1 Corinthians 4,1-5
1 Corinthians 4:1-5
January 27, 2002
Intro: Paul is alluding to the fact that this church at Corinth has
aligned itself with Himself, Apollos, Peter, or even according to
their own ways.
1 Corinthians 1:12-13, Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
A- Have you aligned yourself with any MAN.
1- Chuck Smith, Billy Graham. The Pope, My previous pastor???
a- We’ve seen the end result in this way of thinking is division and dissension.
- Concerning this Paul came to the conclusion in Chapter 3.
Read verses 21-23
2- It’s not about the minister or his abilities but according to the ability of his heart to seek God and His desires.
Ø Paul is going to show us the proper viewpoint of the minister and how to determine who is: OF GOD or OF MAN.
1 Corinthians 4:1, Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
A- The Us referred to here is:
1- Specifically; Paul, Apollos, Peter
2- Figuratively; anyone who considers himself a minister.
a- A minister in whatever capacity.
1- Pastor or visible minister most often evaluated.
B- Tonight we’ll see how a minister is to be evaluated from God’s perspective.
Read Matthew 7:15-20
1- What is not considered fruit is:
c- Preparation (degree’s)
d- Population (size of a work) Jeremiah’s ministry.
- Since these items play no roll in God’s evaluation they should bot play a roll in ours.
Ø We’ll look at 5 items on the means of scriptural evaluating a minister (not JUST Pastors).
#1- Are they a servant of Christ
#2- Are they a steward of the things of God (THE TRUTH)
#3- Are they faithful
#4- Are they a pleaser of God or man
#5- Do they fear God
1 Corinthians 4:1, Let a man so consider us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
l- Let a man so consider us
A- Let all Christians evaluate ministers this way.
1- Could even mean “all mankind”
a- The Easter example of the Hollywood bowl service and TBN.
- No fund raising (their reputation precedes them.
B- So the following would be the biblical standards for evaluation purposes.
1- By Any other standard; we are glorifying the one setting it.
a- OF course he has a successful church
1- Look at his degree
3- Money behind him
4- The mother church
2- By applying God’s standards we glorify Him.
a- I know that guy and He’s a fool (moron), but at least he’s a fool for God
- Then its look what God is doing over there.
#1- The 1st item in making a determination of a minister of Jesus
Christ is: Is he/she a servant.
Read verse 1a
A- Servant = Lowest galley slave (under rower)
2 Timothy 2:10, Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
1- A galley slave had but one purpose; Get the boat where it needed to go
- The slave was not important but mission that was to be accomplished was.
1 Corinthians 3:5, Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?
2- What it is that you serve is your master.
a- Our babies, New car, job, new spouse
- The sin is when they are place above Christ.
· The word minister comes from the Greek word for servant.
b- As you evaluate a minister “is he a servant.”
1 Corinthians 9:16, For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!
#2- The 2nd item in making a determination of a minister of Jesus
Christ is: Is he a good steward of the mysteries of God .
Read Verse 1b
A- Is he a good manager of the things of God that are yet unlearned.
2 Timothy 2:15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
1- The Apostle Paul practiced what he preached.
Acts 20:20-21& 27, “how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house,21 “testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
V: 27, “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
2 Timothy 4:1-2, I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
A- A good steward of the Word:
1- Sings out the word of God (Preaches)
a- And as a habit:
- Does not preach FROM it
- Does not preach about it
· a spring board to interject man’s wisdom. (moronic)
b- As a habit a good steward preaches the word verse by verse, the whole counsel of God .
- Whole counsel of God = Whole bible VS detail
· Of 66 books we’ve done 10.
2- A bad steward will:
a- Disregard scriptures, twist the to support his won agenda, Be more concerned with pleasing man than convicting him.
#3- The 3rd item is making a determination of a minister of Jesus
Christ is: Is he faithful
Read verses 2
A- The strumming of the right hand on the guitar.
1- The unfaithfulness of a minister can detract from the Word of God.
a- Terry’s friend’s father (Adultery and King David)
2- Faithfulness is a common description that Paul uses to describe a true minister.
a- Timothy: Beloved and faithful son.
b- Tychicus: A beloved brother and faithful minister
c- Epaphras: Our dear fellow servant and faithful minister.
d- Onesimus: A faithful and beloved brother
e- (Peter) Silvanus: Our faithful brother
f- (Jesus) Antipas: My faithful martyr
g- The saved of Revelation 17:14
Revelation 17:14, and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
3- As we have all things available to us for the purpose of ministry faithfulness is up to the minister.
#4- The 4th item is making a determination of a minister of Jesus
Christ is: Is he a man pleaser or a God pleaser
Read verse 3
A- A man pleaser :
1- Places mans will above God’s: (Congregational and Presbyterian church rule VS episcopal.
a- Here The Pastor as accountable to the board.
2- A man pleaser hinders the movement of the Holy Spirit
3- And is directed by the will and whims of man.
B- A God pleaser:
1- Adheres to God’s will determined through Prayer, the word, and direction of the Holy spirit.
2- Sacrifices the will of his flesh for the will of God.
3- Only desires to please God.
a- Judge = examines (places under a microscope to determine intent)
1 Samuel 16:7, But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
#4- The 5th item is making a determination of a minister of Jesus
Christ is: Does he fear (respect) God.
Read verses 4-5
A- In this ministers ministry is this person considered the greatest or is God.
1- Paul does not even judge himself
a- Apart from God’s word we can even fool ourselves.
1 Chronicles 28:9-10, “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.10 “Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.”
Read verse 5
A- What is our standing as ministers of God based upon
1- The motives of our hearts.
a- How does God examine the motives of your heart
#1- Are YOU a servant of Christ
#2- Are YOU a steward of the things of God (THE TRUTH)
#3- Are YOU faithful
#4- Are YOU a pleaser of God or man
#5- Do YOU fear God