1 Corinthians 4

Servants of Christ

So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. I care very little, however, if I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not vindicate me. It is [the] Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before [the] appointed time; [wait] until the Lord comes. [He] will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of [ men’s ] hearts. At that time each will receive [his] praise from God.

Fools for Christ

Brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us not [to go] beyond what is written. Then you will not take pride in one [man] over another. For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive [it] , why do you boast as though [you did not] ? Already you have all you want. Already you have become rich. Without us, you have become kings. How I wish you really were kings, so that we might be kings with you. For it seems to me that God has displayed us apostles at the end [ of the procession ] , like [ prisoners ] appointed for death. We have become a spectacle to the whole world, to angels as well as to men. 10  We [are] fools for Christ, but you [are] wise in Christ. We [are] weak, but you [are] strong. You [are] honored, but we [are] dishonored. 11  To [this] very hour we are hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clothed, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12  We work hard with [our] own hands. When we are vilified, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure [it] ; 13  when we are slandered, we answer gently. Up to this moment we have become [the] scum of the earth, [the] refuse of [the world] .

Paul Warns his Children

14  I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. 15  Even if you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, [you do] not [have] many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16  Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17  That is why I have sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in [the] Lord. [He] will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus,
BYZ and TR my way of life in Christ,
which is exactly what I teach everywhere in every church.
18  Some [of you] have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19  But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord is willing, and [then] I will find out not [only] what these arrogant [people] are saying, but what power [they have] . 20  For the kingdom of God [is] not a matter of talk but of power. 21  Which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and [with] a gentle spirit?
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