1 Corinthians 4
Christian teachers are "ministers of Christ." That defines their responsibility. They are "stewards of the mysteries of God." That defines their work. What dignity does this double statement suggest?
In view of this, to Paul it was "a very small thing" what judgment men might form of him. The Lord at His Coming will pronounce the judgment. It would seem as though this faithful steward of the mysteries of God feared lest the very impetuous sweep of his anger against the folly of the schism-makers would be misunderstood, and he hastens to write tender words as he closes this section. His purpose is not to shame them, but to admonish them. They are his "beloved children."
Looking back over the argument, it is clearly seen that the final test of wisdom is always power. Herein is the difference between the "wisdom of words" and "the wisdom of God." The "wisdom of words" has no moral lift in it. On the other hand, the "wisdom of God is manifested in the "Word of the Cross." By that 'Word men are not merely mentally illumined, they are morally saved. Put the teachers of psychology or philosophical systems down in the midst of corrupt Corinth, or in later cities, with their own writings as the textbooks, and how much can they do to lift the burden, break the chain, quench the passion, and out of a ruined humanity reconstruct a divine manhood? Put down in the same city a Salvation Army lassie who utterly lacks all words of wisdom, but who lives and prophesies the "Word of the Cross," and watch the issue. The result of power is the true test of wisdom.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25