1 Corinthians 4 New American Standard Bible

The Ministry of the Apostles

4 1  Let a man regard us in this manner , as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God . 2  In this case , moreover , it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy . 3  But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court ; in fact , I do not even examine myself . 4  For I am conscious of nothing against myself , yet I am not by this acquitted ; but the one who examines me is the Lord . 5  Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time , but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts ; and then each man's praise will come to him from God . 6  Now these things , brethren , I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes , so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written , so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other .

7  For who regards you as superior ? What do you have that you did not receive ? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 8  You are already filled , you have already become rich , you have become kings without us; and indeed , I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. 9  For, I think , God has exhibited us apostles last of all , as men condemned to death ; because we have become a spectacle to the world , both to angels and to men . 10  We are fools for Christ's sake , but you are prudent in Christ ; we are weak , but you are strong ; you are distinguished , but we are without honor . 11  To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty , and are poorly clothed , and are roughly treated , and are homeless ; 12  and we toil , working with our own hands ; when we are reviled , we bless ; when we are persecuted , we endure ; 13  when we are slandered , we try to conciliate ; we have become as the scum of the world , the dregs of all things , even until now .

14  I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children . 15  For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ , yet you would not have many fathers , for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel . 16  Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.

17  For this reason I have sent to you Timothy , who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord , and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ , just as I teach everywhere in every church . 18  Now some have become arrogant , as though I were not coming to you. 19  But I will come to you soon , if the Lord wills , and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power . 20  For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power . 21  What do you desire ? Shall I come to you with a rod , or with love and a spirit of gentleness ?

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