1 Corinthians 4:1-5 – “Faithful Servants”

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Jan. 16th.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:30 on Facebook at Tabernacle Facebook Page. We also provide the services through YouTube by Sunday afternoon at TAB YouTube.  You can also find our Worship Guides, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer List and other resources at our Church Website.

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

[1] This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. [2] Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. [3] But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. [4] For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. [5] Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. (ESV)


  • This portion of Scripture (1:10-4:41) is dealing with the division within the church.
  • In this section vv.4:1-21 Paul stresses the importance of our SERVICE to the Lord and His work.
  • The division was because they had lost their focus and direction.  A great way to stay focused…SERVE THE LORD AND HIS CHURCH
  • Today we consider the life of a FAITHFUL SERVANT

How are we Regarded?v. 1

Servants and Stewards


  • Under rower – under the authority of others
  • Lowly position.

Servants under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Serving him.
  • To serve Christ is to be “servants of the Word”
  • Luke 1:2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, (ESV)

Paul gives a great description of the servant’s life

  • 2 Corinthians 6:4–10[4] but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, [5] beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; [6] by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; [7] by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; [8] through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; [9] as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; [10] as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. (ESV)


  • Household manager
  • Responsibility of the belongings of others
  • 1 Peter 4:10–11[10] As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: [11] whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (ESV)

Steward of the mysteries of God

  • Hidden, only known by divine revelation
  • Managing what God has given us.
    • His Divine Truth as revealed in Scripture
    • THE WORD
  • God is known as the Word is proclaimed.
    • Taught, Shared and lived Out

How will we be Found? – v. 2


Required to be found faithful

  • Loyal/Faithful to one’s master
    • MORE THAN…I go to church, I believe in God, I do good things
  • Faithful with the divine truth given us
  • Faithful with our mission
  • Faithful with our life… our character…above reproach
  • Titus 1:7–9 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, [8] but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. [9] He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (ESV)

As stewards… what God has GIVEN US to manage

  • Too often we look for what we do not have
  • We need to realize what GOD HAS GIVEN US and be SATISFIED! (Content)
    • The Spirit – The Holy Spirit abides within us
    • The Word – Preserved and Perfect
    • Divine Power and Purpose – The Sovereign God of the Universe has saved us and called us.
    • Unique Giftedness (you be you!!!!)

Who will Judge us? – vv. 3-5

The Lord

There are two ways to consider this:

  • Do not get discouraged as the world wrongly accuses and judges you… God sees your heart.
  • DO BECOME CONVICTED if you think you can live a hypocritical life and fool the world… GOD IS NOT FOOLED
  • Galatians 6:7–9Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. [8] For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. [9] And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (ESV)

Who judges the faithfulness of our life (the eternal impact of our ministry)

  • No person
  • No Earthly Court
  • Not Even myself

King Jesus alone is the judge of the impact of my life and ministry

  • He knows my heart
  • He knows my motives
  • He knows the impact that has been made

We too often focus on the here and now, but remember that it is the Lord that sees ALL THINGS from a heavenly perspective.

The key is living out 1 Cor. 10:31So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (ESV)