I Corinthians

Chapter 4
{Verses 1-6 Refer to the Pastor-teacher of the Local Church}
1~~ Let a man so account of us,
  [logizomai (present middle/passive imperative (an order))
  anthropos houto hemas]
as of the ministers/"subordinates of a King" of Christ,
  [hos huperetes Christos]
and/even stewards/"superintendents of the treasury"
  [kai oikonomos]
of the mysteries of God.
  [musterion Theos]

[Note: Huperetes means to be "over" someone or something through the delegated authority of a King. Here is appears to mean the leader of a local church.]

{Note: A Oikonomos is the word used for "a steward who administers an estate" or "over-seers of something valuable". What is valuable is the Thinking of God. And, in view here are the "mystery doctrines revealed by Jesus and to others after the cross. It is the responsibility of the "minister" to rule over the local church. It is the responsibility of the pastor-teacher "stewards" to study and faithfully teach the "mysteries of God". The structure of the Church is not specified. This authority appears to be combined in one person - it certainly was when Paul was in view.}

2~~Moreover/Now, for the rest [de loipon]
it is required/demanded in/by/with stewards,
  [zeteo (present passive indicative) en oikonomos]
for the purpose that one may be found faithful.
  [hina tis heurisko (aorist passive subjunctive) pistos]

[Note: Pistis can also be "that which is believed". But, here faithfulness is in view.]

3a~~ But with me it is a very petty thing
that I should be judged of you
or of public opinion.

3b~~Yes, I judge not my own self.

{Note: Paul is referring to three mistakes a Pastor-teacher can make! To actually listen when being 'judged' by man or to judge himself:
  1- being judged by his congregation -one of the sins of the tongue,
  2- being judged by unbelievers,
  3- self judgement. A pastor can not judge his own ministry.
  Only in heaven will he know the results of his ministry.}

4a~~For I know nothing with regards to myself.

4b~~Yet not even in this am I justified.

4c~~But He that judges me is the Lord.

{Note: Paul says he would not even know HOW to evaluate his own ministry.}

5a~~Therefore, judge nothing before the time . . .
until the Lord comes.

[Note: Paul is addressing believers. We will be evaluated by Jesus. It appears to be done during the time the Tribulation is occurring on Earth. It is then that "crowns" and "uniforms of glory" will be issued. And, we will be shown whether we produced "wood, hay, and stubble" (as it is burned away); or whether God produced Divine Good through us ("gold, silver, and precious metals" - and we are rewarded for our faithfulness).]

5b~~Who [Jesus]
will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness
and will make known the thoughts of the frontal lobes.

5c~~And then shall every one have the praise of God.

[Note: Once our "corruption" is burned away, we are left with His imputed Righteousness and His Divine Viewpoint in our soul. We are given a Resurrection Body of incorruptible heavenly material. Everything about us "then" is "from God" and "of God" and worthy of praise.]

6~~ And these things, brethren,
I have in a figure transferred to myself
  {Paul is saying he is taking a Principal of Doctrine and applying
  it to himself so it becomes personal}
and to Apollos - for your sakes -
that you might learn by us not to think
beyond that which is written
  {going beyond the standard of doctrine}
that no one of you be puffed up
one on behalf of the other.

{Note: Remember, they were comparing Paul with Apollos with Peter etc. and he commanded them not to do this. Many were saying things like, "We are with Peter and HE is the best Apostle."}

{Universal ministry of the believer - 3 questions that deal with perspective}
7a~~Who makes you to differ from another? {only God}

7b~~And, what have you that you did not receive? [from God]

7c~~Now, if you did receive it - and you did receive it -
why do you boast, as if you had not received it?

[Note: Salvation is a gift of God. We do not earn it or deserve it. Growth after salvation is the absorption of HIS Divine Viewpoint. It is His Thinking and we take it to ourselves. The credit/glory is all His!]

{Note: An analogy to the Roman Coliseum follows. Spectators represent the believers sitting in the stands.

Paul and the other Apostles are the "last Gladiators of the day". These were the once who always had the worst duty - they fought to the death! This section is filled with Sanctified sarcasm.}

8a~~Now you are 'full'
  {means satiated- over eaten or over indulged in drink}.

8b~~Now you are rich.
  {human success . . . and the prosperity has turned their heads}.

8c~~You have reigned as kings without us.

8d~~And, I 'would to God'
  {sarcasm - idiom meaning I wish it were true}
you did reign . . . that we also might reign with you!

{Note: This is sarcasm. Paul is saying if only they WERE Kings on earth so he could also be a King with them!}

9a~~ For I have concluded that The God has placed us . . .
the Apostles in the arena . . . last . . .
as it were - condemned to death.

9b~~For, we are under observation
unto the world [for example: unbelievers],
and to angels {angels watch us all},
and to men.
  [for example: carnal believers sitting safely in the stands
  removing themselves from the conflict]

{More Sarcasm}
10a~~We {the Apostles} . . . fools for Christ's sake!

10b~~But you all . . . wise in Christ.

10c~~We are weak.

10d~~But you all are strong.

10e~~You all are honorable.

10f~~But we are despised.

[Verses 11-13: Sufferings of the Gladiators]
11~~ Even unto this present hour
we both hunger and thirst
and are poorly clad
and are beaten
and don't know where we will sleep from day to day.
  {idiom - literally: 'have no certain dwelling place'}

12a~~ And labor until exhausted -
working with our own hands.
  {great energy spent in making a living -
  Paul was a tent maker}

12b~~Being reviled . . . we bless.

12c~~Being persecuted . . . we suffer it.

13a~~ Being defamed . . . we entreat.

13b~~We have become the filth {excrement} of the world.

13c~~And are the off scouring of all things unto this day.

{Note: How the Apostles responded indicates great orientation to the Grace of God. The Faith Rest Technique is described here.}

14a~~I write not these things to shame you.

14b~~But as my beloved sons, I warn you.

{Note: Shame is just an emotional reaction with no permanent results.}

{Pattern of the Universal Ministry of the Believer - Verses 15-21}
15a~~For if
you have ten thousand 'Paidagogos' in Christ - and you do -
yet have you not many fathers/"spiritually mature believers".

[Note: A Paidagogos was a slave who took children to school and gave them attention. This is an analogy to the people/false teachers in Corinth trying to lead them astray with kind speech. The Paidogogos are nice and tell them they are great! But Paul tells them the truth as only a father would . . . even if it hurts. John also used 'Father' for spiritually mature believer in I John 2:13.]

15b~~For in Christ Jesus I have begotten you
through the gospel.
  {birth stage of the believer - we are first "teknons"
  (spiritual babies) when we are born again}

16~~ Wherefore I beseech you . . . become imitators of me.

[Note: This is the imitation of Paul in his learning and applying doctrine. Whereas, the carnal believer imitates the unbeliever. Elsewhere Paul says that he imitates Christ and we are to then imitate him. That means to learn and apply the doctrines of Jesus to your life. It is a very High Standard, but one well worth attempting to get as close to as you can.]

17~~ For this reason, I have sent unto you Timothy
- who is my beloved son/student and faithful in the Lord -
who shall cause you to remember
my Ways/"method of moving through life
which are in Christ
  [the More Excellent Ways as prototyped by Jesus Christ]
as I teach every where in every church.

{Verses 18-19: Hindrances to this Pattern of Growth}
18~~ Now some are puffed up {big egos},
as though I would not come to you.

19~~ But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills,
and {you} will know,
not the "speech" of them which are puffed up,
but the "power" [of God the Holy Spirit that Paul relies on].

{Note: Paul is saying the false teachers are talking a good fight but when he gets there lets see the power they have!}

20~~ For the kingdom of God is not in word
but in power {in the filling of the Holy Spirit}.

21a~~Take your choice . . .
Shall I come unto you with a rod?
  {discipline of a father to an errant son}

12b~~Or, in love and the spirit of meekness?
  {with an emphasis on Grace and harmony
    and no 'discipline' being necessary}


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