Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 4

Why Christians must never be proud

1 Corinthians 4:8-10

The members of each group in the church at Corinth were sure that they were very good Christians. Certainly, they insisted that they were better than the people in the other groups.

The described themselves as if they were kings. They considered themselves to have everything that they needed. They felt as if they were rich. They even imagined that they were ruling! Really, they meant that their church was strong. Many people were at the meetings, and the Holy Spirit was working among them. So the Christians in Corinth felt very pleased with themselves.

Paul wanted to show them that they were speaking in a proud manner. So he described the lives of the first Christian leaders, including himself. They did not try to get honour or importance for themselves. Instead, they accepted shame and insults from every cruel and wicked person. People considered them fools, not wise men. They knew constant weakness and trouble.

Paul referred to the processions that military leaders led after a successful battle. Those leaders received great honour, and so did their loyal soldiers. But at the end of the procession, the soldiers forced some enemies to follow them. Those enemies were going to the place where they would die. People stared at them and they felt complete disgust towards them. That was the kind of shame that Paul and the other apostles (church leaders) felt.

In the future, Christians will rule with Christ, but that promise is not for the present time (2 Timothy 2:12). Now Christians often must suffer for Christ (Mark 8:34).

Next part: True honour (1 Corinthians 4:11)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.