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The Corinthians: ‘Reigning as Kings’; The Apostles: A Spectacle to the World

October 16, 2022 Preacher: Bob DeWaay Series: 1 Corinthians

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 4:8–10

In these verses, Paul uses strong irony to show the seriousness of the over-realized eschatology of his critics in Corinth. They are ‘already full, already rich, and begun to reign as kings.’ Paul sarcastically says that he wishes they did reign so he could be part of their would be kingdom. We explain these terms and how they are used to show the absurdity of their attitudes toward the apostles. He also uses analogy of a gladiatorial show to demonstrate their faulty attitudes. The apostles are those who would be at the end of a procession going into the arena as a spectacle. The Corinthians would have the best seats to watch the show. This terminology is designed to bring them to their senses and thereby stop making false judgments. Those who considered themselves the spiritual elite with their own splendor, leave the true apostles as dishonored in comparison. In the sermon we point out that many in evangelicalism today claim similar false honor at the expense of beloved saints who are wrongly shamed and left without help in their times of need and sorrow. Those who want glory now, claiming to be the spiritual elite, do not take passages like this seriously. This always harms the gospel and precious saints who assume they are failing. The fact is that those who trust Christ alone through the gospel have forgiveness of sins and the promise of future glory.