1 Corinthians 4:10
We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are honored, but we are dishonored.
Against Self ConceitH. Bremner 1 Corinthians 4:6-13
Irony in ReligionE. Hurndall 1 Corinthians 4:8-10
Suffering for Others a Proof of Interest in Their WelfareR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 4:8-12
A Spectacle to AngelsC. Wadsworth.1 Corinthians 4:8-13
A Vivid ContrastC. Lipscomb 1 Corinthians 4:8-13
A Wonderful SpectacleWeekly Pulpit1 Corinthians 4:8-13
Apostolic IronyJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 4:8-13
Apostolic Treatment of VanityD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 4:8-13
Before the FootlightsW. Birch.1 Corinthians 4:8-13
Humanity Watched by AngelsD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 4:8-13
Man an Object of Angelic ObservationD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 4:8-13
The Difference Between the Counterfeit and the Real ChristianJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 4:8-13
The State of the Corinthians Contrasted with that of the ApostlesJ. H. Tasson.1 Corinthians 4:8-13
A Honourable OccupationT. L. Cuyler.1 Corinthians 4:10-14
Apostolic MeeknessJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 4:10-14
Honest LabourJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 4:10-14
Mammal Labour Gentlemanly1 Corinthians 4:10-14
Paul and the Corinthians: a ContrastProf. Godet.1 Corinthians 4:10-14
Paul's Treatment of Self Conceited TeachersD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 4:10-14
The Folly of PaulProf. Beet.1 Corinthians 4:10-14
The Triumph of the True ChristianJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 4:10-14
True ReligionJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 4:10-14

In the midst of his irony and sarcasm, Paul here reverts to the more natural habit of his mind. The self exaltation and self importance of the Corinthians were mingled with depreciation of the apostle, at least on the part of some. But alas! if his own converts, so deeply indebted to his labours and his care, could think slightingly of him, what earthly compensation could he expect for all the pain, hardship, contempt, and danger he cheerfully endured? Were not he and his fellow apostles like gladiators doomed to be flung to the wild beasts - "a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men"?

I. THE GRANDEUR AND SUBLIMITY OF THEIR POSITION DEMANDS OUR ADMIRATION. They were not as slaves cast to the lions. They were men who might have led a quiet and peaceful, and some of them an honourable and distinguished, life. But they gave their hearts to Christ, and having done so gave up all for him. There was no exaggeration in the apostle's language. On the contrary, he spoke the plain truth when he represented himself as standing before the universe as a witness to the Lord Christ. The position was one of dignity and moral impressiveness; the angels felt it then, and the world of humanity has come to feel it now.

II. THE PATHOS OF THEIR POSITION DEMANDS OUR SYMPATHY. We observe the bodily privations, the homelessness, the physical toil, the ignominy, the persecutions, the general contempt, which the apostles passed through; and we cannot observe all this unmoved. Doubtless it touched the heart of that Divine Saviour who was made perfect through sufferings; doubtless there were those who wept with their leaders when these were constrained to weep. Nothing in all human history is more profoundly affecting.

III. THE MORAL PURPOSE OF THEIR POSITION DEMANDS OUR APPRECIATION. The motives that induced Paul and his colleagues voluntarily to submit to such experience as they relate were two - fidelity to Christ and pity for men. Christ the Master had condescended himself to be upon the cross a spectacle to the world; and those who benefited by his redemption and shared his Spirit were ready to follow his example. They were the true followers of him who "endured the cross, despising the shame." And their aim and hope was to bring the world to the foot of the Saviour's cross. For this end they "counted not their life dear unto them." It was for the sake of their fellow men that they consented to brave the scorn of the philosopher and the jeer of the multitude.


1. It is a rebuke to self indulgence and ease. Shall we be satisfied and enjoy our ease in the midst of the world's errors and sins, when we call to mind the heroic and pathetic sufferings of our Lord's first followers?

2. It is a consolation under any contumely and discredit we may endure in the Christian profession and vocation for Christ's sake. "The like afflictions have befallen our brethren who are in the world."

3. It points on to the glory which shall be revealed. "Through much tribulation ye must enter into the kingdom of heaven." The apostles have ended their struggles, and now enjoy their victory; the Church militant will soon become the Church triumphant. - T.

We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ.
The better to serve Christ, Paul refrained from making acquirement of knowledge his chief aim. And many others have renounced a path which might have led to literary eminence in order to devote their entire energies to evangelical work. Again, by abstaining from teaching mere human learning and by preaching a gospel which in the eyes of men was folly, Paul became, and felt himself to be, in their view, a foolish man. In other words, because of his loyalty to Christ he passed among men as one destitute of wisdom (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:2).

(Prof. Beet.)

The contrast between the two situations enunciated in vers. 8 and 9 is expressed here in three antitheses, which are, as it were, so many blows for the proud Corinthians. The text is addressed especially to the principal men of the Church, but at the same time to all its members who share in the pretensions of these proud party leaders. And —

I. AS TO TEACHING. The apostles had to face the reputation of foolishness which the gospel brings on them, while at Corinth there is found a way of preaching Christ so as to procure a name for wisdom, the reputation of profound philosophers and men of most reliable judgment. As a Rabbi Paul might have become as eminent a savant as Gamaliel; for Christ he consented to pass as a fool. The Corinthians knew better how to manage: they make the teaching even of the gospel a means of gaining celebrity for their lofty wisdom.

II. AS TO CONDUCT. They came before their public with the feeling of their strength: there is in them neither hesitation nor timidity. The apostles do not know these grand lordly airs. Witness 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.

III. AS TO THE WELCOME RECEIVED FROM THE WORLD. The Corinthians are honoured, feted, regarded as the ornament of cultivated circles; there is a rivalry to do them honour. The apostles are scarcely judged worthy of attention; nay, rather reviled and calumniated. In this last contrast the apostle reverses the order of the two terms, and puts the apostles in the second place. This is by way of transition to one or two traits of detail in the apostolic life he is about to draw. Indeed "despised" is the theme of the following verses.

(Prof. Godet.)

The Corinthian teachers were "puffed up" with conceit. Paul treats them here with —

I. AN IRONIC APPEAL (ver. 10). "Ye have glory, but we have dishonour; we know nothing, you know everything; we are timid and feeble, but ye are strong and fearless; you are thought a deal of, but we are despised." How would our little penny-a-liners feel if such a man as Carlyle were to speak in this way? If they had any sense remaining, they would quiver into nothingness. How much more would those small pretentious teachers feel this stroke of satire from the grand apostle!


1. Here he refers to —

(1)His privations (ver. 11) — without nourishment, clothing, and the shelter of a home.

(2)His labours (ver. 12).

(3)His persecutions (ver. 13).

(4)The spirit in which he endured the sufferings (ver. 12).

2. Why did he state all this? Not for the sake of parade, but for the sake of bringing these proud teachers to their senses. They could not fail to feel that he was a pre-eminent minister of Christ; notwithstanding this, in the world he was treated with cruelty and contempt. What, then, had they to be proud of as ministers?

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

Even unto

1. Sacrifice.

2. Shame.

3. Suffering.

4. Toil.


1. Companionship with the best of men.

2. The approbation of God.

3. A certain and glorious reward.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

And labour, working with our own hands.
1. Is no disgrace.

2. Is a sign of true independence.

3. Is acceptable to God.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

When Bishop Patteson went among the South Sea Islanders they were surprised to see that he was ready to put his hand to anything. He would do a piece of carpentering, wash up things after meals, and teach the little blacks to wash and dress themselves. Other white men wanted to put all the work on them; so in order to mark the difference, they called the bishop a "gentleman-gentleman," and the others "pig-gentlemen." Jesus Christ, "the first true gentleman that ever breathed," was when on earth called "the Carpenter," and if one of His chief apostles, St. Paul, worked with his hands as a tent-maker, manual labour ought never to be thought derogatory to the dignity of a gentleman.

There are three vitally important choices to be made by young men, about which a few plain hints may be pertinent and useful. The first one is his occupation. "He who does not bring up his son for a trade brings up a boy for the devil," is an ancient Jewish provers. In America, too, many of the native-born youths eschew a mechanical trade as vulgar, and go scouring about for some easier "situation." If Benjamin Franklin, the printer, and Roger Sherman, the shoemaker, were alive now, they would tell their young countrymen what a foolish mistake many of them are making. So would Vice-President Wilson and Governor Banks, who said that he "graduated from an institution which had a factory-bell on the roof and a water-wheel at the bottom." In selecting your occupation, endeavour first to find out what the Creator made you for. Consult your natural bent and talent. If you have a talent for trade, then you may venture into a counting-room or store. If you have a native skill in chemistry, and are made for a doctor, then study medicine. If your mathematical capacity fit you for it, you may be an engineer. No one ever fails in life who understands his forte, and few ever succeeded in life who .did not understand it. Seek for a useful, productive calling, and steer clear of a career of "speculation" as you would a gambling den or a glass of gin. Don't be ashamed to begin at the bottom and work up. Remember that every occupation is honourable in which you can serve God and your fellow-men, and keep a clean conscience.

(T. L. Cuyler.)

Being reviled we bless.
Observe —


1. Reproach.

2. Persecution.

3. Calumny.

4. Contempt.


1. The experience of others.

2. The unaltered spirit of the world.


1. Meekly.

2. Patiently.

3. Christianly.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

He triumphs —


1. Unchangeable.

2. Bitter.

3. Variously manifested.

II. BY —

1. Faith.

2. Hope.

3. Love.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

Apollos, Christians, Corinthians, Paul, Timotheus, Timothy
Ailing, Christ, Christians, Christ's, Despised, Dishonor, Dishonored, Dishonour, Dishonoured, Disrepute, Distinguished, Feeble, Foolish, Fools, Glorious, Glory, Held, Honor, Honorable, Honored, Honourable, Intelligence, Labeled, Mere, Outcasts, Prudent, Repute, Sake, Seem, Shame, Shrewd, Strong, Weak, Weaklings, Wise
1. In what account the apostles ought to be regarded.
7. We have nothing which we have not received.
9. The apostles spectacles to the world, angels, and men;
13. the filth and offscouring of the world;
15. yet our fathers in Christ;
16. whom we ought to follow.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Corinthians 4:10

     8359   weakness, spiritual
     8365   wisdom, human
     8366   wisdom, source of
     8756   folly, examples
     8760   fools, characteristics

1 Corinthians 4:7-14

     5356   irony

1 Corinthians 4:9-13

     5398   loss

March 29 Evening
Riches are not forever; and doth the crown endure to every generation?--PROV. 27:24. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.--Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.--Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there will your
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

The Seventh Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans.
I have more than once had occasion to refer to this chapter, and have read some portions of it and made remarks. But I have not been able to go into a consideration of it so fully as I wished, and therefore thought I would make it the subject of a separate lecture. In giving my views I shall pursue the following order: I. Mention the different opinions that have prevailed in the church concerning this passage. II. Show the importance of understanding this portion of scripture aright, or of knowing
Charles G. Finney—Lectures to Professing Christians

June the Twenty-Eighth the Waiting Light
2 CORINTHIANS iv. 1-6. I can shut out the sweet light of the morning. I can refuse to open the shutters and draw up the blinds. And I can shut out the Light of life. I can draw the thick blinds of prejudice, and close the impenetrable shutters of sin. And the Light of the world cannot get into my soul. And I can let in the waiting light of the morning, and flood my room with its glory. And the Light is "a gracious, willing guest." No fuss is needed, no shouting is required. Open thy casement, and
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Of the Character of the Unregenerate.
Ephes. ii. 1, 2. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. AMONG all the various trusts which men can repose in each other, hardly any appears to be more solemn and tremendous, than the direction of their sacred time, and especially of those hours which they spend in the exercise of public devotion.
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

The Three Tribunals
'But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified; but he that judgeth me is the Lord.'--1 COR. iv. 3, 4. The Church at Corinth was honeycombed by the characteristic Greek vice of party spirit. The three great teachers, Paul, Peter, Apollos, were pitted against each other, and each was unduly exalted by those who swore by him, and unduly depreciated by the other
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

The Inner and the Outer Revelation.
THERE are many who believe that a loose indefinite infidelity has rarely, if ever, been more prevalent in our country than at this time, especially among young men. I am not prepared to say it is an honest infidelity, yet it may very probably be real. Young men may really doubt the inspiration of the Christian Scriptures, not because they have honestly studied those Scriptures and their numerous evidences, but because they have read them little and reasoned legitimately yet less. Especially have
Charles G. Finney—Sermons on Gospel Themes

Characters Will be Disclosed, and Justice Awarded.
"--Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both wilt bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall everyman have praise of God." St. Paul having professed himself a minister of Christ, and steward of the mysteries of God, acknowledged the obligations of fidelity, and disclaimed anxious concern respecting the opinion entertained of him by his fellow men, because the Lord was his judge, here adds a caution, reprehensive
Andrew Lee et al—Sermons on Various Important Subjects

Human Characters Determined Only by Divine Decision.
"But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment; yea I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself, yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord." Corinth was one of the principal cities of Greece. Enjoying every advantage of situation, it became rich and populous. Most cities in similar circumstances have become vicious. This became exceedingly so. The religion of Corinth was paganism, which naturally led to sundry vices.
Andrew Lee et al—Sermons on Various Important Subjects

Distinguishing Grace
We shall now for a moment or two endeavor to put down our pride by observing wherein God hath distinguished us and made us to differ, and then by noticing that all this cometh of him, and should be a reason for humiliation, and not for boasting. 1. Many of us differ from others in God's providential dealings towards us. Let us think a moment how many there are of God's precious and dearly beloved children, who at this moment are in the depths of poverty. They are not walking about in sheepskins and
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

Against Vain and Worldly Knowledge
"My Son, let not the fair and subtle sayings of men move thee. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.(1) Give ear to My words, for they kindle the heart and enlighten the mind, they bring contrition, and they supply manifold consolations. Never read thou the word that thou mayest appear more learned or wise; but study for the mortification of thy sins, for this will be far more profitable for thee than the knowledge of many difficult questions. 2. "When thou hast read and learned many
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Of Matrimony.
It is not only without any warrant of Scripture that matrimony is considered a sacrament, but it has been turned into a mere mockery by the very same traditions which vaunt it as a sacrament. Let us look a little into this. I have said that in every sacrament there is contained a word of divine promise, which must be believed in by him who receives the sign; and that the sign alone cannot constitute a sacrament. Now we nowhere read that he who marries a wife will receive any grace from God; neither
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

Of Orders.
Of this sacrament the Church of Christ knows nothing; it was invented by the church of the Pope. It not only has no promise of grace, anywhere declared, but not a word is said about it in the whole of the New Testament. Now it is ridiculous to set up as a sacrament of God that which can nowhere be proved to have been instituted by God. Not that I consider that a rite practised for so many ages is to be condemned; but I would not have human inventions established in sacred things, nor should it be
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

Letter I (Circa 1120) to the Canons Regular of Horricourt
To the Canons Regular of Horricourt [1] Their praises inspire him with more fear than satisfaction. They ought not to put any obstacle in the way of the religious profession of certain regular canons of S. Augustine, whom he has received at Clairvaux. To the Superior of the holy body of clerics and servants of God who are in the place which is called Horricourt, and to their disciples: the little flock of the brothers of Clairvaux, and their very humble servant, Brother Bernard, wish health, and
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Letter Xli to Thomas of St. Omer, after He had Broken his Promise of Adopting a Change of Life.
To Thomas of St. Omer, After He Had Broken His Promise of Adopting a Change of Life. He urges him to leave his studies and enter religion, and sets before him the miserable end of Thomas of Beverley. To his dearly beloved son, Thomas, Brother Bernard, called Abbot of Clairvaux, that he may walk in the fear of the Lord. 1. You do well in acknowledging the debt of your promise, and in not denying your guilt in deferring its performance. But I beg you not to think simply of what you promised, but to
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

In the examination of this subject I will-- I. Point out the common distinction between regeneration and conversion. 1. Regeneration is the term used by some theologians to express the divine agency in changing the heart. With them regeneration does not include and imply the activity of the subject, but rather excludes it. These theologians, as will be seen in its place, hold that a change of heart is first effected by the Holy Spirit while the subject is passive, which change lays a foundation for
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

Fundamental Oneness of the Dispensations.
Hebrews iii. i-iv. 13 (R.V.). "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High-priest of our confession, even Jesus; who was faithful to Him that appointed Him as also was Moses in all his house. For He hath been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by so much as he that built the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some one; but He that built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant,
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

The Preacher as an Apostle.
Gentlemen, in the two last lectures we have investigated two of the principal sources--perhaps I might say the two principal sources--of a minister's power--his manhood and his Christianity. These may be called the two natural springs out of which work for men and God proceeds. Out of these it comes as a direct necessity of nature. If anyone is much of a man--if there be in him much fire and force, much energy of conviction--it will be impossible for him to pass through so great an experience as
James Stalker—The Preacher and His Models

I. (Who first propounded these heresies, p. 11.) Hippolytus seems to me to have felt the perils to the pure Gospel of many admissions made by Clement and other Alexandrian doctors as to the merits of some of the philosophers of the Gentiles. Very gently, but with prescient genius, he adopts this plan of tracing the origin and all the force of heresies to "philosophy falsely so called." The existence of this "cloud of locusts" is (1) evidence of the antagonism of Satan; (2) of the prophetic spirit
Hippolytus.—The Refutation of All Heresies

Second Sunday after Trinity Exhortation to Brotherly Love.
Text: 1 John 3, 13-18. 13 Marvel not, brethren, if the world hateth you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby know we love, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath the world's goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and shutteth
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Against Vain Judgments of Men
"My Son, anchor thy soul firmly upon God, and fear not man's judgment, when conscience pronounceth thee pious and innocent. It is good and blessed thus to suffer; nor will it be grievous to the heart which is humble, and which trusteth in God more than in itself. Many men have many opinions, and therefore little trust is to be placed in them. But moreover it is impossible to please all. Although Paul studied to please all men in the Lord, and to become all things to all men,(1) yet nevertheless
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Of the Nature of Regeneration, and Particularly of the Change it Produces in Men's Apprehensions.
2 COR. v. 17. 2 COR. v. 17. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new. THE knowledge of our true state in religion, is at once a matter of so great importance, and so great difficulty that, in order to obtain it, it is necessary we should have line upon line and precept upon precept. The plain discourse, which you before heard, was intended to lead you into it; and I question not but I then said enough to convince many, that they were
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

Paul a Pattern of Prayer
"Go and inquire for one called Saul of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth."--ACTS ix. 11. "For this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting."--1 TIM. i. 16. God took His own Son, and made Him our Example and our Pattern. It sometimes is as if the power of Christ's example is lost in the thought that He, in whom is no sin, is not man as we are. Our Lord took Paul, a man
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

How to Preach the Gospel.
Text.--He that winneth souls is wise.--Proverbs xi. 30. ONE of the last remarks in my last lecture, was this, that the text ascribes conversion to men. Winning souls is converting men. This evening I design to show, I. That several passages of Scripture ascribe conversion to men. II. That this is consistent with other passages which ascribe conversion to God. III. I purpose to discuss several further particulars which are deemed important, in regard to the preaching of the Gospel, and which show
Charles Grandison Finney—Lectures on Revivals of Religion

A Burning and Shining Lamp.
(JOHN V. 35.) "Men as men Can reach no higher than the Son of God, The Perfect Head and Pattern of Mankind. The time is short, and thus sufficeth us To live and die by; and in Him again We see the same first starry attribute, 'Perfect through suffering,' our salvation's seal, Set in the front of His humanity...." MRS. HAMILTON KING. The Rest-Day--The Light of Life--Shining, because Burning--"Let your Light Shine"--A Light in the Darkness Our Master, Christ, was on his trial. He was challenged
F. B. Meyer—John the Baptist

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