1st Corinthians 4:5-6 (4 of 28) by Harley Howard

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1st Corinthians 4:5-6 (4 of 28)
Series: The Epistle of 1 Corinthians
Harley Howard

5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

The backdrop of this statement still has to do with the carnal divisions that were being done over preachers by the Corinthian church. Paul was ever so careful not to allow his own absence of immediate wrongdoing to cloud the reality that only the Lord has the final analysis of every and all of His own spokesmen. Their blind, carnal evaluations of Paul were irrelevant because only Christ' evaluation matters, not the Corinthian's not Paul or Apollos'.

Paul's example is a neon light to those of us preachers who can see it. It shines bright as an example that is worthy to follow.

The tendency of many preachers is to believe the "press" of the members of the sub-culture of "preacher-groupies" who sing your praises as they wait on your every breath for the golden bricks to fall from your wonderful lips. All of that is nothing short of blatant carnality and no preacher should fall into that trap. Instead, the wise preacher is to constantly discourage this attitude of carnality, both from the congregational lever and in his own mind and heart.

God alone knows the proper evaluation of His servants. Only He knows the motives of all of His servants. So then, personal evaluations and corporate evaluations are meaningless because only the Lord's evaluation matters and all who wait to the end will know the true evaluation of every preachers works and then the rewards or lack thereof. Thus, at the second coming of Christ those who have been faithful in their work for the Lord will receive praise from Him.

Paul has already spoken about the servant receiving "wages" from the Lord (3:8). We also looked at the parables of the talents in which ...


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