1 Corinthians 4:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.

New Living Translation
So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God's mysteries.

English Standard Version
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

New American Standard Bible
Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

King James Bible
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A person should consider us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of God's mysteries.

International Standard Version
Think of us as servants of the Messiah and as servant managers entrusted with God's secrets.

NET Bible
One should think about us this way--as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
In this way, let us be esteemed by you as Ministers of The Messiah and the stewards of the mysteries of God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
People should think of us as servants of Christ and managers who are entrusted with God's mysteries.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Let us reckon men as ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

King James 2000 Bible
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

American King James Version
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

American Standard Version
Let a man so account of us, as of ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
LET a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God.

Darby Bible Translation
Let a man so account of us as servants of Christ, and stewards of [the] mysteries of God.

English Revised Version
Let a man so account of us, as of ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Webster's Bible Translation
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Weymouth New Testament
As for us Apostles, let any one take this view of us--we are Christ's officers, and stewards of God's secret truths.

World English Bible
So let a man think of us as Christ's servants, and stewards of God's mysteries.

Young's Literal Translation
Let a man so reckon us as officers of Christ, and stewards of the secrets of God,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:1-6 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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 1-5. - Judgments, human and Divine, respecting ministers. Verse 1. - Let a man so account of us. Since it is inevitable that Christians should form some estimate of the position of their ministers, he proceeds to tell them what that estimate should be. Ministers are not to be unduly magnified, for their position is subordinate; they are not to be unduly depreciated, for if they are faithful they may appeal from frivolous human prejudices and careless depreciations to that only Judge and Master before whom they stand or fall. Ministers; here huperetas; in 1 Corinthians 3:5 diakonous. They are huperetai (in its derivation "under rowers") in their relation to Christ; diakonoi in their relation to men. Of Christ; and therefore responsible to Him. Stewards; dispensers, subordinate distributors. These "agents" were higher slaves (Luke 16:1-8). Of the mysteries of God. The word "mysteries" means truths once hidden but now revealed; as in Luke 8:10, "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God." In later patristic usage the word means "sacraments;" but St. Paul has expressly said (1 Corinthians 1:17) that his mission was to preach the gospel, not primarily to administer the sacraments. (For descriptions of the work of a minister according to St. Paul's lofty ideal, see the pastoral Epistles, and 1 Thessalonians 2:7-11; Colossians 1:25-29; Acts 20:18-21, 24-28. St. Peter's is given in 1 Peter 4:10, 11; 1 Peter 5:2-4.) A minister is not to be estimated as a supernatural teacher, or a civil autocrat, or an infallible critic, but as an ambassador from Christ, who reveals to the "initiated" that which they could not otherwise know.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Let a man so account of us,.... Though the apostle had before said that he, and other ministers of the Gospel, were not any thing with respect to God, and, with regard to the churches, were theirs, for their use and advantage; yet they were not to be trampled upon, and treated with contempt, but to be known, esteemed, and honoured for their works' sake, and in their respective places, stations, and characters; and though they were but men, yet were not to be considered as private men, and in a private capacity, but as in public office, and as public preachers of the word; and though they were not to be regarded as lords and masters over God's heritage, but as servants, yet not as everyone's, or as any sort of servants, but

as the ministers, or servants, of Christ; as qualified, called, and sent forth by him to preach his Gospel; as ambassadors in his name, standing in his place and stead, and representing him, and therefore for his sake to be respected and esteemed; and as such who make him the subject of their ministry, preach him and him only, exalt him in his person, offices, blood, righteousness and sacrifice, and direct souls to him alone for life and salvation:

and stewards of the mysteries of God; though they are not to be looked upon as masters of the household, that have power to dispose of things in the family at their own pleasure; yet they are to be regarded as stewards, the highest officers in the house of God; to whose care are committed the secret and hidden things of God; whose business it is to dispense, and make known, the mysteries of divine grace; such as respect the doctrine of the Trinity, the incarnation of Christ, the union of the two natures, divine and human, in his person, the church's union to him, and communion with him, with many other things contained in the Gospel they are intrusted with.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 4

1Co 4:1-21. True View of Ministers: The Judgment Is Not to Be Forestalled; Meanwhile the Apostles' Low State Contrasts with the Corinthians' Party Pride, Not That Paul Would Shame Them, but as a Father Warn Them; for Which End He Sent Timothy, and Will Soon Come Himself.

1. account … us—Paul and Apollos.

ministers of Christ—not heads of the Church in whom ye are severally to glory (1Co 1:12); the headship belongs to Christ alone; we are but His servants ministering to you (1Co 1:13; 3:5, 22).

stewards—(Lu 12:42; 1Pe 4:10). Not the depositories of grace, but dispensers of it ("rightly dividing" or dispensing it), so far as God gives us it, to others. The chazan, or "overseer," in the synagogue answered to the bishop or "angel" of the Church, who called seven of the synagogue to read the law every sabbath, and oversaw them. The parnasin of the synagogue, like the ancient "deacon" of the Church, took care of the poor (Ac 6:1-7) and subsequently preached in subordination to the presbyters or bishops, as Stephen and Philip did. The Church is not the appendage to the priesthood; but the minister is the steward of God to the Church. Man shrinks from too close contact with God; hence he willingly puts a priesthood between, and would serve God by deputy. The pagan (like the modern Romish) priest was rather to conceal than to explain "the mysteries of God." The minister's office is to "preach" (literally, "proclaim as a herald," Mt 10:27) the deep truths of God ("mysteries," heavenly truths, only known by revelation), so far as they have been revealed, and so far as his hearers are disposed to receive them. Josephus says that the Jewish religion made known to all the people the mysteries of their religion, while the pagans concealed from all but the "initiated" few, the mysteries of theirs.

1 Corinthians 4:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Servants of Christ
1Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.…
Cross References
Luke 1:2
just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.

Romans 11:25
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,

Romans 16:25
Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past,

1 Corinthians 4:2
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

1 Corinthians 9:17
If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.

Titus 1:7
Since an overseer manages God's household, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.

1 Peter 4:10
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
Treasury of Scripture

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

account.

1 Corinthians 4:13 Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, …

2 Corinthians 12:6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I …

the ministers.

1 Corinthians 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, …

1 Corinthians 9:16-18 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity …

Matthew 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler …

2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves …

2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in …

2 Corinthians 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors …

Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God …

1 Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation …

and stewards.

Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom …

Luke 16:1-3 And he said also to his disciples, There was a certain rich man, …

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, …

1 Peter 4:10 As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one …

mysteries.

1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, …

Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know …

Mark 4:11 And he said to them, To you it is given to know the mystery of the …

Luke 8:10 And he said, To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom …

Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, …

Ephesians 1:9 Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his …

Ephesians 3:3-9 How that by revelation he made known to me the mystery; (as I wrote …

Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my …

Colossians 1:26,27 Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, …

Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, …

Colossians 4:3 With praying also for us, that God would open to us a door of utterance, …

1 Timothy 3:9,16 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience…

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