1 Corinthians 4

Servants of Christ

1 Let a man regard us in this manner, as 1servants of Christ and 2stewards of 3the mysteries of God.
2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.
3 But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.
4 For I 4am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this 5acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.
5 Therefore 6do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait 7until the Lord comes who will both 8bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's 9praise will come to him from God.
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed 10what is written, so that no one of you will 11become arrogant 12in behalf of one against the other.
7 For who regards you as superior? 13What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
8 You are 14already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.
9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men 15condemned to death; because we 16have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
10 We are 17fools for Christ's sake, but 18you are prudent in Christ; 19we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.
11 To this present hour we are both 20hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless;
12 and we toil, 21working with our own hands; when we are 22reviled, we bless; when we are 23persecuted, we endure;
13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have 24become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
14 I do not write these things to 25shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved 26children.
15 For if you were to have countless 27tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in 28Christ Jesus I 29became your father through the 30gospel.
16 Therefore I exhort you, be 31imitators of me.
17 For this reason I 32have sent to you 33Timothy, who is my 34beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, 35just as I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Now some have become 36arrogant, as though I were not 37coming to you.
19 But I 38will come to you soon, 39if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are 40arrogant but their power.
20 For the kingdom of God does 41not consist in words but in power.
21 What do you desire? 42Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
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