1 Corinthians 4:14-21

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Feb. 6th.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided as an outline each week for our Tabernacle Church Family. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:30 on Facebook. We also provide the services through YouTube by Sunday afternoon.  You can find our Worship Guides, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer List, and other resources at our Church Website.

1 Corinthians 4:14–21 - [14] I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. [15] For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. [16] I urge you, then, be imitators of me. [17] That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. [18] Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. [19] But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. [20] For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. [21] What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness? (ESV)


  • A true servant of Christ follows spiritual leaders that follow Christ
  • A true servant of Christ is leading others to follow Christ
  • A great dynamic of the Christian life is the idea of “leading and following”
  • The Barnabas – Paul – Timothy model
  • I am allowing someone to invest in my life as I invest in others.
  • This is a great picture of the CHURCH
  • 4 Generations…2 Timothy 2:1–2You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. (ESV)
  • Let us learn this morning the dynamics of this Leading and Following Life


It is an attitude and a mindset


A love for the church

  • Beloved agapao – the strongest form of love
  • A genuine love & care for another within the body of Christ

As Paul truly loved the church at Corinth. We too should have the same love for the meaning, purpose and gathering of the Lord’s Church.

A love for the people within the Church

  • Beloved Children – A fatherly love for the people of Corinth
  • Countless Guides – a leader, teacher. Someone responsible for watching over a young child.
  • Paul understood the nurturing role of people within the church

A love for maturing in the faith

Maturing in the faith = Growing and changing into the likeness of Christ.

  • Admonish – to instruct, teach, and warn.
  • To see that which is wrong become right
    • To realize the wrong/sin
    • Turn from it
    • Move in a different direction
    • PUT OFF AND PUT ON – Colossians 3:1–17
  • Motivated by love and concern (AN IMPORTANT KEY TO REMEMBER)


Our character

  • Imitators of me.  My ways in Christ
  • Our actions
  • 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. (ESV)

Our doctrine

  • Teach them in every church
  • Good sound teaching. Biblical truth
  • Transforming the mind. Rom. 12:1-2


Following the theme of spiritual father. Paul is reminding them of their current state (divided, factions in the church)

I AM COMING TO YOU SOON! (a stern warning)

Just like earthly parents. Our spiritual relationships have similarities.

  • Hard work
  • Can be messy
  • Commitment and determination are key

YET… He loved them, Lived as an example before them. SO THAT they could grow and mature as spiritual children.

  • Grow up/Transformed…Holy and pleasing to the Lord (Rom. 12:1-2)

Paul took this commitment very seriously…WHY?

Because it is God’s Kingdom Plan

  • v. 20 – For the Kingdom does not consist of words but power.
  • There words will mean nothing apart from the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • The power of God is that which works to bring about NEW LIFE

It is what we are called to do

  • We are a spiritual family.
    • Takes Discipline… the rod – Matthew 18:15-18
    • Spirit of gentleness

Proverbs 3:11-12 – [11] My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, [12] for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (ESV)

1 Thessalonians 5:14 – And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.


Col. 3:1-17 – [1] If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. [2] Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. [3] For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. [4] When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

[5] Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. [6] On account of these the wrath of God is coming. [7] In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. [8] But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. [9] Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices [10] and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. [11] Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

[12] Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, [13] bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. [14] And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. [15] And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. [16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. [17] And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (ESV)

Romans 12:1–2 – [1] I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [2] Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)

Matthew 18:15–18 – [15] “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. [16] But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. [17] If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. [18] Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven

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