THE PRIDEFUL COMPARED TO THE HUMBLE: 1 Corinthians 4:8-10

HOW TO KILL PRIDE: 1 Corinthians 4:7

A FAITHFUL SERVANT WILL BE PRAISED BY GOD: 1 Corinthians 4:5

A FAITHFUL STEWARD OF CHRIST IS NOT A MAN-PLEASER: 1 Corinthians 4:3-4

DISCUSSION

Read verse 3. What does Paul say is “a very small thing,” and what does he mean? In verse 3, what does Paul say he does not do to himself, and how does the beginning of verse 4 clarify what he means? Is Paul “acquitted” because he is “not aware of anything against” himself? Why or why not, according to verse 4?

DOCTRINE: A faithful steward of Christ does not strive to please man, the world, or even himself, ultimately. A faithful steward strives to please His Master, Christ.

I. A FAITHFUL STEWARD OF CHRIST IS NOT A MAN-PLEASER (1 Corinthians 4:3a)

II. A FAITHFUL STEWARD OF CHRIST IS NOT A WORLD-PLEASER (1 Corinthians 4:3b)

III. A FAITHFUL STEWARD OF CHRIST IS NOT A SELF-PLEASER (1 Corinthians 4:3c-4a)

IV. A FAITHFUL STEWARD OF CHRIST IS A CHRIST-PLEASER (1 Corinthians 4:4b)

OBJECTIONS

Objection I) Does Paul not say elsewhere that he does in fact try to please men? (1 Corinthians 10:33, Romans 15:2-3)

A. Yes, but this is not “the fear of man” or “man-pleasing,” properly speaking. This is, first, Paul striving not to put cultural stumbling blocks in unbelievers’ ways, because he wants their salvation. Secondly, in Romans 15, Paul is exhorting us to live for the eternal good of others, just as Christ has done for us.

Objection II) Does this mean that we should not care at all what anyone else thinks?

A. I answer, No! But we should only care insofar as God’s Word is clear. (Proverbs 11:14, Matthew 18:17)

Objection III) Does this mean we should not examine ourselves nor pay attention when our conscience is under distress?

A. I answer, No! But we should realize that even if we examine ourselves and find nothing, or even if our conscience is clear, we may still be in the wrong—Christ will be the judge. (Jeremiah 17:19)

APPLICATION

I) To strive to please man is to strive to please creations when you should be striving to please the Creator (Isaiah 2:22).

II) Men can never be pleased because even their standards of approval are always changing (Matthew 11:18-19).

III) If you strive to please men, you rejecting the wisdom of God (Proverbs 9:10).

IV) When you care more for pleasing men than pleasing Christ, you are acting like an atheist (Isaiah 51:12-13).

V) Christ Himself did not please men, therefore how can you dare to think it is possible (John 15:18-20)?

VI) Christ Himself promised you will not please all men if you are faithful to Him (Matthew 10:21-22).

VII) Christ Himself pronounced a curse on you when all men speak well of you (Luke 6:26).

VIII) The temptation to please man is a trap that many fall prey to (Proverbs 29:25).

IX) The antidote to fearing man is to fear God (Psalm 118:6-9).

X) If you make it your aim to please God, He may even make your enemies be at peace with you (Proverbs 16:17).

XI) You must strive to be a Christ-pleaser in your vocation, and not simply a man-pleaser (Colossians 3:22-24).

XII) You can either strive to please man or strive to please Christ; you cannot do both at the same time (Galatians 1:10).

XIII) If you are not in Christ, you cannot hope to please God (Romans 8:8).

XIV) If you are in Christ by faith, having your sins washed away and being clothed in His righteousness, God is pleased with you for Christ’s sake (Romans 5:1, Mark 1:14).

XV) You do not have to strive to please men or the world or even yourself to be happy; you only have to be strive to please Christ (Colossians 1:10).

DOCTRINE: Pastors must be regarded as lowly slaves and stewards of Christ, given to the church as gifts; and they must be faithful to Christ because they will be scrutinized by Him.

I. PASTORS MUST BE REGARDED AS SLAVES OF CHRIST (1 Corinthians 4:1a)

I) The Lord Jesus Christ is the Master of Pastors (1 Corinthians 4:1a). II) Pastors are shepherds of the church, with Christ Himself as the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). III) Pastors do not get to choose what they do; their duty is to do what they have been commanded (Luke 17:10). IV) The only way for Pastors to know what their Master commands is through their Masters’ words (Luke 1:2). V) Pastors’ chief duties that their Master commands are (I) prayer and (II) studying, teaching, and preaching the Word of God (Acts 6:4, John 21, 1 Timothy 4:13, Titus 1:9). VI) Pastors who makes it their aim to obey their Master will be rewarded (1 Peter 5:4). VII) If a Pastor is a wolf, fleecing the flock of the Master, Christ will cut him into pieces (Luke 12:46). VIII) If a Pastor is a hireling, not doing what he knows his Master commands, Christ will give him a severe beating (Luke 12:47). IX) If a Pastor is not both a hearer and doer of the Word, but rather remains ignorant or indifferent concerning what his Master commands, Christ will give him a beating (Luke 12:48).

II. PASTORS MUST BE REGARDED AS STEWARDS OF GOSPEL TRUTHS (1 Corinthians 4:1b)

III. PASTORS ARE STEWARDS WHO WILL BE SCRUTINIZED BY THEIR MASTER (1 Corinthians 4:2)

IV. PASTORS ARE STEWARDS WHO MUST BE FAITHFUL TO THEIR MASTER (1 Corinthians 4:2)

CONCLUDING EXHORTATIONS

I) Seeing that you must regard Pastors as slaves and stewards of Christ, make sure not to idolize them.

II) Make sure not to hold Pastors in contempt or be ungrateful for them.

III) Pray for Pastors and support them however you can—the faithful ones have tired arms and are frequently under great distress in the bottom of the ship.

IV) I would says also, lastly, pray for God to raise up more faithful Pastors who will gladly spend their lives as slaves and stewards of Christ.

PASTORS ARE STEWARDS OF THEIR MASTER WHO MUST BE FOUND FAITHFUL: 1 Corinthians 4:1-2

DISCUSSION

  1. Read verse 1. How should faithful ministers of the gospel be regarded? What does Paul mean by “servants”? What does he mean by “stewards”? What does Paul mean by “the mysteries of God”?
  2. According to verse 2, what “is required of stewards”? What does it mean to be a “steward who is found faithful,” when it comes to gospel ministry?

DOCTRINE: Pastors must be regarded as lowly slaves and stewards of Christ, given to the church as gifts; and they must be faithful to Christ because they will be scrutinized by Him.

I. PASTORS MUST BE REGARDED AS SLAVES OF CHRIST (1 Corinthians 4:1a)

I) The Lord Jesus Christ is the Master of Pastors (1 Corinthians 4:1a). II) Pastors are shepherds of the church, with Christ Himself as the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). III) Pastors do not get to choose what they do; their duty is to do what they have been commanded (Luke 17:10). IV) The only way for Pastors to know what their Master commands is through their Masters’ words (Luke 1:2). V) Pastors’ chief duties that their Master commands are (I) prayer and (II) studying, teaching, and preaching the Word of God (Acts 6:4, John 21, 1 Timothy 4:13, Titus 1:9). VI) Pastors who makes it their aim to obey their Master will be rewarded (1 Peter 5:4). VII) If a Pastor is a wolf, fleecing the flock of the Master, Christ will cut him into pieces (Luke 12:46). VIII) If a Pastor is a hireling, not doing what he knows his Master commands, Christ will give him a severe beating (Luke 12:47). IX) If a Pastor is not both a hearer and doer of the Word, but rather remains ignorant or indifferent concerning what his Master commands, Christ will give him a beating (Luke 12:48).

II. PASTORS MUST BE REGARDED AS STEWARDS OF GOSPEL TRUTHS (1 Corinthians 4:1b)

III. PASTORS ARE STEWARDS WHO WILL BE SCRUTINIZED BY THEIR MASTER (1 Corinthians 4:2)

IV. PASTORS ARE STEWARDS WHO MUST BE FAITHFUL TO THEIR MASTER (1 Corinthians 4:2)

CONCLUDING EXHORTATIONS

I) Seeing that you must regard Pastors as slaves and stewards of Christ, make sure not to idolize them.

II) Make sure not to hold Pastors in contempt or be ungrateful for them.

III) Pray for Pastors and support them however you can—the faithful ones have tired arms and are frequently under great distress in the bottom of the ship.

IV) I would says also, lastly, pray for God to raise up more faithful Pastors who will gladly spend their lives as slaves and stewards of Christ.

DOES GOD HATE MY WORSHIP?: Isaiah 1:12-18

YOU MUST BECOME A FOOL: 1 Corinthians 3:18-20

CHRIST, THE FOUNDATION: 1 Corinthians 3:10-11

CHRIST’S WONDERFUL WORTH: Revelation 5

DISCUSSION

TBD

CHRIST’S WONDERFUL HUMILITY: John 1:14

DOCTRINE

Christ willingly humbled Himself in taking upon Himself human flesh, and all that comes with it, which He did in order to both save His people and glorify God.

I. CHRIST, WHO IS THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD, TOOK UPON HIMSELF FLESH, BECOMING A HUMAN BEING LIKE YOU (v. 14a)

John 1:14a “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.“

II. CHRIST LEFT HIS ETERNAL HOME, THE PRESENCE OF HIS FATHER’S IMMEDIATE GLORY, TO DWELL AMONG YOU (John 17:5)

John‬ 17:5 “Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.”

III. CHRIST LEFT HIS ETERNAL HOME, THE PRESENCE OF HIS FATHER’S IMMEDIATE LOVE, TO DWELL AMONG YOU (John 1:18)

John‬ ‭1:18‬ “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side (in the Father’s bosom), he has made him known.”

IV. CHRIST LEFT HIS ETERNAL HOME, THE PRESENCE OF HIS FATHER’S IMMEDIATE DELIGHT, TO DWELL AMONG YOU (Proverbs 8:30; Psalm 16:11)

Proverbs‬ ‭8:30‬ “I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always.”

Psalm 16:11 “In Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

V. CHRIST TOOK UPON HIMSELF FLESH, WHICH LEAD TO MUCH SADNESS FOR HIM (Isaiah 53:5)

Isaiah writes of him in 53:3 “A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”

VI. CHRIST TOOK UPON HIMSELF FLESH, EVEN SUBJECTING HIMSELF TO HOMELESSNESS (Matthew 8:20)

Matthew 8:20, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

VII. CHRIST TOOK UPON HIMSELF FLESH, EVEN OPENING HIMSELF UP TO TERRIBLE TEMPTATIONS TO SIN BY THE DEVIL HIMSELF (Matthew 4:1)

Matthew 4:1, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

VIII. CHRIST TOOK UPON HIMSELF FLESH, ALLOWING HIMSELF TO BE PERSECUTED AND HATED BY MEN WHOM HE HAD CREATED (John 15:25)

John 15:25 “They hated me without a cause.”

IX. CHRIST TOOK UPON HIMSELF FLESH, AND SUFFERED IN EVERY WAY THAT WE DO (Isaiah 53:5)

I) Christ suffered internally, in His heart
(I) His family at one point it seems thought He was crazy and tried to bring Him home.
(II) His friend Lazarus died and He wept.
(III) He also wept when considering the stubbornness of Jerusalem in refusing to repent and believe.
(IV) His own people, the Jews, rejected Him. Even at His trial they wanted the murdering Barrabus instead of Him.
(V) His friends slept when He had asked them to pray in His hour of great need.
(VI) His friends abandoned Him rather than be arrested with Him.
(VII) One of His best friends denied that he knew Him.

II) Christ suffered externally, in His body
(I) He was beaten with rods.
(II) He was spit upon.
(III) He was pierced in His head by a crown of thorns.
(IV) His flesh was ripped apart as He was scourged.
(V) Massive nails were driven through the most sensitive nerve endings in His entire body as He was crucified.

Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities.”

X. CHRIST TOOK UPON HIMSELF FLESH, AND HAD HIS FATHER’S LOVING FACE HIDDEN FROM HIM ON THE CROSS (Matthew 27:46)

Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”

XI. CHRIST TOOK UPON HIMSELF FLESH, AND DRANK THE CUP OF GOD’S WRATH FOR SIN (Matthew 26:39)

Matthew 26:39 “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’”

XII. CHRIST TOOK UPON HIMSELF FLESH, AND EXPERIENCED DEATH (John 19:33-34)

John 19:33-34 “When they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.”

APPLICATION

I) See how great His love is for His people.

II) See how evil your sin is, that only the utter humiliation of the Son of God, and even His being crushed on the cross, could pay with our sin debt.

III) Go to Christ, who humbled Himself to save sinners like you and me; go now before it is too late.

IV) Learn from Christ’s example to part with whatever you must in order to glorify God.

V) See how humble we should be if we would be like Christ.

Ekklesia Muskogee is a reformed baptist church that gathers for worship in Muskogee, Oklahoma. We confess the 1689 second London baptist confession of faith. We affirm the five solas of the Reformation as well as the doctrines of grace (otherwise known as the five points of Calvinism), and each of our pastors would not be ashamed to be called a Calvinist. We are a church led by elders, of which there is a plurality (also called pastors and overseers in the Scriptures). Our mission is to make disciples, love cities, and plant churches.