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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

T4G: I Corinthians 4

Imagine arriving at a buffet where all of your favorite foods are laid out. Every single thing you enjoy to eat is sitting in the buffet, in just the way you like it prepared. How do you choose what to put on your plate? You know you can't eat it all, and probably won't be able to sample everything, how do you decide?

Last week, I sat at a Biblical Exposition Buffet Table. Honestly, I could post about each message for a week a piece. However, I've decided to show some restraint, and just post about the two messages that spoke the most to me. This does not mean they were the only messages that spoke to me, far from it! (RC Sproul did an amazing job breaking down imputed righteousness.)

What made me choose these two messages over the others (similar to standing at the ideal buffet table)? I picked the two that drove me back to my Bible the next morning, just wanting to soak up the passages again.

The first message was Mark Dever's message from I Corinthians 4, entitled Three Marks of a Real Minister. Dever broke the passage into three sections. From each section, I chose the two verses that challenged me most deeply, and will briefly explain:

1. Cross-centered message.--I Corinthians 4:1-7
1 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
7 For who regards you as superior? What R151 do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
I do not own the message, I am simply a steward. It's not my message, rather God's message that He allows men to proclaim. I must make sure I handle it in a trustworthy manner (v2).

Verse 7 probably stuck out the most of the entire passage. What have I earned? Nothing. All that I have has been given to me. I am not preaching my message, but must make sure I am faithfully preaching from the Word that has been given to us about the salvation that has been given to us!

2. Cross-centered life.--I Corinthians 4:8-15
13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
We are called to lay aside all of our "rights and privileges." Paul does not call us to a hypothetical, but rather, displays this for the Corinthians in the way that he has been treated. He has not looked to exalt himself, but has made sure the gospel of God's grace is where the glory is placed. He has not simply preached to them, but has poured his life into them and loves them.

3. Cross-centered followers.--I Corinthians 4:16-21
16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.
20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.
The true minister will also have people that follow. This is not because of his methods or practice, but because of the Word. If the sheep (true believers) hear His voice (as articulated by preaching the Word of God) they will respond (John 10:27). There may be times where a minister feels his ministry has "gone dry," but a pastor who has no following should probably check to make sure he is preaching the Word.

I've continued reading through I Corinthians 4 since the Conference. God's Word is so rich, only the depravity of our souls could explain why we aren't naturally craving it. As a pastor, I must make sure that I don't respond to that depravity (in either myself or others) and seek other methods beside preaching the Word of God. (By the way, you can hear Dever's message from the Word here.)


  • At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    # 3 is why we are at Grace.... The Word is preached! lg

  • At 10:12 PM, Blogger Charity said…

    I love your passion for the Truth of God's Word - you're my hero!


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