1 Corinthians 4:6–13 (NKJV)

6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

1 Corinthians 4:6-7

Paul continues his rant against sectarianism, rebuking anyone who may perceive in himself a right to be puffed up. No one who has done anything for the kingdom of God, and no one who has received anything in the kingdom of God, deserves to claim any credit or superiority to anyone else in the body of Christ. We all have received all that we have from God, by His grace and mercy, and therefore are beholden to the Lord of provision and help.

8 You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us—and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you! 9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.

1 Corinthians 4:8-13

The writer then goes on to remind the reader that he or she is full and rich, given much beyond what is deserved, but nevertheless full, blessed beyond measure. Paul then reminds them of the lengths to which the apostles have gone to bring this gospel to the churches and cities in the world. He lists all the things that they have endured, as the church members have avoided these things. The apostles have been condemned to death, made a spectacle, and left weak, dishonored, starved, poorly clothed, beaten, and homeless. They work with their own hands, making a living for themselves and asking for nothing in return for the work of the gospel. They return good for evil, and give even in their lack. Therefore, the people should not pit them against one another, or engage in hero worship that divides and weakens the church. Be one, live for Christ as they have, and be satisfied to serve for Christ. That is a message all of us could receive today. Be content, and thank God for all His spiritual and physical blessings, for He is good to you and to me. We are blessed!

Artwork from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/65654107051234610/

One thought on “Rich and Poor and Blessed

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