1 Corinthians 4
Servants of Christ
3 I care very little, however, if I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not vindicate me. It is the Lord who judges me.
5 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.
6 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. 7 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?
8 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! 9 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’s Fatherly Warning
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, a 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?
17 a BYZ and TR my way of life in Christ,