Church #nofilter 6.4

Pray and read

Praise God for making himself known to us by his Son. Ask him to give you eyes that see, and a heart which responds with faith and thanksgiving.

Read 1 Corinthians 4 and then re-read vv.14-21.

Explore

Notice how Paul narrows his focus here from the Corinthians relationship with leaders in general to their relationship with him in particular. How is Paul’s relationship with them different from that of other leaders?

Paul says “I fathered you” in the gospel (v.15). What aspects of the relationship between a parent and child do you think Paul is drawing on as he makes this analogy? How does he expect them to relate to him?

What clues do we get here about the context of the letter — the strained relationship between Paul and the church? What is Paul’s hope and goal for writing this letter?

Apply

Paul urges the Corinthian church to imitate him (cf. 1 Cor 11:1), in fact he is sending Timothy as the bearer of this letter to remind them of his “way of life”. How is a leaders way of life related to their teaching?

In secular leadership results are (usually) more important than character. What will happen to the church if we exalt leaders who hit all the KPIs of a “successful” ministry but whose way of life is not worth imitating?

Observing and imitating a leaders way of life inherently involves discernment! How does this instruction help to qualify what Paul said in vv.1-5?

Pray

Continue to pray that our leaders would be humble and sacrificial servants who would be worthy of imitation as they imitate Jesus!

Pray that we would all be humble followers, open to reproof and correction as the Lord does his work in us to make us more like his Son.

Providence City