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Paul’s Fatherly Exhortation: 1 Corinthians 4:14-16

November 13, 2022 Preacher: Bob DeWaay Series: 1 Corinthians

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 4:14-16

This sermon deals with how Paul confronted the Corinthian church with an appeal for them to imitate his way of living free from being status hungry. Paul had spent 18 months in Corinth and lived out the implications of the gospel. He accepted dishonor for serving Christ crucified.

When he writes “I exhort you” this statement picks up the beginning of his appeal in 1 Corinthians 1:10 using the same word in the exact grammatical form. This forms an inclusio which is the bulk of his teaching against factions and false judgments while embracing the gospel message of Christ crucified. To illustrate the importance of this, we spend much of the sermon in applications dealing with incidents in Luke where the disciples argued about who was the greatest.

In Luke’s gospel this creates tension and irony when these are juxtaposed with the majesty of God and Christ’s strong teaching about his journey to be rejected. The same issue shows up at the Last Supper. Jesus is determined to finish His mission to die for sins and ascend to the Father while His disciples debate their would-be greatness in relationship to one another. The final part of the sermon deals with the great unifying need of the whole human race: being dead in Adam. Only regeneration through faith in Christ will make a dead sinner alive. Looking for honor in this fallen world is foolish.