1 Corinthians 4 NLT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God's secrets. 1 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.
2 Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
3 What about me? Have I been faithful? Well, it matters very little what you or anyone else thinks. I don't even trust my own judgment on this point. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.
4 My conscience is clear, but that isn't what matters. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.
5 So be careful not to jump to conclusions before the Lord returns as to whether or not someone is faithful. When the Lord comes, he will bring our deepest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. And then God will give to everyone whatever praise is due. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till 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 Dear brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I've been saying. If you pay attention to the Scriptures, you won't brag about one of your leaders at the expense of another. 6 Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.
7 What makes you better than anyone else? What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own? 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? 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 You think you already have everything you need! You are already rich! Without us you have become kings! I wish you really were on your thrones already, for then we would be reigning with you! 8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings--and that without us! How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you!
9 But sometimes I think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor's parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world -- to people and angels alike. 9 For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.
10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you are so wise! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are well thought of, but we are laughed at. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!
11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, without enough clothes to keep us warm. We have endured many beatings, and we have no homes of our own. 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.
12 We have worked wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;
13 We respond gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world's garbage, like everybody's trash -- right up to the present moment. 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.
14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. 14 I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children.
15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. 15 Even though 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 So I ask you to follow my example and do as I do. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me.
17 That is the very reason I am sending Timothy -- to help you do this. For he is my beloved and trustworthy child in the Lord. He will remind you of what I teach about Christ Jesus in all the churches wherever I go. 17 For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
18 I know that some of you have become arrogant, thinking I will never visit you again. 18 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you.
19 But I will come -- and soon -- if the Lord will let me, and then I'll find out whether these arrogant people are just big talkers or whether they really have God's power. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have.
20 For the Kingdom of God is not just fancy talk; it is living by God's power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
21 Which do you choose? Should I come with punishment and scolding, or should I come with quiet love and gentleness? 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?