The Book of 1 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 4 Part 2

On to 1 Cor 4:8-21
v8: You are already full (satisfied): Paul is talking about what we have in Messiah (he is addressing believers – 1:10, 2:1, 3:1, 4:6 etc) Roms 8:32
·      You are already rich: Everything we need to grow and mature in Messiah has been provided for us. We lack nothing in this regard. We have been enriched through Messiah. 
·      You have reigned as kings without us: Reigning as kings is not dependent on the influence of Paul or Apollos or other people. Those who are in Messiah are called to reign (Rev 20:4-6). This reigning, in a sense, has already begun for us. Right now, as Kingdom servants, we are serving with Him, ruling under His authority in order to carry out His purposes. In the age to come, however, this will become clearer as it is enforced by Messiah. 
·      I could wish you did reign: Paul wished that they were already faithfully carrying out the things of G-d. 
·      We also might reign with you: Paul is not setting himself above these Corinthian brethren. Paul is saying that if they were ruling and doing the right things (serving G-d faithfully) then he would come alongside them to support their rule. He didn’t have to be the leader and the one in charge. He would be willing to submit to and support what they were doing if they were indeed reigning rightly. 
v9: I think: This is the word for supposing something. Paul was supposing this based on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 
·      The apostles, last: Paul was among the last of the apostles who had a personal revelation of the risen Messiah (Acts 9:1-6, 26:16). After Paul, this Apostolic age (which consisted of the disciples of Yeshua and Paul, who had a personal revelation of Yeshua) came to an end. Paul was one of the “last in”. 
·      Men condemned to deathmade a spectacle to the world: These men were appointed to die, but they were also appointed to become an example (this word ‘spectacle’ carries negative connotations) to angels and to men. Paul and the other Apostles (Peter, John etc) were called to set an example of what serving G-d looked like, and what it meant to be sent forth by G-d to do His will. 
v10: Fools: A word that (from a worldly perspective) shows no respect. The world did not value what Paul and the other Apostles did. They saw them as foolish, unintelligent (Acts 4:13) and as wasting their time (they see us in this same light).
·      You are wise IN Messiah: Because of the Apostles ministry, these congregations became wise. 
·      We are weak, but you are strong: In this verse Paul is speaking about two perspectives. Like Paul, the world is going to see us as weak – insignificant, ineloquent etc. When we understand that this is not the perspective we are living for, it is going to give us strength. In G-d’s eyes we are seen as strong!
·      Distinguished: Honoured. In G-d’s eyes we are going to be honoured. 
·      Dishonoured: In the world’s eyes we are going to be dishonoured – have no value. 
Note: What Paul and the Apostles went through caused them to be disrespected by the world, but it had a great outcome for them personally – it brought them wisdom, gave them strength and brought them honour from G-d. 
v11: On back of this verse: those who teach that we are King’s kids and therefore entitled to the very best, financial prosperity, success etc are teaching a false (prosperity) gospel. 
·      Even to the present hour: At that very moment, Paul and the other Apostles were at the peak of their ministry, but they were not reaping any earthly rewards. 
·      Homeless: This is a word that speaks about being driven away from one place and forced to go to another – leading an unsettled, vagabond type of lifestyle (Luke 9:5). 
v12: We labour: Despite all the ministry they were doing they were still financially supporting themselves. 
·      Reviled: To be loathed or put down by others. 
v13: Defamed: Blasphemed. 
·      Entreat: Encourage others. We are not called to return evil for evil, but we are called to return good to those who are evil against us (they are to be pitied, as they are in darkness but we are in the light). 
·      Filth: Scum – something that people want to get rid of. 
·      Offscouring: That which is wiped away (the filth left on a cloth after wiping a dirty counter). Paul emphasises that they were individuals that were rejected. Nothing was going to change for them, and the implication is that nothing is going to change for us – while living in this fallen world. When we accept the gospel, we become scum to the world. 
v14: I do not write: Paul’s intent in writing these things was not to make us ashamed. 
·      Beloved children: Paul loved these people. He had great affection for them. 
·      Warn: Admonish. Paul spoke boldly and frankly to the Corinthian believers. He wanted there to be a change – A G-dly change that would be pleasing to G-d. 
v15: Instructors: Guardians or school masters. These are authority figures who are hired to train up and prepare a child in the right way, based upon the desires of the father.
·      Instructor’s IN Messiah: Although these are good people, they are not fathers. 
·      I have begotten you: It was Paul who took the gospel message to these Corinthians and in this sense he became a father to them. Paul didn’t want them to feel indebted to him for this (children don’t feel in debt to their fathers), but he wanted them to know that he loved them greatly – he took honour and pleasure in the fact that he was used by G-d to bring them into His Kingdom.
v16: Imitate me: Paul is encouraging them to go and lead others to a saving knowledge of Messiah. He wanted them to become fathers to others and to carry on the same work that he was doing. 
v17: Son: The word used here is ‘child’. Paul is not emphasising sonship (sonship = servanthood, inheritance etc), but he uses the word ‘child’ to show relationship, love,
·      Who will remind you of my ways in Messiah: Timothy was going to reveal more to them about how Paul walked with the L-rd – not living a worldly lifestyle but a Kingdom one. 
·      As I teach everywhere in every church (ecclesia -called out ones): Paul’s teachings didn’t differ from place to place. He preached the same message consistently. 
v18: Puffed up: Prideful or arrogant. 
·      As though I were not coming to you: Certain people in this congregation had become arrogant to the point that they thought they were wiser, more knowledgeable and more educated in the things of G-d than Paul. They thought Paul would not come before them to debate these things with them. 
v19: But: In contrast to what they were thinking. 
·      If the L-rd wills: If the L-rd allows it. 
·      Not the wordbut the power: In this verse Paul is telling them that he will recognise what is true or not – not based on their words but based on whether their words manifest the power of G-d. There is an inherent relationship between the truth of G-d and the power of G-d. The two work hand in hand (Mark 16:20). 
v20: This is a spiritual law. The Kingdom of G-d is not only based on words but is also based on the manifestation of power. 
v21: What do you want: Paul was going to go to them to set things in order again – back to the purposes of G-d. He wanted to know how they would prefer him to come to them. 
·      Rod: Punishment (based upon his title of an apostle).
·      Love: Sacrificial love – which is how Paul would prefer to go to them. 
·      Spirit of gentleness (meekness): Paul’s intent was not to have a contest between who was right and who was wrong. He wanted this church to flourish, and he wanted to humble himself before them in order to reveal the revelation of G-d. G-d’s power would be manifested in this church again only once things were in order – when they were living again for the will and purposes of G-d. 

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