“Servants and Stewards” A House Divided: Week 10 (1 Corinthians 4:1-5)
Public opinion is becoming increasingly important, sometimes outweighing actual facts. Some people put more importance on their social media presence than they do their real-life character. As Christians, we’re called to live for Christ – even when it conflicts with the values of those around us.
- Follow Jesus as a Faithful Servant and Steward (v. 1-2)
– Exclusive Ownership
– Complete Submission
– Total Dependence
– Singular Devotion
– Accountability to the Master
- Ultimately You are Accountable to God for your Service (v. 3-5)
Amen. If you have your Bible this morning, let’s open them together to I Corinthians Chapter Four. I Corinthians Chapter Four. This is the final chapter in our series: A House Divided from the first four chapters of this book that Paul wrote to the Corinthians.
You know, public opinion mattered a lot to the Corinthians. More so than it should have. I see this proving true in our society today. Public opinion. Especially because we all kind of know each other’s opinion right away ’cause of social media. It’s starting to have a real impact on policy. A real impact on how you view yourself. A real impact over pretty large decisions that affects people’s lives. An example of that this week. There was a musician, last name Blount, first name Benton. I don’t listen to him, I guess he sings the blues, but he was out there in the world this week doing his duty, he was voting, and he posted a picture on Facebook with him holding Chick-Fil-A … I can see where he’s going with this. Like a drink and a sandwich and he had his Make America Great Again hat on and he had a sticker on his shirt that said “I voted today.”
And on the caption he wrote: “I offended several people by this post. I’ve done what I needed to do. #govote.” He was trying to encourage people, provocatively, to go and vote. Well, because of that, Facebook put him … I guess it’s called ‘Facebook jail’. Like you’re suspended or kicked of Facebook. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if your life revolves around people I guess it can be a big deal. Anyways, he was suspended from any Facebook activity for 24 hours. Now, before you think this is going political, it’s not, because I think the same confusion I would have about where this is going, I would have if you were wearing an Obama shirt that said ‘Change’ in those different colors and that would’ve put you in Facebook jail for 24 hours.
But I’m not even that concerned about Facebook jail. Whatever. Facebook is Facebook, do what they want. But the next step is what kinda took me off guard, where public opinion started to actually affect his life. He finally got back on Facebook and he was scheduled to be on this tour with somebody you probably do know, Billy Gibbons, who played for ZZ Top, if you recognize them. Yes, they still sing and stuff like that, it’s crazy. Anyway, so he was on that tour. I mean, his name was on the poster. He had just played other tour stops. He then travels from South Carolina to Atlanta and when he gets there, he is told, “You’re no longer on the tour.” And what he believes is directly related to not only Facebook jail, but the post, where he didn’t support a candidate, he didn’t do anything other than post a picture of his shirt ‘I voted today’, Chick-Fil-A and then the hat.
Public opinion made a difference in his life, and those who were overseeing where the tour went and who was on the tour. I see public opinion matter more and more to people. When I see a young lady taking 50 to 100 selfies, whether it be a mom or a daughter, and even some guys that I know, until they get the right one so they can put it out there so that the public opinion is positive towards them. The public opinion of us defining our own worth based on the number of comments or likes that we get. This is concerning. Way beyond the political realm, that’s just the story. The main thing is the opinion is making impact in your life today by what people say about you, negative or positive, on social media.
I think one of the things that Paul would want to say to you, that he is saying to the Corinths is that your chief concern should not be what other people say about you or think about you. Your chief concern should be as a servant and as a steward of Christ, what He says about you.
Not only what He says about you, but what He thinks about what you are doing. The Corinthians church needed to hear this message and so do we. Let’s stand together and read I Corinthians Chapter Four, starting in verse one. ‘Cause Paul had this fantastic perspective that I pray the Holy Spirit would give you this week.
In verse one he says: Let a man regard us in this manner.
Us meaning himself and Apollos and the other leaders he’s been talking about, like Peter.
How? As servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now in this case moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.
You probably want to underline trustworthy.
But to me, listen to this, it’s a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court. In fact, I don’t even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself.
Now, in case you think that’s arrogant, he goes on:
Yet I am not by this acquitted, but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore, do not go on passing judgment before the time. But wait until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the things hidden in darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts. And then each man’s praise will come to him.
From who? From God. This is His word, please be seated.
Church, Christ is the Master. If you don’t get anything else from this message today, you need to label it Jesus, not only as Savior and Creator and all the other wonderful titles that He has, but you need to see Him as Master. And because He’s the Master, we serve Him. We are stewards of what He has given us responsibility over, and we’re not necessarily, nor should we ever be, someone else’s eternal judge.
Let’s start with this idea of being a faithful servant and a faithful steward. Look at this first two verses here. Paul is again repeating this notion to the Corinthian church of how they should be viewing him. Some people in the Corinthian church elevated him to a position of rock star status. Other people were pitting him against Apollos and Peter. He said, “You need to stop all of that nonsense. I am a servant.” He’s already said that in I Corinthians 3:5. “Apollos is a servant, Peter is a servant. In fact, God has given us to serve you.”
The first time he mentions this in chapter three, he uses the Greek word diakonos to describe servant. Here he uses the Greek word huperetes, which is just this idea of being a household servant. But it doesn’t really matter the term, he’s just using the household illustration and carrying it from chapter three into chapter four. What I want you to see today is that if Paul is the servant, who’s the master? Jesus is the Master. I think it’s one thing to see Jesus as the Master, but then it’s a whole ‘nother thing to try to put yourself in that position where you carry the title proudly, like Paul did, of ‘slave’.
Again and again and again, Paul wanted everybody that interacted with him to know that he labeled himself a slave to Christ. “hat’s a pretty good title to bear,” he says. He bears it not only here, but he bears it in the book of Romans and he introduces himself there as a slave and he introduces himself in the book of Philippians chapter one as a slave and again and then again and again. Through his letters, he talks to the people and he titles himself a ‘slave to Christ’, a ‘servant to Christ’. And in fact, he commands the church here, “Let a man regard us in this manner as a servant.”
It’s basically him saying, “I’m commanding you to see me and to consider me as a slave.” So my question is why was it so important for Paul to make sure that the Corinthians saw him as a slave? Well, first of all, he wanted everybody and us to understand that that’s the very nature of our relationship with God through Christ. He is the master and we are the servants. Also, he wanted to be able to tell them later, “Follow me, as I follow Christ.”
So if Paul was owning the title slave, and then he were tell us, “I want you to follow me in the same way that I follow Christ,” and he followed Christ as a slave, how should you follow Christ is the question? You should follow Christ as His servant and as His slave. Paul knew who the boss was. Everything that he did, every letter that he wrote, every word that he spoke, he did it in service to Christ as his King and as his Master. We love to all Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. That ‘lord’ in Greek is the term ‘kurios’. It’s used 750 times in the New Testament. You know what it means almost every single time in context? It means ‘master’.
So if you want to say “Jesus is my Lord.” What you must also say is that “I am His slave.” That’s how it works. That’s what it means. You exist to serve Him. Paul understood this. I’m not so sure we understand this. I’m not so sure when I saw things like this it doesn’t get under your saddle a little bit. I’m not so sure when I say, “Jesus is your Master and you are His slave,” that that doesn’t offend you a little bit.
Let’s work through it together. In John MacArthur’s book titled pretty simply: Slave, he brings five parallels of first century slavery and connects it to Christ. And what he’s trying to how us here is that where humanity messes it up, Christ perfects it. And the reason that some of you are probably offended when you hear this idea that Jesus is your Master and you are His slave is because of how humanity has messed up this idea of slavery. See, any time that we try to enslave another human, we’re trying to put the very qualities and the very nature of God into our human relationships. Why doesn’t it work?
Because we’re not God. We’re going to mess it up every time. That’s why both racism and for sure slavery is wrong every single time, ’cause we’re not God. No one should serve us. We serve Him, but this title of slave, and Him as our owner, as our Master, should work fantastic with God because of who He is. The first parallel that I want you to see with God and you is this parallel of exclusive ownership. In the first century, when a master owned a slave, they had exclusive ownership of that slave. No one else could have them. Now, as messed up as that is for humanity, is as right as it should work with God.
God is your creator. Jesus Christ, as we learned in Colossians One, is God’s agent of creation. That means Christ created you. Christ owned you. Just like the potter claims ownership over the clay. He created the clay. He made it work, claims ownership over the bowl. Just like the graphic artist owns ownership of the graphic that he or she makes. But not only did God create you and therefore He’s the owner of you, but God also, through Christ, paid a price for you. Paul will get into this in I Corinthians chapter six and we’ll dive into that a little deeper, but let’s just take a peek this morning.
Turn with me to I Corinthians six and let’s look at verses 19-20 together. Or at least go there and underline it and put it back in reference to I Corinthians 4:1, and make those two connect. What Paul’s telling you there is you don’t own yourself. God owns you. You were bought with, what does he say there? “You were bought with a price.” And church, would you tell me what the price is that God paid for you?
The blood of His son. That’s the price Jesus paid so you could be forgiven of your sin, was His own blood. He has exclusive ownership of you. As we go on, we see not only is exclusive ownership described in our relationship with God, but also the second parallel that John MacArthur brings out is complete submission.
That John MacArthur brings out is complete submission. We belong to Christ. He created us. He paid the price for us. He bought us. And church, that means He should be the one who directs us. We should be in complete and total submission to Him. Yet, in my own life, and you would probably agree with me, I find myself in complete submission sometimes not to Him, but to who? Oh, yeah, I don’t like it either. That man in the mirror. That complete submission to myself, to my desires and to what the world expects of me and wants from me.
Church, slavery implies submission, and whether you like the term or not, you are a slave. It kind of ruffles your feathers. It’s okay. Keep following me. You’re either a slave to sin, or you’re a slave to Christ. You’re either a slave to yourself, which is going to lead to sin, or the world, which is going to lead to sin, or you’re a slave to Christ. That’s just how it is. You can choose to be a slave to the world and never find happiness. All you’ll find is misery. Or you can choose to be in submission to Christ and be a slave to Him, and guess what you’re going to find? Happiness and contentment and joy and all the other things that God so desperately wants you to have, but not outside of Him, but in submission to Him. Listen, He knows you. He created you. He desperately wants you to be happy, but it only comes through submission to Him.
Jesus reminds us in Matthew, Chapter 6, that no one can serve two masters. He says in verse 24 of that chapter, “For either he will hate the one and love the other, or he’ll be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and … ” Here He uses the word, “wealth or mammon or money.” Now that’s the idea He’s going with there. You can’t serve both God and yourself. You can’t serve both God and the world.
Now, some of you are thinking in your mind right now, “I’m no man’s slave, master.” And I would say that’s an okay thought process, but where we go wrong is we would say, “I’m no slave at all. I mean, I’m no slave to God, whatever you call Him.” This is where the enduring, rebel, independent, American spirit will lead you astray. Listen, I love that spirit. That spirit, it really describes me. America was created with this love for independence, this founding and rooted in freedom. That is good. It’s what’s kept us from falling under tyranny, under a king’s rule in England, and the battle started in 1775, and what did we do? We declared it in 1776. That’s good.
It’s the spirit that we celebrate today. What’s today? Veteran’s Day. That’s that spirit you see in a veteran that’s willing to serve and to give his life or to give her life, and I was willing to, and I’d be happy to do it again, so that we can have things like independence for men and freedom from oppression. That is good when you’re looking from independence for men and freedom from oppression, but it’s bad when you seek independence from God. See, our founders understood this, and I’m afraid that we’ve forgotten it, that we need to seek independence when it concerns humanity, but, within, we therefore need to also seek dependence when it’s concerning God.
But I believe the independent spirit, in 2018, is starting to bleed over into our relationship with the creator. I’m independent of man. Okay. And I’m independent of God. Not okay. I hear things like, “I am my own man. This is just who I am. God’s going to have to accept me for who I am.” Are you kidding me? He’s your master. You’re His slave. Whatever He says do, you should do it, but not just do it, like, “Okay, well, I’m going to go clean my room now.” But you should have a desire to put yourself in servitude to the King of the universe and say, “God, I’m created to serve You.”
Don’t let your good American spirit of independence carry too far, which leads me to the third parallel between Christianity and first-century slavery, total dependence. The slave served the master and then was in desperation for the master’s provision: food, water, shelter. And boy, the masters throughout history, whether it be American history or any part of history where there’s been real slavery, they’ve really dorked that up. A terrible picture that they’ve portrayed. Bad and wicked masters. That’s not God. God is good. You serve the Lord, and you give yourself in complete submission to Him, and He will provide for you. And whatever He provides will be good because He is good.
What does Jesus say also in Matthew 6? It’s a great chapter that correlates with what we’re talking about today. Verse 33, He says, “You know what? You seek first the Kingdom of God. If that’s your first priority, all these other things that you’re worried about will be given unto you as well. You do what God wants you to do; then you let God worry about you.”
The fourth parallel that MacArthur sees in his book “Slave” is a singular devotion. See, you have complete submission to God because He is your singular devotion. Not two masters, one. Not two gods, one. You worship Him alone. Everything you do for Him is how you should live. And our fifth parallel is accountability to the master. This is where Paul is going to kind of work out the rest of the text and apply it to us. There’s some accountability that comes with having the title slave. There’s some accountability that comes with the title that Paul’s about to mention here of steward.
See, not only did Paul want the Corinthian church to label him as a steward … I mean, as a slave or a servant, and that’s why I want you to own that label as well. But he also says, “If you look at me, look at me not only as a slave, but I’m also a stewarding slave. In fact, more than that, I’m a faithful stewarding slave.” See, this idea of steward goes right there with slavery, but this also carries the context of being an estate manager or an estate responsibility person, the person that was over the whole estate. This was the highest position for a servant. This was the person that took his master’s property and ran it for him. He was the one that would hire new slaves and fire bad ones. He was the one that took the master’s money and made it work for the prophet of the master because the master is the one who owned the land.
Now, I don’t want to take this too far, but Paul wants you to know that he is not only a slave, but he’s also a steward. Church, you’re not only a slave. You’re a steward. Everything that you have and all that you are was given to you by God to be used for His glory. We are stewards. This building, this church building, this church of the people that’s in it, not mine and not yours. It’s His. The property, the money in the bank, the new buildings that we built, they’re all His. Your property … Oh, now we’re getting personal. “My property, I’ve got a fence around it.” Okay, it’s not yours. It’s His. Your bank account, not yours, His. You’re a steward of the master’s resources. How are you using them is the question.
See, this steward of the house had both the master’s authority and the responsibility to delegate that authority. It’s a huge responsibility, and Paul says, “Above all else … ” So tell me what I’m a steward of? What does he say here? “I’m a steward of the mysteries of God.” If you go back to chapter 2 and verse 7, Cody helped us understand that this mystery of God is the mystery of God’s salvation that came to us by way of Christ. Paul refers to it as the mystery or the mysteries of God because it was a mystery in time past that has been clarified through Christ and His sacrifice and been clarified through the preaching of the Gospel, and it’s not a mystery today.
The mystery of salvation is not a mystery anymore. It’s not a mystery to know that God left Heaven and became a man in Christ Jesus. Though he was innocent, He died a criminal’s death on a Roman cross to be the propitiation for your sins. Yes, that’s a good word, meaning His sacrifice took and absorbed all of God’s wrath that we deserved for sin. He was buried. Three days later, He did what? It’s not a mystery. He rose from the dead. A few days later, about 30, He went to Heaven. And what is He going to do one day? He’s going to come again in judgment. That’s not a mystery. What Paul is saying is I’m a steward of the Gospel. It was his responsibility not only to know it but to live it and to share it.
I have a friend that had fallen into this steward role when he was a football player in college. See, what the school president would do, he would host guests at the university that my friend went to, and he would put them in what was called these presidential houses. Now, he lived in one, but there were lots of other houses, and guests could stay there. So he would take the keys to the house, and he would pass it on to the football coach, and the football coach said, “Oh, I’m going to delegate that authority,” and he’d hand those keys, and he’d give it to a trusted football player. And they would be the ones that would greet the guest, unlock the door, let the guest into the presidential house, and make sure they had a good time. And when they left, he would usher them out, he would lock the door, and everything would be good.
Well, my friend was doing a good job. He got the keys from the president through the coach, and he opened the door and let everybody in. They had a good time, and I guess at the end of the weekend, they had a great time, so they left, and he made sure the house was clean, and he locked it, and he went on, but then he came back. Later that afternoon, he wasn’t a faithful or trustworthy steward because he opened the house back up, and guess what they had? A big-time party. And it wasn’t good. It got messy. It got a little crazy. He got found out. That’s not a trustworthy steward.
Look, when I go out of town, I’m looking for a household steward. What do we call them? House-sitters. We have some important things. And especially when our children are there and our dogs are there, and we’ve got things that we’ve bought and paid for we want to be secure, so when we leave town, we try to find a house-sitter. Now, here’s the two most important qualities in a household steward for my family: dependence and trustworthiness.
I have to be able to trust that person that comes to my home that they’re not going to steal the stuff that I’ve got. I have to trust that person is going to take the dog food and actually put it in the dog bowls, so my dogs don’t starve. I have to trust that person that, as soon as we leave, they don’t have this big party at our house and mess everything up, and they have to be dependable. They have to show up when they say they’re going to show up, and they have to stay and not leave early until we get back. Praise the Lord. Every time we’ve left, we’ve found a good house-sitter.
Here’s my question. Here’s where I’m going with that. Are you that trustworthy steward of the Gospel like Paul was? Because here’s the thing: God has given you the Gospel, not only for salvation, but also as a steward. Can He trust you with it? Do you represent it well? I’m going to dig a little deeper, so just bear with me. Do you represent that Gospel well in these walls and outside of these walls when you drive, when you work, when you interact with your wife, your husband and your children? Can he depend on you to not only represent it, but to share it?
That’s what the great commission is all about, to make disciples of the proclamation of the Gospel, to baptize them and to teach them. When God tells you to share it, do you share it? Oh, Paul was such a dependable and trustworthy steward of the Gospel. He had a good job before he became a Christian. He was a Pharisee. He came with a big title, probably some property, and one day money. He was probably going to be the high priest. He had this career set up for him. God said, “For the sake of the Gospel, I want you to leave all that behind. I want you to become poor for my sake and take the Gospel around the world.” And he gave it up.
In the world. And he gave it up. God says, “I’m gonna trust you with the gospel though you are living here, I want you to go there. What did Paul do? He packed a suitcase and he went there. He is a perfect example of what it means to be a good steward of the gospel. In fact, when he says, “I want you to go share it there.” Knowing that it meant they’re probably gonna stone you to death for sharing the gospel, he went anyway.
Now, I don’t know what it means for you exactly, to be a trustworthy steward. But I do know he must trust you with it to do with it what he wants you to do with it, and you must be dependable. Paul says, “I’m a slave to Christ. I’m a steward of the gospel.” Church, so are you. And this comes with responsibilities.
Let’s get into those as we look at verses three through five. Paul wants you to understand that ultimately, he along with you, we’re accountable. We’re accountable to God for our service as a slave and our duties as a steward. Now, Paul wants them to understand that he’s not really that concerned about how they judge him. But he’s really concerned about how God judges him. Notice what he says here in verse three, “It’s a very small thing that I may be examined by you. It’s not a big deal.” But notice he didn’t say, “It means nothing to me.” Paul knew that on some level, he actually was accountable to people. But compared to accountable to God, it didn’t mean very much to him. He says, “I don’t even examine it myself. I’m conscious of nothing against me.” That’s pretty bold, but Paul was a pretty bold guy.
But he was smart enough to understand that just because he couldn’t find anything wrong with himself, that ultimately, this doesn’t mean that he was acquitted. Look at verse four, “Because the one who examines me is not me, it’s the Lord Jesus Christ.” Notice the term that he uses here again. [inaudible 00:28:08] Lord, it means, the master judges me as the servant. Verse five, now here’s the application that finds it’s way through the Corinthian congregation, and I pray it finds it way in here today. “Therefore, you don’t go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes. Who will bring both the light to shine basically, on the hidden things in the darkness, and disclose the motives of men’s hearts and each man’s praise will come to him from God.”
Back to our independent spirit. I think it applies here as well. We often hear versus like this, and then also like in Matthew 7:1, you can bookmark that verse where Jesus says, “Don’t be judge or you will be judged. Our independent spirit, hears versus like this and we wanna say, “Mm-hmm (affirmative). There’s all the justification I need. Don’t judge me.” And what we mean by that is, “Don’t say anything about what I’m doing in my life. I am my own man, I am my own woman. I’m gonna do what I wanna do.” And then we use the bible to justify that kind of nonsense.
That’s not what Jesus is saying in Matthew chapter seven and that’s not what Paul is saying in 1 Corinthians, chapter four. What they are both saying is that, “You’re not god. You’re no man’s eternal judge.” Anybody know the motives of another man in here? We sometimes think we do, don’t we? But do we really? No. Anybody know the heart of another man or another woman in here? I know sometimes I think I do. “Look at them actions. I know their heart. I’m done with them. They’re not a Christian. They’re going to hell.” They’re this, they’re that. We make all these judgements. But do you know? No, you don’t. That’s Paul’s point, that’s Jesus’ point. You’re not the eternal judge. That’s God’s job. You don’t know the motives of the heart. That’s God’s job.
But what Paul is not saying, is that we shouldn’t be accountable to each other. How do I know that? Because for the rest of the book to Corinthians in the city of Corinth, what’s he doing with them? He’s judging them. The whole rest of the book. After he says, “Be cautioned how you judge people.” He goes on and says, “You’re doing this wrong, you’re doing this wrong.” And sometimes he names them by name. “Uh-huh (affirmative). You over there, you’re doing this wrong. That guy that was having incestuous relationship with his father’s wife,” he said, “You gotta stop that.”
He called out sin again and again and again. What about in Mathew chapter seven, after Jesus says, “Don’t judge.” You know what he does through the rest of the chapter, versus 16 through 20? He says, “You man not be a man’s eternal judge, but you are a fruit inspector. And if someone claims to be a Christian tree, you need to expect to see what? Christian fruit.”
Paul goes on to talk about church discipline. So he’s not saying we’re not accountable to each other in sin and laziness, that God wants us to be examining [inaudible 00:31:10] one another. I think the differences between eternal judgment, and here’s a great word, discernment.” You have to have a spiritual discernment. But here’s what we usually do, we usually go … We’re polarized in our nation today, and we’re like this sometimes spiritually, we either go one extreme or the other. We’re either on the extreme of, “Well, Jesus said in Matthew 7:1, not judge and whom ought to be a man’s judge.” And what do you do? You don’t saying anything.
Here’s the wrong part of that. You let your friends and your family members fall in the depths of sin without the gospel and you’re saying nothing as they’re marching to hell. That’s not good. Or we do the other thing. We say, “We’re not gonna say nothing at all.” Or we go to the other extreme. We’re like, “You didn’t tuck in your shirt today. Oh yeah, see that skirt that she was wearing, right above the ankles. What is she trying to tell me?” Right? We go to the other extreme. We start judging everything. Oh, we gotta find balance in judgment. How do you find balance? Turn to the scriptures. Listen to what Jesus and what Paul says about it.
I lament the stories that I’ve heard about good hearted intending, but hard nose deacons in churches that have prejudged, like Paul says don’t do here, people walking in a door because of what they wear, or what’s on their head. And they turn them right around, “You’re not welcome here.” What? I met a guy two weeks ago, in a community you may recognize, because it’s in us, that said, “Every time I’d go to church there when I was a kid … Now granted he lived a pretty troubled life. He owns that. “All I would hear from the leaderships is, they’d walk right up to me, like every time. “You’re going to hell.” Every time. “You’re going to hell. You’re going to hell. You’re going to hell.” They don’t add anything to the story just, “You’re going to hell.””
What? How should that work? Hey listen brother, let’ go to lunch, let’s go get some coffee, let me sit down and talk with you. These things in your life, they’re not consistent with Christlike behavior. If you live in this life in sin, and it’s apart from Christ, there will be consequences. And yes, that consequence may be eternal separation from God in a place called hell.” But to tell them, “You’re going to hell,” and not give them the solution, is that our job? No.
See, that’s the difference. And judging in a place where you shouldn’t be judged. When Jesus is talking about everything in the sermon on the mount, he’s talking about the heart. So when you do use discernment, you do look at people’s fruit, you have to do it with the proper perspective and the proper heart. Not as God, not acting like you know their heart or judging their motives, that’s God’s job. Guess what? He pretty good at it. But using discernment on how you interact with people and how you let your family interact with them. We could on and on. I pray that you would some balance in your judgment.
But the other thing here, if you look at versus three and four, [inaudible 00:34:15] he move into verse five he’s talking about judgment, it should also embolden you. Because what Paul’s saying in verse three and verse four is that “Yes, I know I have accountability with some of you. But as I’m following Christ the way that I know that I’m supposed to in the scriptures, and you may not agree with how I’m doing it, I ain’t worried about you. Because you’re not gonna be there with me at the day of judgment. I’m not worried about a human judging what I’m saying here, the day of human judgment. I’m worried about the day of Christ judgment over me. Because that’s the day I will find out if what I did is true and lasting and good.”
This should embolden you. This should cause you to have a backbone for the gospel. That when God tells you to do something and Christ tells you to do something, be like Paul and be like, “I’m gonna do it. With a proper attitude, but I’m gonna do it. And what you say about it, if what God tells me to do is what I need to do, I ain’t worried about it. I’m just gonna follow him.”
But here’s what we do instead of that, going back to my beginning illustration. We let so much of what the world is saying, and their opinions influence us. What’s crazy is, I’ve seen social media influence like university policies, court decisions, church policy, and a number of other crazy things. Let me just caution you, to not be influenced of the opinions of the world that are shoved in your face through social media. Be worried about the opinion of the guy who wrote this, and the Savior that you will be standing before. And then once you know what that is, move forward in boldness.
If you’re looking for something to do this week, let’s read verse five. “Therefore, do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes. Who will both bring light to the hidden things in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” If you’re looking for something to do this week before you run into pulling that speck out of your brother’s eye, I ask you to consider a question. Before I run and spend all my time wanting to judge them, do the classic thing like your mama told you, you’re point one finger at somebody else, how many fingers are pointing back at you? Usually three, right? That’s how I point. Like that. Consider the question, “How am I being a slave to Christ?” Ask yourself questions like, “Do I live like Jesus has exclusive ownership over me? Before I worry about them. Am I completely submitted to him? Am I totally dependent upon him? Does he have my singular devotion? Am I being a trustworthy steward?” Cause Church, he’s you’re master. And my encouragement for you today is, follow him.
May 12, 2019