1 Corinthians 4:5

5 Therefore 1do not pronounce judgment before the time, 2before the Lord comes, 3who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. 4Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

1 Corinthians 4:5 Meaning and Commentary

1 Corinthians 4:5

Therefore judge nothing before the time
This is said to prevent rash and precipitate judgment, and agrees with that well know Jewish maxim, (Nydb Nynwtm wwh) , "be slow in judgment" {s}; not hasty to pass sentence; it is best to leave things to the great day of account, than to be free in censuring one another. There is a time "fixed" for the awful judgment, though of that day and hour knows no man: judge nothing

until the Lord come;
who at the fixed time will certainly come to judgment, and that suddenly, at unawares, in an hour no man knows of:

who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness;
meaning not so much vices, immoralities, wickedness of all sorts committed in the dark, and which it is a shame to speak of; but those hidden things of dishonesty, those secret arts and private methods which false teachers have made use of to conceal themselves, and carry on their base designs to the injury of truth, the souls of men, and the cause of Christ:

and will make manifest the counsels of the heart;
what were the views and intentions, the aims and ends of these men in taking upon them to be preachers of the word; when it will appear that these were not the glory of God, and the good of the souls of men, but filthy lucre, popular applause, or some such mercenary view, and sinister end.

And then shall every man have praise of God.
Every regenerated soul; everyone that is a Jew inwardly; everyone that has the circumcision of the Spirit; and particularly every faithful minister, who is more especially designed; to whom it will be said, "well done good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord". The apostle, in these words, has respect to the false teachers who sought the praise of men, and not the honour which comes from God; and which the true ministers of the word will have another day, however despised and criticised by men now.


FOOTNOTES:

F19 T. Bab Sanhed, fol. 7. 2. & Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 1.

1 Corinthians 4:5 In-Context

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.
4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.
5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.
7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

Cross References 4

  • 1. Matthew 7:1; Romans 2:1; [Matthew 13:29]
  • 2. See John 21:22; Romans 2:16
  • 3. 1 Corinthians 3:13
  • 4. 2 Corinthians 10:18; See 1 Corinthians 3:8