Day 56…1 Corinthians 4:8-13:

April 12, 2011 at 2:06 PM 1 comment

I Corinthians 4:8-13: Reality check

In these few verses Paul wants the believers at Corinth to take a reality check. Or as some people say it “give their head a shake.” Paul sarcastically compares his experience with the claims of the Corinth believers to stop them from being arrogant about their self-sufficiency.

v.8-9, the believers at Corinth had set themselves apart from one another, many even looked down on Paul for his lack or wealth or lack of great oratory. Sarcastically Paul says to them “you think you already have all you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s Kingdom without us!” These believers supposedly had all they needed or wanted. They thought they had all the riches they could ever need. They were acting like little kings amongst their cliques, believing they possessed all the great wisdom and knowledge they needed, they felt qualified to judge others. Paul goes on to say “I wish you were really reigning already, for then we would reign with you.” To say that he wished he could be a “king” with them, because apparently they had surpassed the apostles in wisdom and knowledge and had already reached full maturity. Then in v.9 Paul goes on with more sarcasm saying even though the Corinth believers supposedly were living like kings, the apostles had been passed up for that honour. Instead they were on display as “prisoner’s of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die.” Paul was pointing out that most of the apostles (the Corinth’s spiritual leaders) had suffered for the sake of the Gospel while the Corinth believers were attempting to reign like kings.

v.10, more sarcasm as Paul pointed out the strangeness of the Corinth believers’ supposed wisdom, strength and honour while God’s apostles are “fools for Christ…weak…dishonoured.”

v.11-13, Paul elaborates more on the Corinth believers pride and distorted viewpoint by describing in detail the hardships that he and the other apostles continue to experience: “even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? Sometimes we as believers need to take a reality check with the way we view ourselves … proud of how we do ministry or how our style of worship is better than someone else’s. Or proud of our accomplishments, and constantly comparing ourselves to other believers. We need to realize that it isn’t important what we have done or how we do ministry, what is important is who we do it for–Jesus!

The other lesson I see in this passage is how Paul and the other apostles endured persecution–they were reviled, abused and evil things were said about them, yet they responded with blessing, patience and gentle words. Paul modeled for us the attitude we should show to get the Gospel message to unbelievers. The attitude of willingness to endure the ridicule and persecution so that the message of eternal life gets to all unbelievers.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? To not have pride in what I have accomplished or even how good our church is compared to that church, but to put all my efforts into worshipping God…giving him all the glory! And to endure the ridicule we might face when sharing with our friends, neighbours and family the Gospel, because it is nothing compared to seeing those loved be lost for eternity.

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Entry filed under: Journey Thru the Bible.

Day 55…1 Corinthians 4:6-7: Day 57…1 Corinthians 4:14-21:

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Paul DeGraaf  |  April 12, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Amen! It’s who we do it for that matters – I like this. I like your Bible studies.
    Blessings, P

    Reply

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