This week we continue our 1st Corinthians study in chapter four and finish the chapter together.
Paul has been dealing with the immaturity and pride that have caused division in the church there in Corinth. They, like so many, have developed an over-inflated view of themselves that is totally inconsistent with the Spirit of God. They are “all that and a bag of chips”, and before transitioning to other matters in chapter five, Paul will provide a closing summary to the points he has been making for the past few chapters.
This is an especially interesting passage as it shows how “real” the situation was. Paul is frustrated by their behavior and amazed at their pride and immaturity. Have you ever felt that way? The way people think about themselves—inflated ego, self centered, proud—can be so off-putting. So Paul uses some cutting irony and contrast to hopefully rattle their cages and bring them back to reality!
St Augustine said: “ It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” These Corinthian saints had devilish behavior and pride was the culprit. In fact, Paul uses a word translated “puffed up” in the NKJV, to describe them. This word is used seven times in the New Testament, and six of those are in this first letter to the Corinthians!
Paul continues to teach them using more analogies: a victory parade and, a father with his children. So how do we cultivate humility? Why is pride so dangerous? How can we grow in maturity? Listen in to this message from 1st Corinthians chapter four and find the answers to these important questions!