God is the Judge
1 Corinthians 4:1-5
(1) Therefore, everyone should regard us as ministers (servants) of Christ and as stewards entrusted with the mysteries (deep truths) God has now revealed.
(2) Now it is required that stewards who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (3) I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. (4) For my conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. In the end, it is the Lord who will judge me.
(5) Therefore, do not judge anything before God’s appointed time; wait until the Lord’s second coming. He will bring to light everything that is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of everyone’s heart. And it is at that time that each person will receive their approval from God.
Do Not Take Pride in One Church Leader Over Another
1 Corinthians 4:6-8
(6) Now, my brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you will learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written in the Bible.” Then you will not take pride in being a follower of one of us over another church leader. (7) For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive as a gift? And if you received it as a gift, why do you boast in pride as if you did not freely receive it?
(8) You claim that you have already received all that you want! You claim that you already have become rich! You claim that you have already begun to reign as kings—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you!
The True Apostles of Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 4:9-13
(9) For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the Roman procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe—to angels as well as to humans. (10) We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! We are dishonored, but you are honored!
(11) Right up to the present time we go hungry and thirsty, we wear rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless, and (12) we labor hard with our hands. When we are cursed, we bless. When we are persecuted, we endure. (13) When we are slandered, we answer with kindness. Right up to this moment, we have become the scum and garbage (the filth) of the world.
Paul as Spiritual Father
1 Corinthians 4:14-17
(14) I do not write this to put you to shame, but to warn you as the children I love. (15) Even if you have 10,000 guardians (tutors) in Christ, you do not have many spiritual fathers, because in Jesus Christ I became your spiritual father through the gospel.
(16) Therefore, I exhort you to imitate me. (17) This is the reason that I have sent Timothy to you. He is my faithful son in the Lord, whom I love. He will remind you of how I live my life in Jesus Christ, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
The Arrogant in the Corinthian Church
1 Corinthians 4:18-21
(18) Some of you have become full of pride, as if I will never visit Corinth again. (19) But I will come to you soon if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only what these arrogant people are saying, but also what power they have from the Holy Spirit. (20) For the kingdom of God is not a lot of talk, it is about God’s power. (21) You have a choice. Should I come visit you with a rod of correction, or with love and in a spirit of gentleness?