Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 4

To whom are church leaders responsible?

1 Corinthians 4:2-5

Of course a church leader must be responsible. But we may ask to whom he is responsible.

The first Christians at Corinth thought that they must decide whom to follow. So they acted as if they were the judges of the different Christian leaders. But, of course, they could not even agree with each other about that!

Paul said that people’s decisions about him did not really matter. He would continue to work for God, whatever other people may think about him.

Of course, sometimes other people must make a decision about a Christian leader. That is especially true if the leader is doing something wrong. For example, the leader may not be teaching the truth about Christ. But even in such situations, the people can only make a human decision unless God guides them. And, for any Christian leader, the most important matter is the relationship between that leader and Christ.

Paul said that he would not even make a judgement about himself. Of course, it is right for us to ask ourselves whether we are doing wrong things. Paul advised people to do that in 1 Corinthians 11:31. But if Paul was guilty of any wrong thing, he was not aware of it. His conscience was satisfactory - but that still did not prove anything. People often do not realise that they are doing wrong things.

So in the end, God has to be the judge of his servants. He alone sees and knows all things. He knows when his people are carrying out their duties loyally. He knows how well they work for him. And he will give to each person the reward that is right and proper.

Next part: Do not go beyond the Bible (1 Corinthians 4:6-7)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.