|1 Corinthians 4 |
1 So then, let a man regard us as the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2 Moreover, it is required of stewards, that a man be found faithful.
3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you, or by any human court. Indeed, I do not even judge myself.
4 For I know nothing against myself. Yet am I not acquitted because of this. 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 expose the motives of your hearts;1 then each will receive praise from God.
6 And these things, brothers, I have figuratively transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that you might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, so that no one of you becomes puffed up to be one against another.
7 For who makes you differ from another? And what have you that you did not receive? Now if you have received it, why do you glory, as if you had not received it?
8 Now you are full, now you are rich, you have reigned as kings without us; and I wish to God that you really did reign, so that we also might reign with you.
9 For it seems that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as if we were condemned to death, for we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are so wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are honorable, but we are despised.
11 Even to this present hour we both hunger and thirst; we are poorly clothed, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place;
12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure it.
13 Being defamed, we reply softly in peace. We have been made as the filth of the world, and are the off scouring of all things to this day.
14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
15 For though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you have not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
16 Therefore I beseech you, be followers of me.
17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Now some of you have become puffed up, as though I would not come to you.
19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will find out, not the words of those who are puffed up, but what power they have.
20 For the kingdom of God is not in words, but in power.
21 What will you choose? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and in the spirit of meekness?
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1 until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and expose the motives of your hearts; The Corinthians had not spiritually advanced very far yet. Paul speaks to them that they were not yet finished with God showing us our secret sins in our hearts, so that we can repent of our evil, selfish behavior. Chained down in the darkness of our hearts, like a light shining in the dark, Christ speaks to us or shows us something; each time this occurs, he has come to us. When you seek God, by waiting on him, quietly watching and listening, he comes to teach you about yourself and himself; he comes to teach you by revelation, revealing the hidden things of your heart by his light, and by his words that teach, encourage, and command you. From the Word of the Lord within: "He has come in every word."
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