The Ministry of the Apostles
4 1 Let a man so account of us as servants of Christ, and stewards of [the] mysteries of God. 2 Here, further, it is sought in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But for me it is the very smallest matter that I be examined of you or of man's day. Nor do I even examine myself. 4 For I am conscious of nothing in myself; but I am not justified by this: but he that examines me is the Lord. 5 So that do not judge anything before [the] time, until the Lord shall come, who shall also both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and shall make manifest the counsels of hearts; and then shall each have [his] praise from God. 6 Now these things, brethren, I have transferred, in their application, to myself and Apollos, for your sakes, that ye may learn in us the [lesson of] not [letting your thoughts go] above what is written, that ye may not be puffed up one for [such a] one against another.
7 For who makes thee to differ? and what hast thou which thou hast not received? but if also thou hast received, why boastest thou as not receiving? 8 Already ye are filled; already ye have been enriched; ye have reigned without us; and I would that ye reigned, that we also might reign with you. 9 For I think that God has set us the apostles for the last, as appointed to death. For we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and men. 10 We [are] fools for Christ's sake, but ye prudent in Christ: we weak, but ye strong: ye glorious, but we in dishonour. 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and are in nakedness, and buffeted, and wander without a home, 12 and labour, working with our own hands. Railed at, we bless; persecuted, we suffer [it]; 13 insulted, we entreat: we are become as [the] offscouring of the world, [the] refuse of all, until now.
14 Not [as] chiding do I write these things to you, but as my beloved children I admonish [you]. 15 For if ye should have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the glad tidings. 16 I entreat you therefore, be my imitators.
17 For this reason I have sent to you Timotheus, who is my beloved and faithful child in [the] Lord, who shall put you in mind of my ways [as] they [are] in Christ, according as I teach everywhere in every assembly. 18 But some have been puffed up, as if I were not coming to you; 19 but I will come quickly to you, if the Lord will; and I will know, not the word of those that are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God [is] not in word, but in power. 21 What will ye? that I come to you with a rod; or in love, and [in] a spirit of meekness?