Listen to what the Scriptures say about Worldly Wisdom (3:18-23)
Three reasons not to imbibe the world’s wisdom. Paul gives a word now to those who were using the world’s wisdom in their teaching and preaching. He gives three reasons not to do it:
- A word for the mind (v.18). The world’s wisdom isn’t true wisdom anyways.
- A word for the conscience (vv.19-20). The world’s wisdom is coming under judgment.
- A word for the heart (vv.21-23). We have all we could ever need as belonging to Christ, so we don’t need to borrow anything from the world.
- Gifts. “Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas” – The greatest gifts belong to the church, and we can profit from their ministry and their writings.
- Things. “The world” – We are co-heirs with Christ and will share His inheritance, which is the entire ‘cosmos’ or created order!
- Conditions. “Life, or death” – Whether it be the trials of life in which we are more than conquerors, or death which brings us to heaven, it all works for our blessing.
- Circumstances. “Things present, or things coming” – The state of the world today and the state of the world tomorrow are all being worked out by God for our benefit!
Have God’s View of His Servants, not Man’s View (4:1-5)
- “Of you” – Whether it be the Corinthians assessing him, Paul discounted it as cheap.
- “Of man’s day” – Whether it be the general opinion of the world during the time of Christ’s rejection, Paul thought it unworthy of credulity.
- “Nor myself” – Whether it be his own self-assessment, Paul wouldn’t do it, because assessment of the Lord’s servants is the Lord’s prerogative.
In John 5, the Lord Jesus explained that God the Father has chosen to give up His right to judge men, so that the Son of man will have that place exclusively. Judgment as a whole, and in all its forms, is committed to the Son; "that man whom he hath ordained" (Acts 17:31). The reason for the Son's being invested solely with this authority is given in John 5:27; because He is the Son of man. Read more... As the judge of all men, the Lord Jesus Christ will hold a solemn tribunal, or judgment seat. The Greek word is 'bema' (Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10), which means ‘raised platform’, or ‘dais’. The same word is used in Matt. 27:19 and John 19:13 for the raised platform that Jesus stood on accused before the Jews, called Pavement, or in Hebrew, Gabbatha. It is the same word for the platform Herod sat on in Acts 12:21 on that fateful day when he refused to give God the glory. Every bema-seat of worldly monarchs has been corrupt. One day, Christ will have His true bema-seat, and He will judge righteous judgment (Isa. 32:1). Who will stand before that judgment seat? All men, believers and unbelievers, will appear before the judgment seat, and their lives will be reviewed.Read more…
Learn from the Apostles’ Humility: a Contrast to Corinthian Pride (4:6-16)
- vv.6-7, their spirit of pride;
- vv.8-13, their lifestyle that was worldly and contradictory;
- vv.14-16, their ministry that was man-centered and lacked fatherly care.
Be willing to Take Correction: Timothy Sent, Paul to Follow (4:17-21)
- Love and concern for the children; care enough to discipline (v.14)
- Ministry that is Christ-centered and encourages unity instead of party-making (v.15)
- Leading by example (v.16)
- Consistency in doctrine and walk (v.17)
- Willingness to take a stand against evil (vv.18-19)
- Moral power in one’s life and ministry (v.20)
- A preference for gentle, patient instruction rather than force (v.21)