But Paul – in the Power of the Spirit – says No!
– God the Holy Spirit Speaking through Paul Gives us a Clear view of the Reality that the Apostles
are but Part of the Kingdom and that God Works Through All His people…
1 Cor 4:9,10 For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to
death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to
men. 10We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak,
but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.
– Each Apostle (save one) is Destined to Die a Grisly Death for their Faith
– But God’s Work in the World to Bring Blessing does not Rest on the Few but Upon the
Many in the Church…
– God’s Work in the World is Done by the Church – the many Billions that have been and are in
– No Individual in the Church is Indispensable and no Individual is to be Singled Out for Special
1 Peter 2:17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood…
– Paul Tells Us that the Apostles Lives have Not Been Easy and that in the Power of God at Work
Through them – the Lord has Taught Us all some Great Lessons Through their Difficulties…
1 Cor 4:11-13 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted
and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we
bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have
become, and are still, like the scum of the earth, the refuse of all things.
– “When reviled, we bless…”
– Do we endeavor to Bless those who give us Grief?
– How should we Pray regarding this issue?
– “When persecuted, we endure…”
– Do we seek God’s Grace that we would Endure?
– Or do we complain to God & Others?
– “When slandered, we entreat…”
– When slandered, do we endeavor to entreat – answer kindly – to our slanderer?
– How should we Pray regarding this issue?
1 Cor 4:14 I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my
– We Should Listen to Those Who Share Counsel in the Lord from Experience…We do not Exalt
the Person who Counsel’s us…but we should Honor their Ministry & Listen and Learn…
1 Cor 4:15,16 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers,
for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore, I urge
you to imitate me.
– Paul Accepts the Responsibility and Honor of being a Leader- a Father to the People and Loves
the people and Wants to Serve as a Role Model for Them in Love…
– but he does not want to have them Follow him or Anyone other than God in Christ…
1 Cor 4:17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful
in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees
with what I teach everywhere in every church.
– Paul Now gets After the Corinthians – Tough Love…
– Paul Warns them in Love that he will Hold Them Accountable…
1 Cor 4:18 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you.
– The Arrogance in View is that:
– Some Think that they need not Follow Paul’s Biblical Counsel…
– Some Think they are Not Going to be Held Accountable by their Brothers/Sisters…
1 Cor 4:19-21 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out
not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For
the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer?
Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a
Our Lessons for Today
– God’s Work in the World to Bring Blessing does not Rest on the Few – but Upon the
Many in the Church
– No Individual in the Church is Indispensable and no Individual is to be Singled out for
– We should Honor Everyone
– When Reviled, we should Bless
– When Persecuted, we should Endure
– When Slandered, we should Answer Kindly
– We should pray this week for the Grace to Bless, Endure & Answer
– We should Hold Each Other Accountable in Love – Providing Warning – With the Goal
of being Used as a Blessing
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the
occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.