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Summary: Sermon 4 0f 17 on 1 Corinthians. Paul was a spiritual father to those he taught about Jesus. He writes of the work and trust that God gave him and others like him in the ministry of the good news of Jesus.

The Cost of Being a Real Father

Paul was a spiritual father to those he taught about Jesus. He writes of the work and trust that God gave him and others like him in the ministry of the good news of Jesus.

It is a work of fatherhood and spiritual nurturing that does not end with teaching.

It is living, breathing, blessing, and pouring out your life into the soul of your spiritual children.

Anyone can raise a kid into an adult. It takes a father to grow them into a Godly Person.

Look Back at 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 1: The Radiant King – The Wisdom of the Cross

1 Corinthians 2: The Unimaginable Uncovered – Spirit to spirit

1 Corinthians 3: A Radiant Temple – God’s Temple

Now let’s look at 1 Corinthians 4:

There isn’t much difference between being an apostle, a pastor, or a father

Are you going to cut a thin line or leave a wide swath?

I was speaking this past week to Tim Gieson, a business man who attends MCC with his family. He has helped grow a local software company from a small group of partners to 30+ employees who help to serve some 1500 cities and townships in Michigan. He commented that he really felt the burden of helping to provide for their families and that it was more than simply building a company - it was taking care of people.

It’s not about what you teach. It’s about how you live. How you live will determine whether you leave a thin line or a wide swath.

First: Serve God

1 Corinthians 4:1-3

1People should think of us as servants of Christ, the ones God has trusted with his secrets. 2 Now in this way those who are trusted with something valuable must show they are worthy of that trust. 3 As for myself, I do not care if I am judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself.

Servants of God

1People should think of us as servants of Christ, the ones God has trusted with his secrets. 2 Now in this way those who are trusted with something valuable must show they are worthy of that trust.

We are first and foremost in life the servant’s of God.

Oikonomos – It refers to "the steward" of the house. He is one that is entrusted with things. This is not a field hand. This isn’t a throwaway job that is meaningless. This is the important stuff.

Can you think of anything more important than being given responsibility for a life? Father’s your children are your greatest responsibility.

Physically and spiritually! You need to be the leader here.

It doesn’t matter what others think of you

3 As for myself, I do not care if I am judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself.

God is the judge of your efforts – no one else. It doesn’t matter what others think of your efforts. It doesn’t matter what the world court thinks of your efforts. It, frankly doesn’t matter what you think of you. God is the only judge that matters.

4 I know of no wrong I have done, but this does not make me right before the Lord. The Lord is the One who judges me.

It matters what God thinks

He entrusted to Paul the spiritual responsibilities of the gospel of Christ to the church in Corinth.

God has entrusted to me the spiritual responsibilities of the gospel to the church that meets in the Chippewa Middle School. Meridian Christian Church.

Whew, I’m off the hook. No, you are not. God has entrusted to you your children. You are Fathers and you have responsibilities. You are a steward of life.

Second: Pay the Price

1 Corinthians 4:8-13

8 You think you already have everything you need. You think you are rich. You think you have become kings without us. I wish you really were kings so we could be kings together with you. 9 But it seems to me that God has put us apostles in last place, like those sentenced to die. We are like a show for the whole world to see—angels and people.

10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are very wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You receive honor, but we are shamed. 11 Even to this very hour we do not have enough to eat or drink or to wear. We are often beaten, and we have no homes in which to live. 12 We work hard with our own hands for our food. When people curse us, we bless them. When they hurt us, we put up with it. 13 When they tell evil lies about us, we speak nice words about them. Even today, we are treated as though we were the garbage of the world—the filth of the earth.

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