1 Corinthians 3:18–4:5 (NKJV)
18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; 20 and again, “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. 23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.1 Corinthians 3:18-23
In light of the previous discussions of the flaws in tradition and human (philosophical) wisdom and the sin of sectarianism, this passage warns the reader not to be deceived into thinking that he or she is wise. Instead, the reader is to disavow human wisdom in order to be simple enough to believe the wisdom of God. Simplicity to humanity is teachability to the Divine. Too much human knowledge crowds out the true knowledge of God. This does not mean that Christians should not be educated or intelligent. It simply means that one should pursue Biblical and spiritual knowledge above worldly knowledge, for God’s truth is the most important knowledge to possess. When one traffics in the true knowledge of God, they have no need to follow any particular man, but rather to walk together as the possession of God, as one following Christ alone.
1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Paul moves into chapter four with a discussion of judgment. He asks the readers to consider him and his fellow ministers to be servants of God and stewards of His mysteries. He hopes to be found faithful, yet not just in the eyes of men. He is actually unconcerned about what men may think about him. Instead, he wants to be found faithful by God Himself, and Him alone. He then instructs the readers to stop judging, because God will one day bring to light the darkness of hearts and the praise of His faithful servants. Be certain that if you serve God with your whole heart, God will know. He will one day reward that faithfulness and will declare you faithful in His kingdom. This is the only reward that a minister or a servant of God should ever need. Accolades of men are fleeting, and only last for a time. God’s favor is eternal, and will be glorious in the day of judgment. Look for the right source of approval, and glory in the Lord!
Artwork from https://www.bible.com/verse-of-the-day/1CO.3.18/51163?version=1588