July 26, 1992
In the Corinthian church, prideful boasting and eloquent religious entertainment had replaced solid biblical teaching. Paul made it clear that he did not want to shame these believers but to warn them because he did not want to see them led astray. Alistair Begg echoes Paul’s warning and outlines eight lessons for today’s church, noting that faith involves humility and action as enabled by the life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
8Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! 9For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.
14I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15For though you have countless2 guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17That is why I sent3 you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ,4 as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?
Copyright © 2023, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.