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Fools for Christ's Sake (10 of 30)
Series: THE BOOK OF I CORINTHIANS
I Corinthians 4:9-21
September 8, 2004
1. Last week we looked at (vv. 1-8), dealing with
stewardship...particularly, ministerial stewardship (vv, 1, 2).
2. As Paul continues on in (vv. 9-21), he begins to
discuss the suffering of those called to the ministry--especially the apostles. Throughout the following verses he contrasts the lives of the Corinthians with his and Timothy's. The Corinthians were living a life of relative ease, while the apostles were suffering and doing without (vs.11).
3. In (vs.9) Paul compares his plight with that of a
gladiator who is about to be thrown to the lions--he has become a spectacle to the world. He has been "set forth" or saved to the last...appointed to death.
ILLUS: It can be compared to prize fighting today. When there is a fight scheduled for the Heavyweight Champion of the World, his fight is always preempted by an amateur bout--one of minor significance. If they were to have the championship first, and the amateur fight last, no one would hang around to watch the amateur fight. Everyone wants to see the best, so it is saved for the last.
4. Let me give you two things to think about:
I. Suffering for Christ
II. Learning from Paul
I. SUFFERING FOR CHRIST
A. A comparison in their suffering (vs.10)
1. The Corinthians, in their own eyes and in the
eyes of others were wise, strong and honorable. Let's be reminded of what he said in (3:18-20).
2. On the other hand, the apostles were viewed as
"fools, weak and despised."
ILLUS: Let me see if I can illustrate this. When the Dr. Bob Schulers and the Rev. Jesse Jacksons of this world stand before throngs of people, they are lauded and given swelling accolades; however, when the Jerry Falwells and the James Dobsons are presented, they are often sneered at and considered "fools" for Christ's sake.
Let me see if ...
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