• Matt Beaney

#491 (29/11/21) PRIDE IS DEFLATED BY SERVICE (1 COR. 4:1-5)



This week’s devotionals are based on 1 Corinthians 4

‘This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. ‘Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.’ (1 Corinthians 4:1-5)

i) SERVANTS OF CHRIST

Paul wants them to ‘regard’ him as a ‘servant of Christ’. He is setting an example of the attitude that many of them need to adopt. A Christian is not his or her own lord. Many at Corinth were putting their own beliefs and interests paramount rather than those of Jesus and this was leading to pride and division. Leaders are ‘servants of Christ’. They serve on His behalf, as his ambassadors.


Paul, as Jesus’ servant, was ‘entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed’. He, as an apostle, had a role to lay the foundation of Jesus and ensure that churches were building on this foundation (See 1 Cor. 3:10). Leaders and all Christians have an ‘entrustment’ of gifts to use in order to build the church and help to bring the love of God to our communities. Leaders, and all Christians, must ‘prove faithful’ with this entrustment. You have gifts and opportunities for which you need to be faithful. This is building with ‘gold, silver and costly stones’ (See 1 Cor. 3:12-15)


Pride is deflated by remembering that we are Jesus’ servants and not our own Lord or the master of anyone else. It’s deflated as we seek to be faithful with the entrustment that He has given to us. Critics get puffed up; those who seek to do the hard work of serving, grow in humility.

ii) SERVANTS KNOW WHOM THEY ARE SEEKING TO PLEASE

Many at Corinth were judging Paul and dismissing him. His emphasis on the gospel and failure to use worldly status-enhancing methods caused many to reject him. Paul, however, would not change his mission, methods or message if members of this church judged him harshly and rejected him. People’s opinions are not his first concern - we all need to learn this! He serves Jesus with a ‘clear conscience’ and trusts that he will be rewarded by Jesus for his faithfulness.


Pride is deflated as we focus on Jesus’ opinion rather than that of people. It’s very prideful to seek the good judgement of people over and against that of God! It’s idolatry!


OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text.

‘This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. ‘Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.’ (1 Corinthians 4:1-5)

I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).


1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Let's be talking, planning and praying about who we could invite to our carol service.






Please feel free to use these as a digital invite for your friends.


Here is the link for you to book ticket for yourself and your friends:

https://www.communitychurchputney.com/carol-service-2021

 

2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?

 


3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we looked at 1 Corinthians 4. Rather than reading the whole chapter together, I'll pick out a few verses.


In this chapter, Paul is seeking to deflate the pride of many in the Corinthian church. Pride is deflated in many ways:


i) PRIDE IS DEFLATED BY SERVICE

'This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.' (1 Corinthians 4:1)

Remembering that Jesus is our Lord is vital to humility. Pride puts itself in the place of God, humility seeks worship and obedience for Jesus.



ii) PRIDE IS DEFLATED BY GOD'S WORD

'Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.' (1 Corinthians 4:6)

Seeking to obey and learn what the bible says about leadership will humble us. Any study of the leaders of the Bible will teach us that they were all reliant on God's grace for gifts and victory.


iii) PRIDE IS DEFLATED BY FOOLISHNESS

'We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honoured, we are dishonoured!' (1 Corinthians 4:10)

Many at Corinth were seeking to have high status by the standards of their culture and they wanted their leaders to do the same. Seeking to be 'fools for Christ' - being open about the gospel and our faith will keep us humble.


iii) PRIDE IS DEFLATED BY DISCIPLINE

'I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me... What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?' (1 Corinthians 4:14-16, 21)

Pride is deflated by God's discipline - His correction. This disciline comes through relationships, circumstances, God's word and church leaders. Pride hates correction, humility know that it needs others' correction and advice.


A good definition of humility is,

'humility is confidence properly placed'.

Pride, however, moves its confidence onto self and worldly methods.


Discussion questions

1. 'Humility is confidence properly placed': how can this definition be applied in our lives?

2. How have you personally struggled with pride in your life?

3. Which of the four 'deflators' of pride do you feel most challenged about?

4. SIV - Let's share, plan and pray about those that we are inviting to the carol service on 5th December.







26 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All