1 Corinthians Chapter 4

I wrote earlier that the corinthians were fed with simplicity and not able to recognise the deceit that had gone out against the gospel. That is a revealed fact by Paul and Apollos here.

Following on, Paul instructs the believers to consider Paul and Apollos also the increase of the Lord only, and stewards also as having the responsibility for the increase due God by the gospel within the chain of the present day as we also should today. (v1). Paul states that a steward should be faithful to complete his work perfectly to purpose - also sitting on one's hands is not an option. (v2) It is a small thing to Paul for the believers to consider him effective as by his own merit or that of God's only (v3) for Paul doesn't judge his own words as if they were his own. The gospel Paul preached is that taught Him of Christ, but he is not justified before them as more important than any other teacher of the same because of that fact. The one who justifies, refines and destroys from within His temple (as worthy or unworthy) is the Lord, and He only. (We are not appointed to wrath.)

Concerning the refinement and destruction, Paul admonishes them to be patient.(v5) For in good time the Lord will come in the Holy Spirit's ministry that will reveal meat instead of milk, that will reveal to them the things of darkness (the devil's devices against the faith of the gospel) and will by His ministry amongst them make their route to action to survive refinement sure. That thing is done through the training of repentance and revelation of the truth, as well as the ability to discern the truth of the gospel from the works of antichrist.

Paul and Apollos for the time being have transferred the stewardship of spiritually warring for them to themselves (the figure alluded to) (v6) So that the refinement and testing might be upon Paul and Apollos; also the corinthians might not consider them as men above that which was written in the previous chapter of this epistle. For they would be puffed up against each other otherwise by virtue of the carnal nature of their disputes over who has the best faith.

None of the corinthians were taught anything different one from another in the epistle, what is left them of the doctrine taught them that was not written? Nothing. Now that it has been laid out clearly - how could they indeed continue boasting as if they had not received the results of Paul's induction argument? They can not.(v7)

Now, through the works of the Holy Spirit with much signs and wonders, they had reigned as kings fed on simplicity (v8) whilst the responsibility of bearing all of the opposition of spiritual warfare has fallen on Paul and his company. (v9-v13) Paul warns them that the opposition to the gospel is very real (v14) although Paul would that the status quo would continue in his care (v15) as they are more fully moved into the truth of the gospel so that their mutual faith would be greatly increased.(v16) Such a thing is more perfect, since the Lord's kingdom is come - it should be seen more fully with more evidence in truth to clothe it.

To this end, that they be more fully grounded in truth Paul sent Timotheus - a much loved and also likewise a well instructed son of Paul in the one true faith. (v17) Though Paul sends Timotheus, Paul writes that though some spread the rumour he would not visit soon (v18) Paul would correct that. - He answers them that the Spirit (from that which is the more perfect as above) will show that the true gospel is confirmed and with much power.(v19,20) Paul desires that their divisions therefore be resolved and they are reconciled to the truth swiftly - for Paul will arrive to encourage or correct (v21) and any would prefer the power of their own confirmation rather than swift and mighty power of correction by the Holy Spirit.(v22)

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