Servants of Christ
1LET a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God. 2Here now it is required among the dispensers, that a man be found faithful. 3But to me it is a very small thing to be judged by you, or by man's day; but neither do I judge my own self. 4For I am not conscious to myself of any thing, yet am I not hereby justified; but he that judgeth me, is the Lord. 5Therefore judge not 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 from God.
Do Not Be Proud
6But these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollo, for your sakes; that in us you may learn, that one be not puffed up against the other for another, above that which is written. 7For who distinguisheth thee ? Or what hast thou that thou hast not received ? And if thou hast received, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it ?
8You are now full; you are now become rich; you reign without us; and I would to God you did reign, that we also might reign with you. 9For I think that God hath set forth us apostles, the last, as it were men appointed to death: we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. 10We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are honourable, but we without honour. 11Even unto this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode; 12And we labour, working with our own hands: we are reviled, and we bless; we are persecuted, and we suffer it. 13We are blasphemed, and we entreat; we are made as the refuse of this world, the offscouring of all even until now.
Paul Warns his Spiritual Children
14I write not these things to confound you; but I admonish you as my dearest children. 15For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you. 16Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ. 17For this cause have I sent to you Timothy, who is my dearest son and faithful in the Lord; who will put you in mind of my ways, which are in Christ Jesus; as I teach every where in every church. 18As if I would not come to you, so some are puffed up. 19But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will: and will know, not the speech of them that are puffed up, but the power. 20For the kingdom of God is not in speech, but in power. 21What will you ? shall I come to you with a rod; or in charity, and in the spirit of meekness ?