"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Chapter Four OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To learn further how we should regard preachers and teachers 2) To learn a lesson in humility by observing the examples of the apostles SUMMARY With this chapter Paul brings to a conclusion his treatment of the problem of division as it existed in the church at Corinth. He describes the proper estimate one should have of those who serve God, and why we should leave the ultimate evaluation of such men to God (1-5). Having already used himself and Apollos as examples to help them see the errors of their arrogance (cf. "puffed up"), Paul also uses the example of the apostles in a passage filled with irony (6-13). His purpose is not to shame them, but to warn them, for he is sending Timothy to remind them of what is proper, and he himself is coming to deal with those who are "puffed up," if necessary (14-21). OUTLINE I. THE PROPER ESTIMATE OF PAUL & OTHERS (1-5) A. SERVANTS & STEWARDS (1-2) 1. Servants of Christ, stewards of the mysteries of God (1) 2. Their chief responsibility: faithfulness (2) B. THE PROPER JUDGE OF SUCH THINGS (3-5) 1. Not Christians, or any human court (3a) 2. Not even one's own self, but rather, the Lord (3b-4) 3. Therefore leave it up to Him (5) II. LESSONS IN HUMILITY (6-13) A. PAUL & APOLLOS ALREADY USED AS EXAMPLES (6) 1. To learn in them not to think beyond what is written (6a) 2. That none be "puffed up" on behalf of one against the other (6b) B. REBUKE IN THE FORM OF IRONY (7-8) 1. For they act as though they were the source of what they have (7) 2. With irony, Paul rebukes them (8) C. THE EXAMPLE OF THE APOSTLES (9-13) 1. Made a "spectacle" to the world (9) 2. Contrasted with the pride of the Corinthians, using more irony (10) 3. The plight of the apostles (11-13) III. PAUL'S PURPOSE IN WRITING THESE THINGS (14-21) 1. Not to shame, but to warn those he considers as his beloved children (14-16) 2. For the same reason he is sending Timothy to remind them (17) 3. For he himself will soon come, if the Lord wills, to deal with those who are "puffed up" (18-21)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) List the main points of this chapter. 2) What two terms properly describe preachers of the gospel? (1) 3) Who is to be the judge of those who serve the Lord? (3-5) 4) Why was Paul writing these things? (6) 5) What technique did Paul use in teaching lessons about humility? (8,10) 6) Who did Paul use as an example of humility? (9-13) 7) Why was Paul writing these things to them? (14) 8) How had Paul become like a "father" to them? (15) 9) Why was he sending Timothy to them? (17) 10) What one phrase is used repeatedly in this chapter to describe some at Corinth? (6,18,19) 11) What choices did Paul leave them as to how he might come to them? (21)