Archive for October 14th, 2017

1 Corinthians 4

1 Corinthians 4 has Paul telling the church about life as an Apostle.  “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God”.  The Apostles were held with esteem, although most all gave their life for their faith in Christ.  They were leaders and teachers of the faith, and Paul is clear that “it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy”.  Leaders in the church have a responsibility to be true to God’s truth.  God holds a leader to a higher standard.  Scripture tells us that in a number of places.

But the truth is that it doesn’t really matter what others think or say.  “It is the Lord who judges me….who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart”. God is the judge and determines the future.  We’ll stand before Him someday, every one of us, and give account to what we’ve done with His Son Jesus to deal with our sin, and how we’ve walked in obedience to His commands as a Christ Follower which will determine our eternity. That day is coming for each of us. “Then each one will receive his commendation from God”.

We tend to think that the life of an Apostle would be pretty cool.  Paul paints a very different picture. “For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour  we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands.  When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things”.  Still want to be a spiritual leader in the church?  It’s not a glamorous role.  Paul and his co-workers endured much for the sake of the gospel.

But Paul doesn’t share that to dissuade us from leading and investing in others. In fact, he challenges us to do what he did – to trade life for the gospel.  “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me….to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church”.  Paul became father to many, and a role model for everyone to imitate.  We need to have that mindset – to live life day by day in a way that if others imitate and follow us – they will get to the Cross and see Jesus Christ through us.  That’s the role each of us must live as Christ Followers.  We are examples of the faith.  What if someone follows yours?

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