Summary: Why would Paul bring up this subject? Because the Corinthians needed to decide who their authority would be.
WHO’S IN CHARGE AROUND HERE?
INTRODUCTION: A man wandered into the pastor’s study and said, “I’m looking for someone around here with a little authority.” The pastor replied, “I’ve got just about as little authority as anyone, what you need?” Who’s in charge around here?
Why would Paul bring up this subject? Because the Corinthians needed to decide who their authority would be. Would it be Paul or the Judaizers? They had challenged his authority and here he defends it. It was really a case of Satan challenging the word of God. He’s done so since the Garden of Eden.
Speaking of authority we need to:
I. Evaluate it Properly (v.7, 10)
Authority really has nothing to do with position or power (outward appearance). How can you tell if a person has authority? In the kingdom of God, it’s not if he has a superman image but does he have a servant’s attitude? It’s not whether he’s a strongman but is he a spirit-filled man? Paul refused to use his authority in an unspiritual manner. His purpose was to build up, not tear down. Don’t abuse your authority.
II. Exercise it Carefully (8-9, 11)
How a person uses authority is an evidence of his spiritual maturity and character. Authority swells the immature. It grows the mature. If you have to demand respect, you don’t have much authority. Authority doesn’t mean you are a dictator. On the other hand, don’t be a doormat either.
CONCLUSION: Who’s in charge? Jesus is! He’s quite capable of running His universe and His church. Do what He’s called you to do, and don’t embarrass Him.