So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord Himself who will examine me and decide. So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For He will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due. ()1 Corinthians 3:24-28
Did you catch what I did? I don’t think so somehow. I think I pulled the wool over your eyes with that one. I don’t think there are any of you who went to your Bible to find 1 Cor 3:24-28 only to find it wasn’t there. Actually the bit I am referring to is 1 Cor 4:1-5 but it ought to be called 1 Cor 3:24-28. It would read better and hang together better if the fourth chapter began at 1 Cor 4:6; thereby turning 1 Cor 4:1-5 into 1 Cor 3:24-28. Does this bother you, me doing something like this? Playing around with Scripture in this way? Adding and subtracting to it? Well, just remember Robert Estienne and the principle of his verse and chapter divisions and maybe it will help you to forgive me. [See Bible Gem 21] I want to challenge you to pay careful attention to chapter boundaries in the Word of God. Your understanding of the Bible will improve greatly if you do. If I can come up with ways that grab your attention and shock you then I have done my job.
Paul focuses on himself and Apollos as examples of those who have been singled out in 1 Cor 3:4. He is still focused on the partisan spirit he was addressing in Chapter 3. Those who preferred Apollos or Cephas instead of Paul, would have had their reasons and would not have thought it a small thing. Like all those with the partisan spirit I am sure they would have found many unfavourable aspects to his character. No doubt they would have thought that he sought his own glory. He was harsh, too direct, bigger in his letters than in person. There would have been many reasons why Paul didn’t measure up. Or anyone of us really. That is how the partisan spirit operates.
This opening to 1 Corinthians 4 (or close to 1 Corinthians 3 – whichever you prefer) deals with a true view of ministers. Paul is not wanting to shame them, but warn them as a father about their prideful attitudes and their judgemental spirits related to their leaders. This thought runs through until 1 Cor 4:21.
Now that I have highlighted the problem with the chapter boundary and made my point, do this for me, for your pastor/leader and for yourself. Take time to focus on your pastor’s good qualities and the things you appreciate about him / her. Even if those qualities are hard to find, or think about; the good qualities are there. Go find them. Do you know what would be even better than thinking of his or her good points? Of course you do. Tell your pastor what you appreciate about them! Now that would be radical wouldn’t it? Especially for those of you who are struggling with the issue at the moment. It might turn things around for you and your pastor. Give it a go. Tell me what happens if something comes from it.
Don’t put it off; do it. Now.
. . . Think on what is true, honourable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. PaulPhilippians 4:8
Great minds think alike but great teams don’t. If no one sees anything wrong with an idea, someone isn’t thinking.Rick Warren
You lead 1 step at a time. If you get too far out in front of your troops they may mistake you for the enemy & start shooting at you!Rick Warren
A real sign of revival is when people fell on the floor on their knees, NOT when they’re running to be on stage!T.D. Jakes