Summary: As a Christian minister, how would you convince your congregation that you really loved them & that you were authentic in your leadership? Paul compares himself to a father caring for his children for whom he wanted God's best.



If you were a Christian minister, how would you convince your congregation that you really loved them and that you were authentic in your leadership? Paul compares himself to a father caring for his children. They were his beloved children and he wanted the very best for them. This was evident from the start. He had preached them the true gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone as the only way to salvation.

His leading them to follow Jesus should have been enough but false teachers caused them to doubt Paul's authenticity [credentials] and thus also what he taught. Paul therefore must put forth his case in a matter that he knows opens him up to the charge of boasting. He had just taught that it is not self-commendation but the commendation of God standing with one which show one approved. But he must go on and help them remember his ministry of love and care with them (CIT).




In verse 1 Paul asks his readers to put up with some foolish boasting. “I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me.”

Paul asks the Corinthian believers to bear with him as he talks a little foolishness. In other words, Paul felt foolish rehearsing his work and his credentials as a preacher of the gospel (11:16-21 ). What the apostle has to do is repugnant to him, yet it was necessary. Some times though legitimate self-vindication is demanded by circumstances. Paul is motivated by a troubled loving concern for the spiritual welfare of his children in Christ. He speaks about himself in order to counteract the in-roads of the intruders who have been boasting about themselves. Paul needs their continued attention that he might lead them back to the way of Christ [that he established and not for his own glory].


Paul depicts himself as a father (1 Cor. 4:14-15) and the Corinthians as his daughter who is being prepared for marriage in verses 2-4. Listen to his godly jealously for them in verse 2. “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.”

[“For indicates the reasons they need to bear with him.] Paul addresses the Corinthian church as a bride he has engaged to Christ.] The word betrothed [hērmosamēn ] is literally “fit together” and was used in classical Greek of a carpenter jointing wood together, of fitting clothes or armor together, and of arranging music. Paul sees his travail in bringing them to new birth in Christ the same way a parent looks at their children. He is responsible for their up-bringing and is jealousy of what they do with their life because he wants them to be pure because of the worthy one with whom they are betrothed. Engagement is an intimate and sacred relationship because of the great promise of future relationship it holds. This betrothal was to one husband to whom they should be preparing themselves to be married. The word one stresses that their relationship must be exclusive for it is no ordinary man but the Divine Christ.

Paul paints the scene of a father walking his beloved daughter down the isle on her wedding day. He is a father who lovingly and caringly seeks to nurture and mature his daughter (the Corinthians) so as to someday present her as a faithful, pure and undefiled virgin to a husband (Christ). This would not be easily accomplished because of the immoral religiously pagan society in which the Corinthians lived and the false teaching they were presently receiving.

Dear friend there is a great day of marriage that the Holy Spirit is preparing us for as we live our daily life. On that great day of the Marriage Feast of the Lamb we will be presented to our Betrothed, the Lord Jesus Christ! He will be ours and we will be His through out all eternity. Because we have that great expectation we purify ourselves to be pure even as He is pure (1 Jn 3: ). [The church is depicted as Christ’s bride in Eph. 5:23-32; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2.]

In verses 3 & 4 we learn that the Corinthians are in danger of being seduced by persons who would lure them away from the gospel and thus from their original commitment to Christ. Though they thought otherwise, they were in peril. In verse 3 we find that the tragedy of Eden was ominously close to re-enactment. “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

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