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Sermons

Dividing Over Church Teachers (Pt.6): Neither Boast About Church Leaders, nor Presumptuously Judge Them

September 12, 2021 Speaker: John Bell Series: 1 Corinthians

Passage: 1 Corinthians 3:16–4:5

 Big Picture: The Corinthian Christians must forget their supposed wisdom and their boasting in certain leaders and assess their own status properly as people who belong to Christ. Furthermore, they must recognize that church leaders also belong to Christ, as servants who must be found trustworthy. Since Christ is their Lord, he alone will judge and the Corinthians should not rush in to do the Lord’s work before he returns. Wise leadership will be commended by God.

  1. God will destroy anyone who destroys his temple (3:16-17)
  • In the literary context, the way to destroy a church is to focus on worldly wisdom rather than the gospel. Thus, ways to destroy a church include dividing over teachers, focusing on less important issues instead of the gospel, or teaching false doctrine. Paul’s warning applies to divisive people in the Corinthian church, as well.
  1. So then, no more boasting about human leaders!” (3:18-21)
  1. Christian leaders must prove faithful to the one who has assigned them their fundamental task (4:1–4)
  1. Those who follow Christian leaders must recognize that leaders are called to please the Lord Christ, and must refrain from standing in judgment over them (4:5)

*This sermon owes a debt to D.A. Carson’s “The Cross and Christian Ministry”