Faithlife Sermons

Faithfulness of Servants and Stewards

To the Church of God at Corinth  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 73 views
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Sermon Illustration

In Matthew Ch4 we are told about Jesus calling His 1st disciples:
18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Add To SermonFolder Print
18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. ON: Servanthood, God's Direction
Our Illustration today is ON: Servanthood, God's Direction and has to do with Following Jesus.
Like0 Share
FORGOTTEN HOW TO FISH?
Tweet Place this tag where you want the +1 button to render.
0
Place this tag after the last +1 button tag. Forgotten How To ... Contributed by Sermoncentral Staff on Jun 25, 2009 (message contributor)  (rate this text illustration)  | 108 views
Scripture:  (suggest scripture) Tags:  Servanthood, God's Direction (suggest tag) Denomination: *other
FORGOTTEN HOW TO FISH?
There is an interesting story about a group of pelicans in California. If you’ve ever seen pelicans in action, you know they’re great fishermen, or fisher-birds. These pelicans were hanging out near a fleet of fishing boats. The fishermen on the boats would pull into the harbor, and clean the fish right on the spot, throwing the heads and the rest into the water. The pelicans picked up on this, and began eating the leftovers without having to go out fishing. If you’re a pelican, that’s good eating. So for weeks, they just sat by the harbor and waited for the fishing boats to come in.
However, the fishermen found out they could sell the fish waste, so they stopped throwing it into the water. The pelicans were caught unprepared. They continued to sit and wait for the fishing boats to come in and throw free food in the water. And they grew thinner and thinner and seemed able to do nothing about their situation.
Wildlife officials came to check out what was going on, and concluded that the pelicans forgot how to fish. So the officials brought pelicans in from another area to join the flock and teach the starving birds how to fish again.
Sometimes I wonder if we just expect God to throw the fish into the water, and we just jump in, pick up the pieces and we are done. If only it were that easy. But it’s not. God calls each one of us to minister, to perform in a ministry we are called to do.
(From a sermon by Michael Deutsch, "Wearing or Bearing the Cross" 2/16/2009)

Scripture Passage

Last week we studies Ch.3:1-23
We outlined the chapter as:
Foundations for Unity 3:1-21
I. Problem: Spiritually Immature 3:1-4
Paul returns to the “spiritual” and “carnal” or “fleshly” categories in his discussion of the failures of the Corinthian Christians to urge them to set aside their differences. In the process, he accuses them of immaturity, that is, of being “babes” in Christ.
II. Reality: Unity in Ministry 3:5-17
I planted Paul uses an agricultural metaphor to explain that different leaders have different roles in the growth of the church. Paul was responsible for founding the Corinthian church (). Since these ministries are interdependent, each one is important.
watered Refers to the instruction of the church community ().
God was causing it to grow Identifies God as the source of maturity in the faith. Paul directs the Corinthian believers to God, the source of life and unity. In doing so, he casts himself and Apollos as servants of God.
III. Solution: Turn from Worldly -23
Some of the believers at Corinth were priding themselves on their membership in or allegiance to certain leaders and/or special knowledge.
Many of the leaders of the factions at Corinth thought they were mature and wise, but they were self-deceived.
The gospel of God, Christ Himself, is the only true wisdom.
Today in Ch. 4, Paul continues:

4:1–13 In this passage, Paul discusses the nature of genuine Christian leadership. He argues that the standard for Christian leaders is set by God alone (vv. 1–5) and that suffering is a hallmark of Christian ministry (vv. 6–13).

The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Acts–Philemon 4:1–5. Paul’s Application of This Wisdom to Himself

After stating that “all things are yours,” Paul shows how this cannot lead to boasting, but rather to faithfulness and gratitude to God.

1 Corinthians 4:1–21 NASB95
1 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. 3 But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. 4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. 5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God. 6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other. 7 For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 8 You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. 9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. 11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; 12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. 14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. 18 Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. 21 What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?

Applications for Church Unity

Faithlife Study Bible Chapter 4
4:1–13 In this passage, Paul discusses the nature of genuine Christian leadership. He argues that the standard for Christian leaders is set by God alone (vv. 1–5) and that suffering is a hallmark of Christian ministry (vv. 6–13).

Faithfulness of Servants and Stewards

Add to slide.
The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Acts–Philemon 4:1–5. Paul’s Application of This Wisdom to Himself. He indicates that as a servant of Christ he is commanded by God to be faithful in this service and to the ministry to the church.
After stating that “all things are yours,” Paul shows how this cannot lead to boasting, but rather to faithfulness and gratitude to God.
1 Corinthians 4:1 NASB95
1 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
1 Corinthians 4:

4:1 Thus let a person consider us Refers to the ministers Paul, Apollos, and Cephas (3:22).

servants The Greek word used here, hypēretas, is plural, emphasizing that Paul is one of many who ministered among the believers in Corinth. See note on Rom 1:1; compare note on 1 Tim 4:6.

stewards Refers to those entrusted to manage their master’s household. In this context, “stewards” describes Paul, Apollos, and Cephas, whom God entrusted with His mysteries. See note on Gen 2:15.

God’s mysteries Refers to the truth of the gospel message which the Spirit reveals apart from the wisdom of people (see 1 Cor 1:24 and note). Although some Corinthians considered this message foolish, Paul affirms that it expresses the wisdom of God.

Paul was being judged and attacked by at least some of the Corinthians

Believers must evaluate or consider the status of leadership. For the Kingdom of God leadership is servanthood/stewardship (cf. ). Paul's theology follows Jesus' words.
Utley points out ▣ "stewards" is a compound Greek term from "house" and "law." It was the servant who managed the house/estate and gave an account to the owner. This is the emphasis on responsibility to and trustworthiness of the gospel. God will judge His stewards (cf. ,; ). What an awesome privilege and obligation!
▣ "of the mysteries of God" This term is used in several different ways by Paul. The primary thrust seems to be that the one God is going to unite Jews and Gentiles into one family through Christ, thereby fulfilling and 12:3
;
Genesis 3:15 NASB95
15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
Genesis 12:3 NASB95
3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
1 Corinthians 4:2 NASB95
2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.

faithful Here, being faithful means imparting the truth which the Spirit reveals without tainting it with the wisdom of people

1 Corinthians 4:3 NASB95
3 But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.

4:3 I be judged by you Since Paul considers himself a servant of God and steward of God’s work, he must concern himself with gaining God’s approval, not people’s approval.

I do not even judge myself. Though Paul’s conscience is clear (v. 5), ultimately only God determines whether one has proved faithful.

"I do not even examine myself" It is very hard to properly examine oneself spiritually. Often believers are too hard on themselves and too easy on others. Often we compare ourselves to other humans. We must let God judge. He knows the heart and the circumstances
1 Corinthians 4:4 NASB95
4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.

not by this am I vindicated He does not rely on his conscience, but on God to judge his faithfulness; this does not mean that he is acquitted of unfaithfulness. Because Paul does not evaluate himself, he is not aware of any charge of unfaithfulness against him (v. 2).

the one who judges In Paul’s time, only masters had the legal right to judge their servants. Since Paul is God’s servant, only God can judge him. This also implies that the Corinthian believers must not judge each other.

ACQUITTED
a legal technical term for one being acquitted from the consequences of a crime (cf. ). It is theologically similar to the "no condemnation" in and the legal context of . In this context it means that Paul is not free from divine judgment (cf. ) simply because his conscience was clear.
"but the one who examines me is the Lord" Stewards will give an account for their trustworthiness
1 Corinthians 4:5 NASB95
5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.

4:5 do not pronounce judgment. Not an absolute command (5:2; 6:2), but a warning not to usurp Christ’s role as judge in pronouncing final judgment. Paul speaks here to illegitimate criticisms raised against him.

bring to light the things now hidden. At the judgment, nothing will escape God’s searching light (Matt. 10:26 and parallels).

This is the conclusion of Paul's discussion on this topic and it is a command related to premature human evaluations.
▣ "do not go on passing judgment before the time" This is a present active imperative with the negative particle, which usually means to stop an act already in process (cf. ). These factious groups or the adherents of the false teachers had already judged Paul. Paul must have had many critics at Corinth through the years (cf. ).
▣ "but wait until the Lord comes" The Second Coming is certain; the time and manner are uncertain. True evaluation must wait until the right moment (cf. ,).
▣ "who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness" Even believers will give an account of their motives, plans, and attitudes (cf. ; ; ; ), but thank God, not their sins! Paul uses this same word "hidden things" (krupta) several times.
1.  - "the hidden things of men"
2. 1 Corinthians 4:5 - "the hidden things of darkness"
3.  - "the hidden things of the heart"
4.  - "the hidden things of shame"
▣ "and disclose the motives of men's hearts" This is crucial. This is why only God can judge fairly. Believers are only responsible for what they do understand, but they are always responsible for their attitudes and motives. Faithfulness will be rewarded (cf. ,,), unfaithfulness judged

Corinthian Stewards Contrasted with Godly Stewards

1 Corinthians 4:6 NASB95
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.
Here in these verses we will see that:

4:8–13 In this powerful passage, the apostle makes use of biting irony to show the Corinthians how trivial are their concerns and how unfair their criticisms. The sufferings of Paul are comparable to the pain and public humiliation of captives condemned to die (2 Cor. 11:23–30). In contrast, some of the Corinthians think of themselves as notably successful, but only because they do not understand what it means to be “fools for Christ’s sake” (v. 10)—not to behave nonsensically, but to identify with Christ’s cross, which seems foolish to the perishing but is God’s true wisdom (1:18–25). The deprivation, contempt, and manual labor experienced by the apostles disqualify and devalue their mission in the eyes of the world and of many in the church as well (2 Cor. 11:12–12:11).

1 Corinthians 4:6 NASB95
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.
The phrase, "it is written" is commonly used in the NT to introduce OT quotes. Here it seems to introduce a well-known proverb. The possible interpretations are

4:6 not to go beyond what is written The difficult Greek phrase used here, to mē hyper ha gegraptai, likely reflects a common slogan among the Corinthian believers. They may have used it in response to teachers who supplemented received apostolic teaching with worldly wisdom or divisiveness, thereby causing divisions within the congregation (see v. 7; compare 3:15 and note). By using this phrase, Paul is saying that he and Apollos adhered to the accepted standard (preaching the gospel) and did not elevate one teacher over another (compare 1:10–17; 3:4–9). It is also possible that the phrase refers to Scripture in a general sense or, more specifically, to scriptures already cited in the letter

The phrase, "it is written" is commonly used in the NT to introduce OT quotes. Here it seems to introduce a well-known proverb. The possible interpretations are
1. an introduction to a quote from the OT (cf. ,; )
2. a party slogan of one of the factions at Corinth
3. "to observe the proper rules" (i.e., believers should live in submission to the Scriptures:
a. especially those Paul has quoted in chapters 1-3
b. not to go beyond the Scriptures like some of the Jewish false teachers)

not to go beyond what is written The difficult Greek phrase used here, to mē hyper ha gegraptai, likely reflects a common slogan among the Corinthian believers. They may have used it in response to teachers who supplemented received apostolic teaching with worldly wisdom or divisiveness, thereby causing divisions within the congregation (see v. 7; compare 3:15 and note). By using this phrase, Paul is saying that he and Apollos adhered to the accepted standard (preaching the gospel) and did not elevate one teacher over another (compare 1:10–17; 3:4–9). It is also possible that the phrase refers to Scripture in a general sense or, more specifically, to scriptures already cited in the letter

be inflated with pride Paul identifies pride as the cause of division in the church community

The Greek term originally meant to inflate or puff up something (i.e., Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, p. 105, and Vincent, Word Studies, p. 766, from phusa - bellows). It came to be used in Christian literature (possibly coined by Paul) metaphorically for pride or arrogance. This was a major spiritual problem for the church at Corinth. Paul uses this word in ,,; ; ; and in a list of sins in . It is only used outside the Corinthian letters in the NT in , where it refers to Gnostic visions of special knowledge.
The Greek term phusioō originally meant to inflate or puff up something (i.e., Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, p. 105, and Vincent, Word Studies, p. 766, from phusa - bellows). It came to be used in Christian literature (possibly coined by Paul) metaphorically for pride or arrogance. This was a major spiritual problem for the church at Corinth. Paul uses this word in ,,; ; ; and in a list of sins in . It is only used outside the Corinthian letters in the NT in , where it refers to Gnostic visions of special knowledge.
Believers must not arrogantly choose certain teachers over other teachers. They must judge proclaimers by the content of their message () and their lifestyle (), not by their presentation nor their personality nor by their personal preferences nor by the human leaders they claim as their own (i.e., denomination).
1 Corinthians 4:7 NASB95
7 For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
▣ "What do you have that you did not receive" Paul is reminding these proud leaders that they were not the originators or discoverers of truth, but recipients of other's ministry.
▣ "What do you have that you did not receive" Paul is reminding these proud leaders that they were not the originators or discoverers of truth, but recipients of other's ministry.
1 Corinthians 4:8 NASB95
8 You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.
Utley indicates:
The pronoun "you" is plural in ,. This term "filled" is normally used of physical eating (cf. ), but here is it a metaphor (cf. ) of spiritual pride. Verse 8 can be three questions (cf. TEV) or three statements (cf. NASB, NKJV, RSV, and REB). These are a series of sarcastic statements or questions that reveal the pride of the Corinthian factious leaders. They thought they had arrived (i.e., perfect passive periphrastic). Paul wished they had, but it was not true; their actions revealed their maturity level (i.e., babies in Christ).
"kings. . .reign" Paul is using eschatological imagery to jolt the leaders' arrogant self-sufficiency. In Christ all believers will co-reign with King Jesus, but only after the Second Coming. These leaders considered themselves as already reigning, spiritually speaking.
1 Corinthians 4:9 NASB95
9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
"God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death" This verse is an illustration taken from a Roman Triumphal March (cf. ), where condemned prisoners (i.e., usually later killed in the Roman arena, cf. ) were displayed last in a Roman victory parade.
4:9 "God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death" This verse is an illustration taken from a Roman Triumphal March (cf. ), where condemned prisoners (i.e., usually later killed in the Roman arena, cf. ) were displayed last in a Roman victory parade.

4:9 apostles Includes not only the Twelve (Matt 10:2–4), but others sent out to proclaim the gospel message, such as Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:14), Andronicus and Junia (Rom 16:7), and James (Gal 1:19).

last of all Probably a metaphorical reference to the final show in the arena when the most heinous criminals were executed.

as condemned to death Refers to subjection to humiliation as well as execution.

1 Corinthians 4:10 NASB95
10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.
:

fools The Corinthian believers assume they have wisdom, but in reality they have acted like fools (1 Cor 4:7). In contrast, the apostles endure humiliation for the sake of Christ and the Church, yet the Corinthians consider them foolish.

God's wisdom is foolishness to the world, even sometimes to arrogant Christians.
1 Corinthians 4:11–13 NASB95
11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; 12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
4:11 "To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless" These verses reflect Paul's own experience (cf. ; and 11:23-30, also notice ). He wrote 1 Corinthians from Ephesus.

homeless Paul was an itinerant minister—he moved from place to place without a settled residence. This contrasts the Corinthians, whom Paul sarcastically describes as rich and satiated (v. 8). This line also relates Paul’s work to the ministry and life of Jesus Christ

4:12 "we toil, working with our own hands" This reflects the Jewish emphasis on the appropriateness of manual labor (cf. ; ; ; ). It was depreciated by Greek culture, including the church at Corinth.

our own hands Paul worked as a tentmaker when he arrived in Corinth (Acts 18:1–4). The socially elite despised those who worked with their hands. Though many of the Corinthian believers only had mid-level social status (1 Cor 1:26), they considered manual labor a sign of dishonor (compare 1 Thess 2:9; 5:12). Jesus also worked with His hands, probably as a carpenter

"when we are reviled, we bless" Paul is reflecting the teachings of Jesus (cf. ; ). The term "reviled" (i.e., loidoreō) is also included in the list of sins in and 6:10 (i.e., loidoros). Vincent, Word Studies, says this term refers to personal verbal abuse, while the term "slandered" (i.e., dusphēmeō, cf. ) means public defamation (cf. ; ). I have not been able to confirm this distinction. They both are part of a large number of Koine Greek terms used in the semantical category of "insult and slander" (cf. Louw and Nida, Greek-English Lexicon, vol. 1, pp. 433-434).

when we are persecuted, we endure The three statements in 1 Cor 4:12–13 articulate some of the opposition Paul encountered during his evangelistic efforts. Like Christ, he persevered for the sake of the gospel.

the refuse Paul is using degrading terms to convey the world’s contemptuous evaluation of the apostles. Those who faithfully serve Christ by preaching the message of the cross will always appear to be worthless according to the world’s wisdom.
Paul experienced verbal abuse from many false teachers, but it was the church at Corinth that must have wounded him the most. A group of people whom he personally led to Christ became his most vocal slanderers.

Admonished to be Imitators

4:14–21 Paul appeals to the Corinthians as the person who first preached the gospel to them and founded their church. Drawing on his unique relationship with the church, Paul urges the Corinthians to trust his character and imitate him as a worthy Christ follower.

:14-
1 Corinthians 4:14–15 NASB95
14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

4:14 to shame you People in Graeco-Roman society sought to avoid losing public honor. Paul does not want to provoke or discourage the Corinthians with his letter; rather, he wants to warn them about the disastrous consequences of pride and division.

but admonishing you Paul exhorts the Corinthians to right action in light of his previous criticism and instruction.

"I do not write these things to shame you" Verses 8-13 have been very sarcastic. Paul feels they should be ashamed (cf. ; ). It is uncertain if this paragraph (i.e., -24) points backward (i.e., chapters 1-4) or forward. They had much to be ashamed of.
"but to admonish you as my beloved children" Paul is using the metaphor of child training to encourage the Corinthians (cf. ).
Ephesians 6:4 NASB95
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 NASB95
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
countless tutors - This is literally "slave tutors" (cf. ). These slaves were responsible for accompanying the older male children to school, teaching them at home, and guarding them from danger.
This is literally "slave tutors" (cf. ). These slaves were responsible for accompanying the older male children to school, teaching them at home, and guarding them from danger.
"fathers. . .father" This is Paul's metaphor for describing himself as the evangelist who initially led them to faith in Christ. This deserves some respect and priority!
Reality Check
1 Corinthians 4:16–17 NASB95
16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.

become imitators of me Paul encourages the Corinthians to practice his life model since he is imitating Jesus (1 Cor 4:9–13), whom he met personally

Timothy Because Timothy had adopted Paul’s way of life, he became a model for the believers in Corinth. See note on 1 Tim 1:2.

my dear and faithful child Paul refers to Timothy as his spiritual son

We have no other biblical information on this visit. Timothy was converted on Paul's first missionary journey and recruited as a helper on the second. He became Paul's trusted friend, companion, co-worker, and apostolic representative. Sending Timothy showed Paul's love and concern for this church. But Paul worries about how some in the church would treat his young friend and personal representative, Timothy (cf. ). See SPECIAL TOPIC: TIMOTHY at .
We have no other biblical information on this visit. Timothy was converted on Paul's first missionary journey and recruited as a helper on the second. He became Paul's trusted friend, companion, co-worker, and apostolic representative. Sending Timothy showed Paul's love and concern for this church. But Paul worries about how some in the church would treat his young friend and personal representative, Timothy (cf. ). See SPECIAL TOPIC: TIMOTHY at .
1 Corinthians 16:10–11 NASB95
10 Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to be afraid, for he is doing the Lord’s work, as I also am. 11 So let no one despise him. But send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brethren.
▣ "just as I teach everywhere in every church" Paul wanted to emphasize that the Corinthian church had been given the same teachings as all the other churches (cf. ; ; ). They were not special or advanced. They did not have the right to be different
1 Corinthians 4:18–19 NASB95
18 Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power.
Paul states his future travel plans, as they relate to Corinth. He does this because some in the church are using Paul's absence as a means of attack (cf. ). They were asserting that (1) Paul's absence was a sign that he did not really care about this church or (2) he never followed through on his promises.

arrogant Refers back to 1 Cor 4:6, where the same word (from the root physioō, meaning “to puff up, make proud”) is used to describe those who become prideful because they are associated with specific teachers and cause dissensions.

4:18 "some have become arrogant" Paul has uses this term three times in this chapter (i.e., ,,) and several times in the Corinthian letters (cf. ; ; and ). This was a special problem for this church.
This is Paul's future travel plans, as they relate to Corinth. He does this because some in the church are using Paul's absence as a means of attack (cf. ). They were asserting that (1) Paul's absence was a sign that he did not really care about this church or (2) he never followed through on his promises.
The false teachers were eloquent in their speech but powerless in the results
4:18 "some have become arrogant" Paul has uses this term three times in this chapter (i.e., ,,) and several times in the Corinthian letters (cf. ; ; and ). This was a special problem for this church.
:
1 Corinthians 4:20–21 NASB95
20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. 21 What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?

kingdom of God Refers to the reign of God expressed in the lives of His people. While the kingdom of God is a present reality, it is not yet fully here. Here Paul urges the Corinthian believers to live according to the value system of God’s kingdom, which prizes powerful deeds more than persuasive speech.

Utley says:
"does not consist in words but in power" To put this truth in an American proverb, "actions speak louder than words" or "the proof is in the pudding."
kingdom of God is not in word--Not empty "speeches," but the manifest "power" of the Spirit attests the presence of "the kingdom of God" (the reign of the Gospel spiritually), in a church or in an individual
"rod" refers to the tutor's stick (cf. ). This church had to decide if Paul was to come as a disciplining father or a forgiving father. Their actions determined his approach.
Conclusion
What about you? How do we respond to correction and guidance? Are we puffed up in our own pride?
Related Media
Related Sermons