1 Corinthians 4:7
For who makes you to differ from another? and what have you that you did not receive? now if you did receive it, why do you glory…
Paul's quick, impulsive mind here flashes out into indignation at the spectacle of partisanship and schism in the Corinthian Church. They who lay great stress upon individual human teachers and ministers are in danger of forgetting, perhaps already have forgotten, two things, viz.
(1) that every minister and teacher has a special blessing for the Church; and
(2) that all such agents are but messengers from the court of heaven, and distributors of the blessings of God.
I. WE MAY TAKE CREDIT TO OURSELVES ONLY FOR OUR WANTS AND FOR OUR CAPACITY. Why should any man be proud, when he remembers that he was born a helpless babe; that he was dependent upon the kind services of others for the preservation of life; that he has learned nothing which he was not taught; that he enjoys nothing except through the good offices of his fellow men? And why should any Christian be "puffed up" with spiritual conceit, when he remembers that all he brought to the Scriptures, to the Church, to the Lord, was just his necessities and his capacity to receive spiritual blessings?
II. WE ARE INDEBTED FOR ALL THINGS TO HUMAN MINISTRATIONS. When we regard our circumstances, our worldly possessions, our education, our position in life, our family, our friends, this fact is obvious enough. But the same is true of our religious advantages, our spiritual blessings. The Bible was secured to us by human efforts and labours; the gospel was preached to us by human lips; the Church has been to us the fellowship of our human teachers and brethren; our religious knowledge has been conveyed to us by human interpreters; our piety has been inspired by human examples,
III. DIVINE MERCY HAS MADE HUMAN MINISTRIES SUBSERVIENT TO OUR SPIRITUAL WANTS. It is not wise or just to discriminate too nicely between human gifts and Divine. The human gifts are Divine gifts bestowed by human hands. It is the privilege of the devout and enlightened mind to look through the seen to the unseen; to recognize in every Christian helper and friend the messenger of God, the minister of Christ. The form, the voice, may be earthly, but there is behind a spiritual presence and a Divine power. It is the Giver of every good gift and every perfect gift who is so near. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?