1 Corinthians 4

& Video Below


Spiritual Leaders
1) Look at all spiritual leaders in only one way, as servants of Christ and to protect and spread His Word.  2) Therefore, the most important thing about a spiritual leader is that he is trustworthy to be a servant of Christ His Master.  3) Furthermore, it must not bother any spiritual leader when he is accused or examined by any others who he has taught or lead to Christ.  Neither should it bother him if any man condemns him, even any civil authority.  In fact he will not even start being introspective about himself, questioning and examining every little thing.  4) As long as a spiritual leader's conscience is clear within himself, he should care less what anyone else thinks.  It doesn't mean he thinks or should think he is perfect but he knows there is only One who can really do the judging, the Lord Himself.

5) Therefore, no one should presume to make any premature judgments about spiritual leaders, before the Lord Judge Himself comes.  He will bring to light circumstances that you know nothing about and He will reveal all true motives that you have no way of knowing about. 

Then guess what?  God is not going to come and then start condemning every believer and spiritual leader because of all the hidden things He knows about them!  No!  Surprise!  God is going to start only praising every believer and every spiritual leader for every good hidden motive and good hidden act that only He would know about!  Wahoo!  Hallelujah!  

Extra-Scriptural & Arrogant

6) Now, I've applied all this about divisions and factions using Apollos and myself as examples for your sake.  But you must never exceed what I have written!  It's just as wrong to be extra-Scriptural as un-Scriptural.  If extra-Scriptural, you'll become very arrogant.  Instead of one united church in the city you'll become factions competing against each other.  7) For whom do you think you are to have your own separate "church" from other believers in the city?  What do you have that's so superior, as if you got it yourself instead of from God?  If whatever you have is from God, you have nothing to be proud of with your separate divided "church" in the city.

8) You think you already know everything there is to know spiritually.  You think your separate divided "church" in the city is the best.  You think you reign over everyone else.  I wish that were really true.  If it were, we too would be reigning with you.  9) But it's evident God has not done that yet, not with any of my fellow-missionaries.  We're seen in the world and even by angels looking down on us as men in a criminal line up, sentenced to death, waiting for execution.  10) Our zeal for Christ has made us look like fools.  But some of you Christians are viewed with such great wisdom and with such great Scriptural prudence!  We obviously are not spiritually as mighty or as highly esteemed as you are.  We are viewed with vile distain.  11) Even now, we don't have enough food to eat or water to drink or enough clothes to keep warm in the winter.  We have been physically beaten by mobs and none of us own a home.  12) Yet we all work hard with our own hands to provide for ourselves.

When people revile us, we simply bless them.  When they persecute us, we just take it patiently and endure.  13) When they slander and defame us, we try to conciliate and console.  However, we are still treated like filthy scum at this very time.

Imitate Paul & His Teaching 

14) I am not writing this to shame you, but to admonish and warn you.  You are my spiritual children.  15) I don't care if you have ten thousand teachers about Christ; you have only one spiritual father in the gospel.  16) Therefore, I exhort you, imitate only me; do only as I do and teach.

17) That is why I sent Timothy to you.  He is my son in the Lord who I love and is very trustworthy.  He will remind you of how I follow Christ Jesus.  This is what I teach everywhere, in every church.

18) But some have really become conceited, even arrogant, in what they think and teach.  They don't think that I am every coming back again to see you.  19) But you'll see; I'm coming again soon!  I'm coming soon as the Lord lets me.  Then I'll see just how morally powerful all these arrogant "spiritual" talkers really are.  20) God's Kingdom is not talk but power! 

21) So what are you going to choose?  Do you want me to come to you with a rod of punishment?  Or, do you want me to come to you in love and in a gentle spirit?


Copyright © 2013, New Life Bible, Greenwood Fellowship, Greenwood Village, Co., 80111  



Click here to: I Corinthians 5 / Paraphrase & Video