Bible: I Corinthians 4-5
The Apostles’ Ministry
4:1 One 1 should think about us this way – as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 4:2 Now what is sought in stewards is that one be found faithful. 4:3 So for me, it is a minor matter that I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4:4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not acquitted because of this. The one who judges me is the Lord. 4:5 So then, do not judge anything before the time. Wait until the Lord comes. He will 2 bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the motives of hearts. Then each will receive recognition 3 from God.
4:6 I have applied these things to myself and Apollos because of you, brothers and sisters, 4 so that through us you may learn “not to go beyond what is written,” so that none of you will be puffed up in favor of the one against the other. 4:7 For who concedes you any superiority? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as though you did not? 4:8 Already you are satisfied! Already you are rich! You have become kings without us! I wish you had become kings so that we could reign with you! 4:9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to die, because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people. 4:10 We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, we are dishonored! 4:11 To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, poorly clothed, brutally treated, and without a roof over our heads. 4:12 We do hard work, toiling with our own hands. When we are verbally abused, we respond with a blessing, when persecuted, we endure, 4:13 when people lie about us, we answer in a friendly manner. We are the world’s dirt and scum, even now.
A Father’s Warning
4:14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to correct you as my dear children. 4:15 For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, because I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 4:16 I encourage you, then, be imitators of me. 4:17 For this reason, I have sent Timothy to you, who is my dear and faithful son in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Christ, 5 as I teach them everywhere in every church. 4:18 Some have become arrogant, 6 as if I were not coming to you. 4:19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing, and I will find out not only the talk of these arrogant people, but also their power. 4:20 For the kingdom of God is demonstrated not in idle talk but with power. 4:21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline 7 or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
5:1 It is actually reported that sexual immorality exists among you, the kind of immorality that is not permitted even among the Gentiles, so that someone is cohabiting with 8 his father’s wife. 5:2 And you are proud! 9 Shouldn’t you have been deeply sorrowful instead and removed the one who did this 10 from among you? 5:3 For even though I am absent physically, 11 I am present in spirit. And I have already judged the one who did this, just as though I were present. 12 5:4 When you gather together in the name of our Lord Jesus, 13 and I am with you in spirit, 14 along with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5:5 turn this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved 15 in the day of the Lord. 16
5:6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast 17 affects 18 the whole batch of dough? 5:7 Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch of dough – you are, in fact, without yeast. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 5:8 So then, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of vice and evil, but with the bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. 19
5:9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. 5:10 In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world, or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of the world. 5:11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian 20 who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, 21 or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. 5:12 For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside? 5:13 But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you. 22