Stewards of the Mysteries of God
1Let a man so consider us, as #Matt. 24:45; Rom. 13:6; 2 Cor. 3:6; Col. 1:25servants of Christ #Luke 12:42; 1 Cor. 9:17; Titus 1:7; 1 Pet. 4:10and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5#Matt. 7:1; Rom. 2:1; (Rev. 20:12)Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to #Matt. 10:26light the hidden things of darkness and #1 Cor. 3:13reveal the counsels of the hearts. #Rom. 2:29; 1 Cor. 3:8; (2 Cor. 5:10)Then each one’s praise will come from God.
Fools for Christ’s Sake
6Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7For who makes you differ from another? And #John 3:27; Rom. 12:3, 6; 1 Pet. 4:10what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
8You are already full! #Rev. 3:17You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us—and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you! 9For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a #Heb. 10:33spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10We are #Acts 17:18; 26:24; 1 Cor. 1:18fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! #1 Cor. 2:3; 2 Cor. 13:9We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12#Acts 18:3; 20:34And we labor, working with our own hands. #Matt. 5:44Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13being defamed, we entreat. #Lam. 3:45We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.
Paul’s Paternal Care
14I do not write these things to shame you, but #2 Cor. 6:13; 12:14; 1 Thess. 2:11; 1 John 2:1; 3 John 4as my beloved children I warn you. 15For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for #Num. 11:12; Acts 18:11; 1 Cor. 3:8; Gal. 4:19; Philem. 10in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16Therefore I urge you, #(1 Cor. 11:1); Phil. 3:17; 4:9; (1 Thess. 1:6); 2 Thess. 3:9imitate me. 17For this reason I have sent #Acts 19:22; Phil. 2:19Timothy to you, #1 Cor. 4:14; 1 Tim. 1:2, 18; 2 Tim. 1:2who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will #1 Cor. 11:2remind you of my ways in Christ, as I #1 Cor. 7:17; Titus 1:5teach everywhere #1 Cor. 14:33in every church.
18#1 Cor. 5:2Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19#Acts 19:21; 20:2; 1 Cor. 11:34; 16:5, 7–9; 2 Cor. 1:15But I will come to you shortly, #Acts 18:21; Heb. 6:3; James 4:15if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. 20For #1 Thess. 1:5the kingdom of God is not in word but in #1 Cor. 2:4power. 21What do you want? #2 Cor. 10:2Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?