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I Corinthians 4 Ministers are Servants of God (I Corinthians 3 = Ministers are Servants of the congregation)

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Presentation on theme: "I Corinthians 4 Ministers are Servants of God (I Corinthians 3 = Ministers are Servants of the congregation)"— Presentation transcript:

1 I Corinthians 4 Ministers are Servants of God (I Corinthians 3 = Ministers are Servants of the congregation)

2 Introduction There are times when even well-informed members of our congregations are puzzled by their pastor’s words and actions. In the performance of his duties he does not always do what members expect him to do. This chapter helps to explain what determines the ministry of a conscientious pastor. It tells Christian parishioners what they should expect of their pastor, and what they have no right to expect of him. There are times when even well-informed members of our congregations are puzzled by their pastor’s words and actions. In the performance of his duties he does not always do what members expect him to do. This chapter helps to explain what determines the ministry of a conscientious pastor. It tells Christian parishioners what they should expect of their pastor, and what they have no right to expect of him.

3 God Requires Faithful Servants  Read I Co 4:1-5  1. What does St. Paul say is the pastor’s responsibility?  2. What is the primary qualification of a pastor?  3. To whom is the pastor from first to last always responsible?  4. Why is God the only competent judge of a pastor’s person and work?

4 God Requires Faithful Servants  Ezk 3:17-21 – What kind of faithfulness is required?  17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.  20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”

5 God Requires Faithful Servants  Jeremiah 23:21-32 What kind of faithfulness is required?  21 I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.  23 “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? 24 Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord.  “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. 25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their fathers forgot my name through Baal worship. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?  30 “Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. 31 Yes,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord.

6 God Requires Faithful Servants  Digging Deeper: 2 Timothy 4:1-8 – What kind of faithfulness is required?  In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.  6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

7 God Requires Faithful Servants  What should parishioners expect of their ministers?  What have parishioners no right to expect from their ministers?  When have parishioners the right to “judge” (fault) their ministers?

8 Christian Pastors are to be “Poor in Spirit” Read 4:6-13 Of what gifts or blessings may Christians become proud? Of what special advantage were the Corinthians also proud (I Co 1:12) Where does Paul use irony to deflate the pride and conceit of the Corinthians? When were Paul and the other apostles “fools for Christ”? How did the humble, unassuming character of Paul and of the other apostles show itself?

9 Christian Pastors are “Poor in Spirit” Read 2 Co 11:18-30 – How does this corroborate what Paul wrote about his service in the ministry? 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face. 21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! What anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

10 Christian Pastors are “Poor in Spirit” 1. What qualifications were the Corinthians apparently looking for in their pastors? 2. Where is the folly of the smug Corinthians being repeated today? 3. When may irony or sarcasm be used in dealing with Christians? 4. How does this section prepare Christians for evil days?

11 Christian Pastors Are to Be Spiritual Fathers Read 4: What is the motive behind all true pastoral admonition? 2. How did Paul become the Corinthians’ father? 3. What powerful influence for good should a father provide for his children? 4. Why must a pastor be a man of moral courage? 5. In what spirit should Christian discipline be carried out? 6. What qualities of a good pastor are portrayed in this chapter?

12 Christian Pastors Are to Be Spiritual Fathers Why is the father- child relationship an excellent characterization of the relation between a pastor and his people? How does the entire chapter demonstrate that true Christian pastors have the spiritual welfare of their people at heart?


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