I Corinthians 4:6-13

•I Corinthians 4:6-13
•Be Humble

6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. 7 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?

(I Corinthians 4:6-7, ESV)

8 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! 9 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. 10 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. 11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.

(I Corinthians 4:8-13, ESV)

Main Point

• These verses take away the metaphors and bring them face to face with the truth
• The view reigning already contrasts the view of already but not yet
• They believe they have attained the fullest riches of righteousness and can live however they desire
• The Apostles struggle against this world and suffer in it for Christ. 

Application Points

•Be Humble
– From these verses to the end of the chapter most see Paul as being biting
– We ignore Paul’s points to our detriment
– These are significant truths that we should take seriously
– The first and foundational principle is in verses 6-7
– Paul’s point up to now has been that they own the teachers because they are owned by Christ
– They are not their own
– While they have ben given the gift of the Spirit, they have begun to think that it is something they have done
– The same is true of physical blessings
– Everything they have received is because of God
– There are those who believe they can do whatever they want with their money
– Those who believe they have put in the hard work therefore they can do whatever they want with their prosperity

Application Points

•Be Humble (2)
– We are very libertarian in our thinking
– What is it that has caused you to be born where you are?
– How did it come to be that you weren’t born in a country where they force you to work for pennies a day?
– You were blessed by God to be born in a place where you don’t have to work 50 hours for pennies
– You have been blessed with even the possibility of working and receiving from the fruit of your labors
– The same is true with any knowledge you have received, any wisdom which has come to you
– In God’s providence He has placed you in the time and space which allows you to learn more about Him and His ways

Application Points

•Be Humble (3)
– We squander the blessings God has given by focusing on the blessings or thinking we deserved them
– Yet, we have been blessed
– This doesn’t mean feel guilty over it
– Instead utilize the blessings for the reason they were given
– We have been blessed therefore have a responsibility to God to utilize the blessings well
– We are in constant tension
– We can believe…we have attained perfection
– We have attained the righteousness of Christ, yet we live and die in a place where there is tension between good and evil

Application Points

•Be Humble (4)
– This tension is not only between the world outside and us, but also within
– We are tempted to do what is wrong, to do whatever we think is right in our own eyes
– We have allowed our liberty in Christ to cause us to think wrongly about liberty
– That freedom means you are free to finally do what is right versus what is wrong (See especially Romans 3-7)
– Prior to salvation we are slaves to sin and unrighteousness
– In salvation we are freed to live in the righteousness which has saved us
– True Christian liberty leads to following what is true and right found in the character of God

Application Points

•Be Humble (5)
– We need to be cautious about over realized eschatology
– The apostolic understanding is the best, we are there but not yet
– While we live, we can do better and seek better by being obedient to Christ with our lives given now
– Doing what is right, doing what is in the truth, will not necessarily lead to what we consider “best”
– It may lead to us being mocked, scorned, and jeered
– As a bivocational pastor I can understand the sentiment
– I have heard joke upon joke
– Paul the tentmaker working among the slaves and how that looks to the world
– In all of this I could become bitter
– I have learned more about God through these experiences
– If I can do even an ounce of good and speak truth then it will be worth it

Application Points

•Be Humble (6)
– I have learned how to endure
– No one should feel guilty over not having to learn these hard lessons
– The Corinthians are blessed, you may be blessed as well
– It is possible in speaking the truth you will not experience these things
– We cannot possibly know the ramifications for following Christ
– It is possible you will find hardships, it is possible you will find blessings (both?)
– In the end our responsibility is to do what is right regardless of circumstances or results
– Our only concern is the Owner
– If people around us reject the message and laugh at us, then let us respond with grace, kindness, love, and patience
– If we receive blessing then let us be thankful to remember where the blessing comes from

Application Points

•Be Humble (7)
– This is how it all comes back around
– We are to remain humble no matter the circumstance
– Everything we have, our entire existence, and all things that make up that existence, are because of God
– We can continue to seek faithfulness above all, by proclaiming the truth, and living in the truth
– We need to be shocked out of our complacency
– We need to be reminded who we are, and who God is
– Be humble before God, for He is truly God Almighty, worthy of all glory from all that He has created, including us

•Application Points
•The Gospel of Christ
–Where we began
–What went wrong
–How it is fixed
–Where it at leads