Faithlife Sermons

5 Realign Focus

Realigning for Unity: 1 Corinthians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings

Big Idea: Faithful stewards serve their Master in the power of His Spirit.



Paul wraps up the intro portion of the letter. Mostly, he is stating his purpose 1:10
1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
and establishing both the proper value of his position and teaching (both as important/authoritative, but not ultimate importance to cause division) and their need for correction, unity, and right perspective.
Ch1 – too much focus on earthly leaders and polarizing around them. All leaders are supposed to be carrying out the same mission – teaching the message of the cross. Paul calls the church to unite by the One Spirit living in them and giving them wisdom, revealing God’s mind and the mindset of Christ. (ch2)
In chapter 3 Paul calls the church to end their division around leadership and to realize they are all participating in the task of building up the temple where the Spirit of God lives – not a physical building but the gathering of the followers.
The right perspective culminates here in v.20 Kingdom of God is not measured, or does not exist, in talk (boasting) but in power (living out the endowment of the Holy Spirit) (not about strength or might, but about the capacity to be and do as empowered by God’s Spirit)
From this foundation, Paul then addresses the other issues and questions.

Faithful Servants

Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-5
1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV
2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
Vv1-5 A servant/manager must be found faithful – none of us can judge faithfulness except the Lord who will examine each one, reveal private motives, and reward with praise.
v.5 Focus not on one leader or another as better because you are not in a place to judge that. Everything you have is a gift of God so don’t boast in what you have or who you have.
Read 1 Corinthians 4:6-7
v.6-7 Paul uses himself and Apollos as examples so they will not have reason to boast.
1 Corinthians 4:7 NIV
7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
Transition from being judged and putting one leader over another, to showing the example these leaders are of true humility and servanthood. Found faithful.
Read 1 Corinthians 4:8-13
v.8-13 On one hand, the people seem to already have everything they need, and P&A seem to be fools as they follow Christ. Their lifestyle leaves a lot to be desired, yet it is because they are faithful to the Lord. His purpose is not to shame but to warn.
Example of Pak Abi – going up and down the mountains of Papua to bring the good news and to train up leaders.
He is addressing the spirit of arrogance and pride among them. The church in Corinth has many who believe they have already arrived and do not need to be taught, or that their brand of faith is better than others. Paul’s example shows they have not yet begun to suffer for their faith.

Right Perspective

Read 1 Corinthians 4:14-16
1 Corinthians 4:14 NIV
14 I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children.
Paul doesn’t go into all this detail to shame them but to warn. Warn of what? To realign their focus.
Although the church may have many teachers, he is their one and only spiritual father because he brought them the good news. Imitate me! (also 11:1 imitate me as I imitate Christ)
Also – sending Timothy to continue to teach.
Read 1 Corinthians 4:18-19
1 Corinthians 4:20 NIV
20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
V20 is key – the kingdom of God is not talk but powerful living.
Final paragraph is interesting and somewhat funny. You think you have arrived and I will not be back. But I will be there and will prove whether you are blowing smoke or are truly empowered by God.
v.21 Should I come with a rod to punish or love and gentleness?
Pat Morley – do you need a hug or a kick in the pants?


This passage is key to the chapter and Paul’s thought of realigning their focus.
The kingdom of God is not about the talk, arrogance, bragging, high feeling attitude.
The Kingdom of God is indicated by the lived out power of God in and through His servants, by His Spirit.
So the refocus of this chapter is moving from holding high the gifts, abilities, status, accomplishments, etc. of themselves or their preferred leader, to holding high the One Who gives, the Master of the servants, the God Who calls and reveals and judges, and serving through the power of His Spirit.
Bring them into unity because they no longer focus on themselves or on taking sides over various teachers. Focus is on serving faithfully in the power of God’s Spirit.

Big Idea: Faithful stewards serve their Master in the power of His Spirit.

What About You?

What stood out to you in chapter 4?
What does chapter 4 teach us about God? About Jesus?
What does the chapter teach us about people? About ourselves?
What does this mean for me? What do I need to change or do differently? What attitudes need to change?
God – rewards the faithful, everything you have comes from God (includes gifts and abilities and teachers), God’s Kingdom is not about talk but power/effectiveness/
Jesus – judges stewards/managers
Man – managers of mysteries of God, must be faithful, judged by Christ not man, so don’t judge others, rewarded for faithfulness, receive everything from God, nothing to brag about, brag only in God, man is to live fruitful life by the power of God’s Spirit.
Myself –
Related Media
Related Sermons