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We Must Prove Faithful

  1 Corinthians 4:1-5

“So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.  Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.  I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.  My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.  It is the Lord who judges me.  Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time;  wait till the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.  At that time each will receive his praise from God.”

“Entrusted” refers to someone such as a steward given the responsibility of managing a household for a master.

“Faithful” is the key concept.  The master has given you an assignment and the master will evaluate your performance.  What if some other evaluation comes along that judges your performance on a different criteria than the original responsibilities assigned by the master?  1)  “I care little if I am judged by you”, an individual on earth  2)  “I care little if I am judged . . .by any human court”, a   group or establishment on earth.  3)  “I do not even judge myself”, in other words Paul is   saying he does not even have the freedom to set his   own life goals nor to establish the criteria for self-  evaluation.

He can only do what he was assigned to do.  If someone, even himself, wants to change the assignment or the evaluation process, Paul must stay focused on the original assignment.

   See Jesus parable in Luke 19:11-27: 

a)         verse 13 “Put this money to work” is one Greek word and it   means “to gain by trading” and “to do business with.”  They   were given something that belonged to “a man of noble  birth.”  They were suppose to work for the man in his place   while he was gone.

b)         verse 14, another group is introduced as “his subjects” who “hated him”.  Apparently, in the noble man’s absence there are  two groups:

  1)  His servants, who had been given a portion to be   responsible for and to do business with.  2)  Subjects of his domain, but not his servants.  These   subjects were against the noble man and so they   would have been opposed to his servants carrying on  his business.

c)        Cities for coins.  The servants who were faithful to their assignments and carried on business in a potentially dangerous environment were rewarded cities for their increase in coins.  (A “mina” was a coin worth 100 drachmas or 100 days of pay.)

d)        Each servant started with one mina.  Ten servants turned in results.  We only have three of them.  One produced 10, another 5.

e)        The unproductive servant had his information about the noble man confused.  He did not live in the way the master told him to.  The noble man said “put this money to work” but instead he hid the coin.  He suffered loss upon the return and judgment of the noble man.

f)        The evaluation of the two groups (servants and subjects):  1)  Servants (Believers)  i)  Productive:  Coins turned into cities  ii) Unproductive:  Loss—  “Even what he has will   be taken away”   2)  Subjects who hated him (unbelievers)  i) “But those enemies of mine who did not want me   to be king over them—bring them here and   kill them in front of me.” 

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