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Summary: Paul instructs the Corinthians on how poor he is and how poor they really are.

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NO BRAGGING

1 Corinthians 4:8-21

I. The Contrast Between the Rich and Poor in the Gospel (vv. 8, 9).

A. “Already you have become rich! You have become kings—and that without us!” (v. 8).

1. They were self-satisfied and thought they were mature.

2. They felt they did not need help.

3. They wanted to rule when they should be serving.

B. They were “like men condemned to die in the arena” (v. 9).

1. Paul tells them he wishes he could be a king like they thought they were. He infers he is like a poor prisoner.

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Rev. 3:17

II. The Contrast Between Wise Men and Fools (v. 10).

A. They were worse according to their own worldly standards.

B. Paul was a fool for Christ.

1. He could have compromised the Gospel and avoided persecution.

2. When Paul met Jesus he asked, “Lord, what would you have me to do?” and he really meant it.

3. When the Bible is our authority, we appear foolish to the world.

III. The Contrast Between the Strong Person and the Weak Person (v. 10).

A. Strength that depends on itself will become weakness.

B. Weakness that depends on God will become strength

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Cor. 12:9-10

IV. The Contrast Between the Honored and the Dishonored (v. 10)

A. The Corinthians were concerned about worldly honor.

B. Paul and the apostles were not honored by the world.


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