1 Corinthians 4:6-13 “Not Prideful, but Humble”

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Jan. 23rd.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided as a listening guide each week. 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 4:6–13

[6] I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. [7] For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

[8] Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! [9] For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. [10] We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. [11] To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, [12] and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; [13] when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. (ESV)


  • We learn from the text that the Corinthian church had a pride issue
  • Pride – a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements.
  • There is nothing wrong with confidence or self-assurance.
  • Yet, if we begin to put more focus on us and others…rather than Christ… it is a problem.
  • The church/believers were boasting in their wisdom, talents and positions.
  • They were boasting in men rather than God.
  • We need to strive for humility so that we do not fall prey to the same sin.
  • Once we consider the WORD… who can boast?

Once we embrace the example of Christ… WHO CAN BOAST?

Phil. 2:6-8 – He humbled Himself

Matt. 11:29 – Gentle and humble in heart

Once we understand the gifting of the Spirit… WHO CAN BOAST?

The Church is made up of redeemed people that working together as a body and family.

  • We are individually called and uniquely gifted Rom 12:3-8
  • To Reach people with the Gospel
  • To Build up one another IN the Gospel

I have applied all these things – v. 6

  • Farmer – Working the fields for harvest
  • Building – Together with Christ as foundation
  • Servants – Under-rowers
  • Stewards – Managers of God’s gits

We are different by design – Working together – FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. FULFILLING THE GREAT COMMISSION

Once we evaluate our heart… WHO CAN BOAST?

Three Questions to ask – v. 7

For who sees anything different in you?

  • Do we consider ourselves as superior

What do you have that you did not receive?

  • Everything we have was given to us.
  • God has given us everything

If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

  • We boast as if we created… rather than received.

Three (sarcastic) Statements to consider – v. 8

  • You have all you want!
  • You have become rich!
  • You have become kings!


Once we consider the meaning of the cross… WHO CAN BOAST?

The apostles… as men sentenced to Death

  • They are a picture of the sufferings of Christ


A spectacle to the world

  • Treated lowly and on display
  • Slave in the coliseum

A nobody to the world

  • Fools, weak, dishonorable

A sufferer to the world

  • Hungry, poorly dressed, buffeted, homeless, laboring, reviled, persecuted, slandered

Worthless to the world

  • Scum. Dirt, Nothing

Therefore, we are humble and not prideful

We are Fools for Christ’s sake

We are Wise in Christ

  • We labor
  • We bless
  • We endure
  • We entreat

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