Archive for November 13th, 2019

1 Corinthians 4:7-10

In 1 Corinthians 4:7-10 Paul reminds the church that if there is anything we think we’ve done on our own, we have a pride problem. If there is a difference between us, it is because of what God has done in us. Everything we have or will ever have is not a result of our own work but a gift from God. He alone provides what we have. “For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” So there is nothing for us to boast about or have any thought that we did it ourselves. It is from God alone.

Whether we think so or not, we are blessed beyond what we need. We may incorrectly focus on what else we might want, but the truth is that God has blessed us indeed. “Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you!” Gratitude is a matter of the heart. Guzik suggests that these three questions should prompt other questions in our heart:

  1. Do I truly I give God the credit for my salvation and all I have?
  2. Do I live with a spirit of humble gratitude?
  3. Seeing that I have received everything from God, what can I give to Him?

Paul lays it out there with sarcasm regarding the Corinthian church. They were wealthy, had far more than was needed, yet were still focused on gaining more and were filled with pride around what they had. Paul contrasts that to the way the apostles lived as ministers of the gospel. “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.” Instead of being full, and rich, and reigning as royalty, the apostles were on display in a humiliating spectacle to the world. The Corinthian Christians looked at themselves so highly, while God has displayed the apostles so low! Paul is not complaining, but contrasting the two.

And he goes further in how he differentiates the church from those who were serving it. With contrast after contrast, Paul sarcastically shows how foolish it is for the Corinthians to think that they are more spiritually privileged, or blessed, or endowed, than the apostles were. “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.” Today, the church is heavy with this same attitude of the Corinthian Christians. They are concerned about the image of worldly success and power. There is no shortage of ministers who want to display the image of worldly success and power, and no shortage of Christians who will value that in their ministry.

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