1 Corinthians 4

1Accordingly, let man consider us to be ministers of Christ and attendants of the mysteries of God. 2Here and now, it is required of attendants that each one be found to be faithful. 3But as for me, it is such a small thing to be judged by you, or by the age of mankind. And neither do I judge myself. 4For I have nothing on my conscience. But I am not justified by this. For the Lord is the One who judges me. 5And so, do not choose to judge before the time, until the Lord returns. He will illuminate the hidden things of the darkness, and he will make manifest the decisions of hearts. And then each one shall have praise from God. 6And so, brothers, I have presented these things in myself and in Apollo, for your sakes, so that you may learn, through us, that no one should be inflated against one person and for another, not beyond what has been written. 7For what distinguishes you from another? And what do you have that you have not received? But if you have received it, why do you glory, as if you had not received it? 8So, now you have been filled, and now you have been made wealthy, as if to reign without us? But I wish that you would reign, so that we, too, might reign with you! 9For I think that God has presented us as the last Apostles, as those destined for death. For we have been made into a spectacle for the world, and for Angels, and for men. 10So we are fools because of Christ, but you are discerning in Christ? We are weak, but you are strong? You are noble, but we are ignoble? 11Even to this very hour, we hunger and thirst, and we are naked and repeatedly beaten, and we are unsteady. 12And we labor, working with our own hands. We are slandered, and so we bless. We suffer and endure persecution. 13We are cursed, and so we pray. We have become like the refuse of this world, like the reside of everything, even until now. 14I am not writing these things in order to confound you, but in order to admonish you, as my dearest sons. 15For you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, but not so many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, through the Gospel, I have begotten you. 16Therefore, I beg you, be imitators of me, just as I am of Christ. 17For this reason, I have sent you Timothy, who is my dearest son, and who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways, which are in Christ Jesus, just as I teach everywhere, in every church. 18Certain persons have become inflated in thinking that I would not return to you. 19But I will return to you soon, if the Lord is willing. And I will consider, not the words of those who are inflated, but the virtue. 20For the kingdom of God is not in words, but in virtue. 21What would you prefer? Should I return to you with a rod, or with charity and a spirit of meekness?
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