1 Corinthians 4
Holman Christian Standard Bible

The Faithful Manager

1A person should consider us in this way: as servantsa of Christ and managersb of God’s mysteries.c 2In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one of them be found faithful.d 3It is of littlee importance to me that I should be evaluatedf by you or by any human court.g In fact, I don’t even evaluate myself. 4For I am not conscious of anything against myself, but I am not justifiedh by this. The One who evaluates me is the Lord. 5Therefore don’t judgei anything prematurely, before the Lord comes,j who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God.k

The Apostles’ Example of Humility

6Now, brothers,l I have applied these things to myself and Apollosm for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the saying: “Nothing beyond what is written.”n The purpose is that none of you will be inflated with pride in favor of one person over another. 7For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you didn’t receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as if you hadn’t received it? 8You are already full! You are already rich! You have begun to reign as kings without us — and I wish you did reign, so that we could also reign with you! 9For I think God has displayed us, the apostles, in last place, like men condemned to die: We have become a spectacle to the world and to angels and to men. 10We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ!o We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11Up to the present hour we are both hungry and thirsty; we are poorly clothed, roughly treated, homeless; 12we labor, workingp with our own hands.q When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13when we are slandered, we respond graciously. Even now, we are like the world’s garbage, like the dirt everyone scrapes off their sandals.r

Paul’s Fatherly Care

14I’m not writing this to shame you, but to warn you as my dear children.s 15For you can have 10,000 instructors in Christ, but you can’t have many fathers. For I became your fathert in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17This is why I have sentu Timothy to you. He is my dearly loved and faithfulv son in the Lord. He will remind you about my ways in Christ Jesus, just as I teach everywhere in every church. 18Now some are inflated with pride, as though I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you soon,w if the Lord wills, and I will know not the talk but the power of those who are inflated with pride. 20For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21What do you want? Should I come to you with a rod,x or in love and a spirit of gentleness?y


Footnotes:
a. 4:1 Jn 18:36
b. 4:1 Lk 16:1
c. 4:1 1Co 2:7
d. 4:2 Nm 12:7
e. 4:3 Mt 5:19
f. 4:3 1Co 2:14
g. 4:3 Lit a human day
h. 4:4 Ac 13:39
i. 4:5 Lk 6:37
j. 4:5 Mk 8:38; 1Pt 5:6
k. 4:5 2Co 10:18
l. 4:6 Ac 9:30
m. 4:6 Ti 3:13
n. 4:6 The words in quotation marks could = the OT, a Jewish maxim, or a popular proverb.
o. 4:10 1Pt 5:14
p. 4:12 2Jn 8
q. 4:12 Ac 18:3
r. 4:13 Is 64:6; Lm 3:45
s. 4:14 1Th 2:11; Phm 1
t. 4:15 Gl 4:19; Phm 10
u. 4:17 2Co 9:3; Eph 6:21-22; Col 4:7-8; Phm 12
v. 4:17 Nm 12:7
w. 4:19 Ac 19:21; 1Co 16:5; 2Co 1:15-16
x. 4:21 2Co 1:23; 2:1,3; 12:20-21; 13:2,10
y. 4:21 Jms 3:13
1 Corinthians 3
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