- We are called to be faithful servants, not judges of others.
- Faithfulness will not be easy or fun but the reward is embracing Christ’s calling.
- Bold love is motivated by a godly love and a desire for the good of our sister or brother.
1 Cor. 4:1-21
I. Called to be faithful (v. 1-7)
A. Paul understood his mission- a steward of the Gospel (v.1-5).
1. Paul understood that the Gospel was not his message but God’s.
2. It will be the Master who decides on our faithfulness.
a. The world and our fellow Christians will not judge our actions and motives.
b. Nor is self-justification an option.
c. It will be Jesus who judges us.
3. We have a promise that all will be laid bare. This should cause two reactions.
a. Motivate us to examine our hearts.
b. Reassure and free us to focus on what God has called us to do.
B. We are to seek faithfulness (v. 6,7)
1. Our faithfulness must be measured against what God has said.
2. God’s grace should deflate out pride and inspire us to faithfulness.
Point One: We are called to be faithful servants, not judges.
II. Comfort vs. Christ (v. 8-13)
A. Are you already in the Kingdom of God? (v.8)
B. Weak and desperate in Christ (v.9)
1. The Roman Triumph
2. Paul identifies himself with the most mocked and shamed, not the glorious.
C. A drastic difference (v.10-13).
1. Paul has embraced the pain and hardship, thus embracing Christ.
2. John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Point Two: Faithfulness will not be easy or fun but the reward is the embrace of Christ’s calling.
III. Not Guilt but Glory (v.14-21)
A. Paul’s heart longs for their good (v.14,15).
B. Living examples (v.16,17).
C. Bold Love (v. 18-21).
1. Christian community takes courage, confrontation, and consultation.
2. Our love must be stronger than nice words.
3. Prov. 27:5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
4. Our stubborn hearts require difficulty to return us to the truth.
Point Three: Bold love is motivated by a godly love and a desire for the good of our sister or brother.
Small Group Questions
- When you hear the word “faithfulness”, what comes to mind?
- When you read read Jn 16:33, how do you respond?
- Has anyone ever confronted you in love?
- What was you initial response? What changed your heart?
by: Nathan Farrey