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4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4:4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
4:8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.
4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
4:10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
4:11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
4:12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
4:13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
4:170 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
4:18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.
4:19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.
4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
4:21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

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Everything King James Bible:1 Corinthians

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 1 Corinthians
Book: 1 Corinthians
Chapter: 4

Overview:
The true character of Gospel ministers. (1-6) Cautions against
despising the Apostle. (7-13) He claims their regard as their
spiritual Father in Christ, and shows his concern for them.
(14-21)

1-6 Apostles were No more than servants of Christ, but they
were not to be undervalued. They had a great trust, and for that
reason, had an honourable office. Paul had a just concern for
his own reputation, but he knew that he who chiefly aimed to
please men, would not prove himself a Faithful servant of
Christ. It is a comfort that men are not to be our final Judges.
And it is not judging Well of ourselves, or justifying
ourselves, that will prove us safe and happy. Our own Judgment
is not to be depended upon as to our faithfulness, any more than
our own Works for our Justification. There is a Day coming, that
will bring men's secret sins into open Day, and discover the
secrets of their hearts. Then every slandered believer will be
justified, and every Faithful servant approved and rewarded. The
Word of God is the best rule By which to Judge as to men. Pride
commonly is at the bottom of quarrels. Self-conceit contributes
to produce undue esteem of our teachers, as Well as of
ourselves. We shall not be puffed up for one against another, if
we remember that all are instruments, employed By God, and
endowed By him with various talents.

7-13 We have No reason to be proud; all we have, or are, or do,
that is good, is owing to the free and rich Grace of God. A
sinner snatched from Destruction By sovereign Grace alone, must
be very absurd and inconsistent, if proud of the free Gifts of
God. St. Paul sets forth his own circumstances, ver. 9. Allusion
is made to the cruel spectacles in the Roman Games; where men
were forced to cut one another to Pieces, to divert the people;
and where the victor did not escape with his Life, though he
should destroy his Adversary, but was only kept for another
combat, and must be killed at last. The thought that many eyes
are upon believers, when struggling with difficulties or
temptations, should encourage constancy and patience. "We are
weak, but ye are strong." All Christians are not alike exposed.
Some suffer greater hardships than others. The Apostle enters
into particulars of their sufferings. And how glorious the
Charity and devotion that carried them through all these
hardships! They suffered in their persons and characters as the
worst and vilest of men; as the very dirt of the world, that was
to be swept away: nay, as the offscouring of all things, the
Dross of all things. And every one who would be Faithful in
Christ Jesus, must be prepared for poverty and contempt.
Whatever the disciples of Christ suffer from men, they must
follow the Example, and fulfil the will and precepts of their
Lord. They must be content, with him and for him, to be despised
and abused. It is much better to be rejected, despised, and ill
used, as St. Paul was, than to have the good opinion and favour
of the world. Though cast off By the world as vile, yet we may
be precious to God, gathered up with his own Hand, and placed
upon his Throne.

14-21 In reproving for Sin, we should distinguish between
sinners and their sins. Reproofs that kindly and affectionately
warn, are likely to reform. Though the Apostle spoke with
authority as a parent, he would rather beseech them in Love. And
as ministers are to set an Example, others must follow them, as
far as they follow Christ in Faith and practice. Christians may
mistake and differ in their views, but Christ and Christian
Truth are the same yesterday, to-Day, and for ever. Whenever the
Gospel is effectual, it comes not in Word only, but also in
power, By the Holy Spirit, quickening dead sinners, delivering
persons from the slavery of Sin and Satan, renewing them both
inwardly and outwardly, and comforting, strengthening, and
establishing the saints, which cannot be done By the persuasive
language of men, but By the power of God. And it is a happy
temper, to have the Spirit of Love and Meekness Bear the rule,
yet to maintain just authority.

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