The last word on worldly judgements (1 Cor 3:18-4:5)

At the start of each day I’ve been summarising the content of 1 Corinthians so far, so we can keep the flow of argument before us. Thankfully, Paul has already done this for us as we come to chapter 4:

3:18-23 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

In other words, stop bringing worldly judgements about leaders (or anything else) into the church: God’s wisdom is of a different order. All leaders belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God – we’re all on the same team. (So get along! Remember the theme-statement of the letter, in 1:10.)

Continue reading

An antidote to pride (1 Cor 4:6-13)

Nearing the end of our series through 1 Cor 1-4, Paul has begun to apply to the Corinthians more directly what he’s been saying thus far about worldly judgements and dividing over leaders. In fact, in today’s passage he makes it explicit:

4:6 Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.

Continue reading