- 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”?
- 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)
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.