• Matt Beaney

#493 (1/12/21) PRIDE IS DEFLATED BY GOD’S WORD (1 COR 4:6-7)



This week’s devotionals are based on 1 Corinthians 4

‘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. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?’ (1 Corinthians 4:6-7)

The humble listen to God. listening to God requires listening to God’s voice in the Bible. The proud put priority on human wisdom and their own opinions. This is not wise. The act of reading scripture is a wound to our pride. The devil, in the Garden, urged Adam and Even to not listen to God. Not listening to God is demonic. It’s idolatry.


Today’s text urges us, ‘Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up…’ Anyone who honestly seeks to study and apply God’s word will be kept from self-inflation! The word is like a mirror to us. Anyone who looks into this reflection will realise their own sin and God’s mercy. They will be more aware of the ‘plank in their own eye than the speck in their brother or sisters eye’!


God’s word also teaches us about godly leadership. Much human wisdom on leadership is not godly; some is very good, but only as it intersects with God’s truth.


As we read God’s word and its portrayal of various leaders, we will be humbled. Jesus, the greatest leader in history, spoke of leadership,

‘For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.’ (Luke 22:27)

Every leader in the Bible, except Jesus, was flawed and Jesus teaches humility in leadership. As we read God’s word, we will be humbled as we remember that all leaders are called by God. Appointed by grace. Gifted by God. Are successful by God’s empowering… If we do not go beyond what is written we will not be puffed up. Pride is deflated by God’s word.


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.

‘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. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?’ (1 Corinthians 4:6-7)

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.







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