As Christians, we recognise Christ as our master and king*. We are called his servants, or even his slaves*. Therefore, we have a duty to obey Christ. We are responsible to him.
Christ will be the judge of whether we have served him properly*. It is right to have a sense of fear towards someone who deserves it*. We fear a judge because of his power and authority over us. That kind of fear is a way to respect the judge.
A servant who does not obey his master ought to fear the master. That servantís fear should be greater because he has not served his master loyally. He should have always respected his master; now the servant should actually be afraid of him. His master will be angry, and he may punish the servant.
Paul did have a proper sense of fear towards Christ, and therefore he obeyed him. Christ had given Paul his (Christís) message, called the gospel, to declare. So Paul was very careful to declare it in a clear and plain manner*. As he did it, he persuaded many people to serve Christ too.
Christ would see all these things when he made his judgement about Paul*. However, of course, God already did see all these things.
The Christians in Corinth had also seen how Paul had behaved as Godís servant. It was Paul who originally brought the gospel to their city. They had seen that he had declared the gospel loyally. Therefore, they should have confidence in the gospel that he had declared. Other teachers were now declaring a very different kind of message about God in Corinth*. Godís people, however, must continue to follow the true gospel and to serve God loyally.
Next part: A right kind of pride (5:12)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.