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From the Pulpit...

Humble Thinking - Matt Postiff

Audio from April 19, 2020 AM | 1 Corinthians 4:6-21
Posted April 22, 2020 | Length: 00:57:03 | File size in bytes: 10269936

Pride leads people to think they know more than what has been given to them. If no one is qualified to evaluate themselves completely, how dare a person self-righteously judge any one else? Jesus alone is the Righteous One, capable of judging, yet He willingly became like a servant. Everything a person has - their natural gifts and the ability to develop those gifts - is from God. Pride steals from the glory that rightly belongs to the Creator. In an attempt to get the Corinthians to understand their problem, Paul resorts to sarcasm: You are already full! You are already rich! The Corinthian Christians were filled with smug satisfaction and self-sufficiency. Paul uses a rare phrase - condemned to death, referring to convicted criminals - in describing himself and the other apostles. In antiquity, criminals would be paraded before the public as objects of derision. While the Corinthians were boasting and living in complacency, the apostles were living under the sword of persecution. The Corinthians claimed to be wise, strong, distinguished, while the apostles were dishonored and treated as fools who were weak. By drawing this sharp contrast, Paul sought to show the Corinthians how twisted their perspective was regarding their position. In their pride, the church at Corinth forgot that honor in the Christian life comes from service and sacrifice, not knowledge or power. Paul's expression of his Christian experience echoes Jesus' teaching that whoever wants to be the greatest of all must become the least of all. Paul switches from a tone of severity to one of pleading. As their spiritual father, he reminds the Corinthians of how they entered into God's family: by a humble profession of faith, admitting that they were sinners in need of God's deliverance. Humility is a prerequisite for salvation. Paul urges his spiritual children to recall his performance. Not only is he their spiritual father, he is their spiritual example. Although he was a man of outstanding intellect and ability, he declared himself the least of all the apostles, the least of all the saints, and the chief of sinners throughout his ministry. No one had cause to be puffed up if he was not.

Our Scripture reading was found in Deuteronomy 6:1-25.

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