4 1 Bringing in the definition of a true Apostle, 7 he showeth that humility ought rather to be an honor than a shame unto him. 9 He bringeth in proof, whereby it may evidently appear, 10 that he neither had care of glory, 11 nor of his belly. 17 He commendeth Timothy.
1 Let [a]a [b]man so think of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and disposers of the secrets of God:
2 [c]And as for the rest, it is required of the disposers, that every man be found faithful.
3 [d]As touching me, I pass very little to be judged of you, [e]or of man’s [f]judgment: no, [g]I judge not mine own self.
4 For I know nothing by myself, yet am I not thereby justified: but he that judgeth me, is the [h]Lord.
5 [i]Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will lighten things that are hid in darkness, and make the counsels of the hearts manifest: and then shall every man have [j]praise of God.
6 [k]Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied unto mine own self and Apollos, for your sakes, that ye might learn [l]by us, that no man presume above that which is written, that one swell not against another for any man’s cause.
7 [m]For who separateth thee? and what hast thou, that thou hast not received? if thou hast received it, why rejoicest thou, as though [n]thou hadst not received it?
8 [o]Now ye are full: now ye are made rich: ye reign as kings without us, and would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.
9 For I think that God hath set forth us the last Apostles, as men appointed to death, for we are made a [p]gassing stock unto the world, and to the Angels, and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, and ye are wise in Christ: we are weak, and ye are strong: ye are honorable, and we are despised.
11 Unto this hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place,
12 And labor, working with our own hands: we are reviled, and yet we bless: we are persecuted, and suffer it.
13 We are evil spoken of, and we pray: we are made as the [q]filth of the world, the offscouring of all things, unto this time.
14 [r]I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I admonish you.
15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel.
16 Wherefore, I pray you, be followers of me.
17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timothy, which is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, which shall put you in remembrance of my [s]ways in Christ as I teach everywhere in every Church.
18 [t]Some are puffed up as though I would not come unto you.
19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and I will know, not the [u]words of them which are puffed up, but the power.
20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
21 [v]What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the [w]spirit of meekness?
1 Corinthians 4:1He concludeth the duty of the hearers towards their ministers: that they esteem them not as lords: and yet notwithstanding, that they give ear unto them, as to them that are sent from Christ, sent I say to this end and purpose, that they may receive as it were at their hands, the treasure of salvation which is drawn out of the secrets of God.
1 Corinthians 4:2Last of all, he warneth the ministers that they also behave themselves not as lords, but as faithful servants, because they must render an account of their stewardship unto God.
1 Corinthians 4:3Because in reprehending others, he set himself for an example, he useth a preoccupation or preventing of an objection, and using the gratuity of an Apostle, he showeth that he careth not for the contrary judgments that they have of him, in that they esteemed him as a vile person, because he did not set forth himself as they did. And he bringeth good reasons why he was nothing moved with the judgments which they had of him.
1 Corinthians 4:3First, because that that which men judge in these cases of their own brains, is no more to be accounted of, than when the unlearned do judge of wisdom.
1 Corinthians 4:3Secondly, saith he, how can you judge how much or how little I am to be accounted of, seeing that I myself which know myself better than you do, and which dare profess that I have walked in my vocation with a good conscience, dare not yet notwithstanding challenge anything to myself? for I know that I am not unblameable, all this notwithstanding: much less therefore should I please myself as you do.
1 Corinthians 4:5A third reason proceeding of a conclusion as it were, out of the former reasons. It is God’s office, to esteem every man according to his value, because he knoweth the secrets of the heart, which men for the most part are ignorant of. Therefore this judgment pertaineth not to you.
1 Corinthians 4:5One could not be praised above the rest, but the other should be blamed: and he mentioneth praise rather than dispraise, for that the beginning of this sore was this, that they gave more to some men than meet was.
1 Corinthians 4:6Having rejected their judgment, he setteth forth himself again as a singular example of modesty, as one which concealing in this Epistle those factious teacher’s names, doubted not to put down his own name and Apollos’ in their place, and took upon him, as it were, their shame: so far was he from preferring himself to any.
1 Corinthians 4:6By our example, which chose rather to take other men’s faults upon us, than to carpe any by name.
1 Corinthians 4:7He showeth a good means to bridle pride: first, if thou consider how rightly thou exemptest thyself out of the number of others, seeing thou art a man thyself: again, if thou consider that although thou have something more than other men have, yet thou hast it not but by God’s bountifulness. And what wise man is he that will brag of another’s goodness, and that against God?
1 Corinthians 4:7There is nothing then in us of nature, that is worthy of commendation: but all that we have, we have it of grace, which the Pelagians and half Pelagians will not confess.
1 Corinthians 4:8He descendeth to a most grave mock, to cause these ambitious men to blush even against their wills.
1 Corinthians 4:9He that will take a right view how like Paul and the Pope are, who lyingly boasteth that he is his successor, let him compare the delicates of the Popish court with Saint Paul’s state, as we see it here.
1 Corinthians 4:14Moderating the sharpness of his mock, he putteth them in mind to remember of whom they were begotten in Christ, and that they should not doubt to follow him for an example, although he seem vile according to the outward show, in respect of others, yet mighty by the efficacy of God’s Spirit, as they had trial thereof in themselves.
Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.
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