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1 Corinthians 4,14-21

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1 Corinthians 4:14-21

February 17, 2002

Intro: We are a people that tend to take possession of things even to

         the point of defining ourselves by them.

A-  You have probably taken possession of your job and define yourself by it.

1-   “I am a Electrician,  Salesmen,  House wife…

2-   We can do the same with our ministries.

a-   Children’s minister, Hospitality, Usher…

Ø There are 2 basic views on taking possession of a ministry.

#1- One way is to the detriment of that ministry

A-  There are no churches within churches.

1-   Every ministry in this church is God the leaders have been given stewardship over them for a period of time.

a-   Similar to owning a piece of property.

B-  We closed last week by looking at God’s pattern for leadership as an upside-down pyramid (Jesus at the bottom)

1-   The church is structured after the pattern established in Exodus .

Turn to Exodus 18:14-27

a-   When a ministry is taken possession of in a way that people set themselves up as the source of authority, that ministry is severed from the church.

-         Any member of a body that is cut off from the body withers and dies.

1 Corinthians 4:7,  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?

#2- The second view is possession from the stand point of being

      the best steward possible, being in submission to the

      established  leadership, and holding of lightly.

A-  Knowing that this church, the ministry, my family are not mine but God’s

1-   BUT realizing my calling and responsibility, and what has been delivered by God into my care.

a-   Knowing that this is all God’s and His work and not mine even I am not my own.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20,  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Peter 5:2-3, Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

Turn to John 10:7-21

l- Paul is using the relationship of a father and his children here

   to illustrate his relationship between himself and the church at


A-  This was a church that God used him to plant and he felt a fatherly responsibility. (Timothy 2Tim 2:1, 1 Peter 5:13 Mark)

1-   As we go through Corinthians we’ll see many problems BUT we’ll also see Paul love them as a father who loves his disobedient child.

Proverbs 3:11-12,  My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects,

Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

Ø A Good father (leader, parent) must be multi faceted in his relationship to his children.

A-  So many dimensions to leadership (parenting).

1-   Mother = Chauffeur,  cook,  maid,  doctor,  father,  spiritual guide,  money machine,  what ever is need.

a-   Parenting and leadership is about meeting people were they are at.

1 Corinthians 9:22,  to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Read Romans 15:1-4


#1- We see the 1st facet of this father in V:14

1 Corinthians 4:14, I do not write these things to shame you,… I warn you.

A-  He is an Exhorter (easily confused with a nag)

Acts 20:31,  “Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

1-   When you tell your child not to:

a-   Throw things because they’ll put an eye out

b-   Stay out of the street

c-   Be careful

-         You want them to be safe.

2-   Paul warns them because he does not want to see a sick church.

a-   Ineffective,  damaged lives,  lost rewards

-         Sometimes you just have to say the hard things for the benefit of the hearer.

·        Ignored problems tend to explode

b-   How do we exhort

Ephesians 6:4,  And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

-         In 1 Samuel Ch. 2-4 Eli (Hophni & Phinehas)

c-   How exactly do we do this

2 Timothy 3:16-17,  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

#2- The 2nd facet of a father is

1 Corinthians 4:14, I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.

A-  A godly father has a overwhelming fondness for his children

1-   See the people God has given you stewardship over as God sees you


-         Through the eyes of grace you are:  loved, cared for, provided for.

-         I would not want God to see me any other way ,  I should not see others any other way.

Luke 6:37,  “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

b-   A child does not deserve all he receives from his father

-         But love compels the father to give regardless.

#3- The third facet

1 Corinthians 4:15,  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.

A-  The child is begotten by the father

1-   One of the major problems in society is today is children without fathers.

a-   Paul is expressing the natural law of responsibility for that which you beget.

2-   Our children will have many influences but it’s up to us to but it all-together in God.

a-   My kids school teacher  (motivated by money)

b-   A father (motivate by love) if not someone owes me money.

Proverbs 22:6,  Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Psalm 127:3-5

Deuteronomy 6:6-9


#4- The fourth facet

1 Corinthians 4:16-17,  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.

A-  That which screams the loudest to those in-trusted to you YOUR EXAMPLE.

1-   Especially to those in our household, that place where we don’t have to be “on”

a-   It’s where we are seen at our rawest

2-   Paul felt that he cloned himself in Timothy & and had a confidence about it.

a-   What is the last thing you tell your kids before they go over to someone’s house.

#5- The 5th facet

1 Corinthians 4:17,…as I teach everywhere in every church.

A-  Why was he sending Timothy to remind them of what they were taught.

1-   What am I doing the majority of the time I am up here.


-         Whenever we finish the bible you know what we are going to do START OVER.

Ephesians 4:14-15,  that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

2 Timothy 2:1-2, You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

#6- The last facet

Read verses 18-21

A-  The hardest but just as important DISCIPLINE

1-   We so hate confrontation, but without it change does not happen.

a-   God confronted me and it changed my life.

b-   If I did not discipline my kids.

-         If there was no discipline in the sanctuary

2-   Through confrontation a situation is forced to be seen as it is.

Revelation 3:19,  “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

>There is always 2 ways to go in leadership

1-   Your way and God’s way

a-   Someone told me along time ago that people are attracted to excellence.

-         As a steward of God’s ministry I have a responsibility.

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