Fool’s for Christ’s Sake, 1 Corinthians 4:6-13
I read this passage the NKJV Study Bible this morning. The language is striking so I checked out the footnotes (I don’t always do that). The footnotes really really did shed light no what Paul says it means to be a fool for Christ.
Starting with 1 Corinthians 4:6-7, the footnotes added value. In these verses, Paul is asking the church to remain humble. Apparently, this was not seen as a virtue in Greek culture at the time. Paul is asking the church to stand apart from the culture to be Godly. I was raised to understand that humility was a virtue, but I am not sure that is true of the broader American culture. I look at the winner of a recent popularity contest (2016 U.S. presidential election) who is anything but humble.
The Language in 1 Corinthians 4:8-10, if I gather rightly, contrasts the inflated egos of the church with how they are perceived from the outside. Paul observes the Corinthian believers are full, rich, and reigning as kings. Meanwhile in Rome, followers of Christ have become a ‘spectacle‘.
1 Corinthians 4:11-13 notes the contrasts of how the world viewed the Corinthians (former) and how they viewed themselves (latter):
- fool’s vs. wise
- weak vs. strong
- dishonored vs. distinguished
Paul lists the suffering he has endured in his ministry: hunger and thirst, poorly clothed, beaten and homeless, reviled, persecuted, defamed, and made filth.
Yet, the apostles labor, bless, endure, and entreat.
If our own dignity smudged for the sake of Christ, we may count it as honor. So let me be a fool for Christ!
See my other humble ponderings: Guy Humble
Guy Humble is just a (not so little) old man that enjoys writing about the scripture he is reading. Guy hopes this practice will incrementally increase his understanding of God and God’s ways.
Guy is hoping to learn through writing. Guy asks that you feel free to add any insights or questions to the comments on his posts or shoot Guy an email for a more personal conversation.