Commentary on First Corinthians

 October 4, 2012


Commentary on First Corinthians
By: Tom lowe

Topic #2: The Problem of Divisions, 1 Corinthians 1.10-4.21

 

Lesson 2.8: Servants of Christ and Their Work
 Scripture: 1 Corinthians 4.1-4.4


1 Cor 4:1-4 (KJV)

All ministers are servants of Christ
1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.


Introduction

In this chapter we have an account, of the constancy of the apostle and his fellow-laborers in their work.
• Their constancy is declared (v. 1).
• Their sincerity is affirmed (v. 2).
• An objection is anticipated (v. 3, v. 4).

Many Corinthian believers were rejecting both Paul’s teaching and his authority. Paul reasserted his authority over them, all the while emphasizing his role as “servant” and “steward” of the mysteries of God—the truths of the gospel. A “steward” (Gk. oikonomos) is the servant who is entrusted with the administration of his master’s business or property. Life, itself is a stewardship, so be faithful (vv. 1–5). We judge ourselves, and others judge us; but the Final Judge is the Lord. Live to please Him alone.


Commentary

1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

It follows from what was said in the previous chapter that the people should regard their ministers as the servants of Christ, and dispensers of the truths which God had revealed.

Let a man so account of us,
Although the apostle had said before that he, and other ministers of the Gospel, were not anything when compared to God, and, as far as the churches are concerned, they belonged to them; they were for their use—to lead and benefit them; however they were not to be trampled upon, and treated with contempt, but they were to be known, esteemed, and honored for their works' sake, their respective positions, and personal character; and although they were mere men, they were not to be considered as private men, acting in a private capacity, but in a public office, and as public preachers of the word; and they were not to be regarded as lords and masters over God's Christians, but as servants of the church. They are to listen to what they have to say, as if they were sent to them by God, which they were: they were to receive as it were at their hands the treasure of salvation which is drawn out of the secrets of God.

So account of us. Paul makes a request of the Corinthian believers; that he, and the other apostles (us) be regarded as servants. Paul had a real problem with the Corinthians; they tended to look down on him and not respect his apostolic authority. In carefully chosen words, Paul will show the Corinthians how to have a proper regard—not too exalted, and not too low—of him and the other apostles.

us--Paul and Apollos, and the other apostles.


as the ministers of Christ,
We are all “the ministers of Christ.” Every believer is a minister of Christ. Sometimes a member of a congregation will say, “There is my minister.” Well, I hope he is a minister of Christ instead, because he is responsible to Him. And you, as a minister of Christ, are responsible to Him. We are all ministers. You are a preacher whether you like it or not. Now don’t get angry with me for saying that. I heard this story from a preacher on TV. “There was a man living near our church in Pasadena, when I was pastor there, who was an alcoholic, a real sot. He lived with his mother who was a wonderful Christian lady, and she asked me to talk with him. One day when I saw him staggering down the street, I just sort of detoured him into my study. He sat down and I told him what a sorry person he was. He agreed with every bit of it. Then I said to him, “Do you know that you are a preacher?” Well, he stood up and said, “Don’t you call me that—I’ll hit you!” He didn’t mind being called a drunkard or an alcoholic, but he certainly didn’t want to be called a preacher! Well, we are all preachers. As I told him, ‘We preach some message by our lives. You are saying something to the world and to those around you by your life. You can’t help it. I live my life unto you and you live your life unto me. It’s just that way. We have that kind of influence.’” My friend, if you are a believer, you are a minister of Christ. What kind of message are you giving?

Ministers of Christ are not heads of the Church in whom you are to personally pay tribute to: “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ” (1 Co. 1.12; KJV). There appears to have been four rival parties in the Corinthian Church. Those who professed to follow Paul; perhaps because he was the most inspirational teacher. Then there were those who professed to follow Apollos, the gifted orator from Alexandria. Others claimed to follow Peter, or Cephas as he is listed in the text. These may have been Judaists or, more likely, they were those who preferred Peter because he represented more authority, since he was with Christ in His earthly ministry. Then there were those who renounced all the others, and claimed only Christ. What special advantage this last party claimed is not certain. But they were just as disruptive as the others since they degraded the Lord to the level of a party leader.

The headship belongs to Christ alone; we are only His servants ministering to you: “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Co. 3.21-23; (KJV). It is only because of our relationship to Christ who is Lord of all, that all of these benefits accrue. Christ is God’s; He is not subordinate to God, as the believer is to Christ; rather, He is the Anointed One of God. He is God in the flesh, “reconciling the world unto himself” (II Cor 5:19). Christ is the Head of the church and the Head of every believer.

The word rendered "ministers," means, literally, "under-rowers." The picture is that of a ship propelled by oars. The church is the ship; Christ commands; ministers are the under-rowers, who only obey orders. Since they have no right to give orders, no parties should be formed around them. The cargo would be Christians, who also receive their orders from Christ.

and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Again there is a change of image, this time from minister or servant to steward, also a servant. Generally a steward was a slave in the master’s household who is entrusted with property. Although ministers are not to be looked upon as if they were masters of the household, that have power to dispose of things in the family at their own pleasure; nevertheless they are to be regarded as stewards, the highest officers in the house of God, into whose care are committed the secret and hidden things of God; whose business it is to dispense, and make known, the mysteries of divine grace; such as the doctrine of the Trinity, the incarnation of Christ, the union of the two natures, divine and human, in his person, the church's union to Christ, and communion with him, along with many other things contained in the Gospel they are entrusted with.

Stewards—“And the Lord said, Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall set over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?” (Luke 12:42; (ASV). “According as each hath received a gift, ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10; ASV). The steward, or oikonomos, was his master's agent in managing almost everything that concerns the family; providing food for the household, insuring that it was served at the proper times, and in proper quantities. He received all the cash, paid it out when it was necessary for the support of the family, and kept exact accounts, which he was required at certain times to lay before the master.

And stewards of the mysteries of God—What did Paul and the other apostles "manage" in the household of God? Among other things, they were stewards of the mysteries of God. They "managed" (in the sense of preserving and protecting) and "dispensed" (in the sense of distributing) the truth of God. Whenever Paul would hear criticism of his style of preaching, he could simply ask "Did I give you the truth?" As a good steward, that's all he really cared about.

Here we have that word mystery again. Remember that mysteries are those things which had not been revealed before but are now made known. The mysteries cannot be understood by the natural man. It is only the Spirit of God who can take the things of Christ and show them to us. The “mystery” here is actually the gospel, the Word of God. Since we are stewards of the “mysteries of God,” we are to dispense those mysteries.

Notice that a minister of Christ is a “steward of the mysteries of God.” In Paul’s day, a steward was the person who managed the household for the owner. He had charge of the house, the food, the clothing, and that sort of thing. He would give out things to the household as they needed them. In a similar way, a minister of Christ should dispense the Word of God to the members of the household.

After concluding His “mystery parables” in Matthew 13, “Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord” (Matt. 13:51). I’m inclined to think that they didn’t really understand at that time; Jesus doesn’t say whether or not they understood Him. But He does go on to say to them, “… Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old” (Matt. 13:52). That is what a steward of the mysteries of God should be doing—bringing forth out of the Word of God things new and things old. People sometimes say to me after a Bible study or after a sermon, “That’s old. I’ve heard that before.” I answer, “Well, I am a steward to bring forth things both new and old. Today I brought forth a little of the old. It is my business to bring forth the old as well as the new.” That is the calling of a steward of the mysteries of God, and I can’t think of any calling higher than that.

It is implied in this verse:
1. That the office of a minister is one that is subordinate to Christ—they are his servants.
2. That those in the office should not attempt to be the head of a sect or party in the church.
3. That the office of minister is honorable in the same way that the position of a steward is honorable.
4. That Christians should attempt to carry out and cherish the righteous ideas of ministers; to give them their true honor; but not to overrate their importance.

 

2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Moreover, it is required in stewards,
The apostle having just mentioned that the character of Gospel preachers must be like that of stewards, points out that particular character trait which is most necessary. The Greek word for Stewards is oikonomos.  He was usually a slave in the master’s household who is entrusted with property, while remaining subordinate to the master. However, in the latter part of this verse there is particular stress on accountability. He must render account for the manner in which he carries out his master’s orders. It was a very important position and required “that a man be found faithful.” Furthermore, the appropriate person to pass judgment on the faithfulness and trustworthiness of a steward was not to be found among the people who knew the steward or did business with him, but he was the steward's lord. The next three verses will deal with that thought. “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10; KJV).

that a man be found faithful.
A steward must be faithful to the trust placed in him by his lord and master which appointed him to this office, and to the souls that are under his care. The same thing is true of a minister; that it can be said of him that he was faithful. I once had a pastor that liked to say, “You may not be able to teach a class, serve as a deacon, sing in the choir, or work in the nursery, but you can be faithful.” With God’s help, we can all be faithful to Him. It may be the best thing that can be said of any preacher; that he preaches the pure Gospel of Christ without any human wisdom or doctrines mixed in; and that he preached the whole Gospel, keeping back nothing which may be profitable for winning the lost and feeding the saints. The faithful Gospel preacher seeks to please God, and not men; he does not desire his own glory, and the applause of men, but he labors to bring honor to Christ, and to promote the good of His people: and the apostle was such a faithful steward.

Faithfulness is required of stewards principally because it is an office of trust; because the master's goods are at his disposal; because there are so many opportunities for the steward to take those goods for his own use, and his master cannot discover it. Faithfulness is expected of ministers; it is the main thing required of a man in their office. In other offices other virtues may be required. But here faithfulness is demanded. There is a strong similarity between the office of a steward and that of a minister of the gospel. But it is not necessary for us to dwell here on the resemblance. The idea Paul has seems to be:
1. That a minister, like a steward, is devoted to his Master's service, and should regard himself as such.
2. That he should be faithful to that trust and not abuse or violate it.
3. That he should not be judged by his fellow-stewards, or fellow-servants, but that his main desire should be to meet with the approval of his Master. A minister should be faithful for obvious reasons:

a. because he is appointed by Jesus Christ;
b. because he must answer to him;
c. because the honor of Christ, and the welfare of his kingdom, are entrusted to him; and
d. because of the importance of the matter committed to his care; and the importance of faithfulness can only be measured by the consequences of his labors on behalf of those souls in an eternal heaven or an eternal hell.

Note: A failure to teach people God's truth leaves the blood of the lost on the hands of unfaithful stewards who neglected or refused to teach it.

God's steward is not concerned with the judgment of man, in man's day, but with the Lord's judgment on His great day. This is another argument against the Corinthians for their preference for certain teachers because of their gifts: whereas what God requires in His stewards is faithfulness—“And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken” (Heb 3:5; (ASV)—but one difference between stewards and ministers is that the former must wait for man’s judgment while the latter must wait for the testing which will happen on the day of the Lord.

Notice that it is not required of a steward to be an eloquent speaker or to have many gifts, only that he is faithful to the ministry his Master has given him. There are so many who will be rewarded someday, not because they did some great thing or had some great gift, but because they were faithful in what they did and how they did it. I learned over the years that there were always the faithful few. I could depend on them. And I knew where they stood.

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.

The subject of verse three is the criticism of a faithful steward.

But with me it is a very small thing
What the apostle is saying in this phrase is; “It is a matter I am not concerned much about. Since I am a steward, I am only answerable to my master. It is a matter of small concern what men think of me, provided I have his approval.” Paul was not insensitive to the opinion of people; but he did not court their favorable estimation of him, because compared with God's judgment, theirs almost comes to nothing. The principal thing which he regarded, which shows how unequivocal was his desire to serve and please the master who had appointed him to his office was the Lord’s approval. It mattered little or nothing at all, what others thought of him and how viciously they criticized his faithfulness in the ministry not even by the Corinthians themselves. The essential matter with Paul was not that the Corinthians should judge him a faithful steward, or that he should be faithful in his own judgment, but that the Lord shall count him faithful. Of course, some of the factions at Corinth belittled Paul.

that I should be judged of you,
It is not that the apostle refused to accept, or that he despised the judgment of the Corinthian Church, He may even have accepted their criticism, if they represented the majority of the congregation, and met together in the fear of God, to pass judgment on his ministry, and his faithfulness in it; but he made it a matter of small concern to him, because he knew they were under the influence of the false teachers, who had insinuated many things among them for the purpose of  damaging the apostle's reputation. Therefore he considered it a small thing, rejected it, and refused to submit to it, and to any mere human judgment.

That I should be judged—The word rendered "judged" means to examine the qualities of any person or thing; and sometimes, as here, to express the result of such examination or judgment. Here it means to "blame" or "condemn."

Of you—By you. He could have said something like this: “As dear as you are to me as a church and a people, nevertheless my main desire is not to secure your respect, or to avoid your criticism, but to please my master, and secure his approval.”

Putting the first two phrases together we have; “It is a very small thing that I should be judged of you. Those who preferred Apollos or Cephas over St. Paul, would of course give their reasons for this preference; and these might, in many instances, be very unfavorable to his character as a man, a Christian, or an apostle; but this was a small thing, since he did not seek his own glory, but the glory of God and the salvation of their souls.

Apostles were no more than servants of Christ, but they were not to be undervalued. They had a great trust, and for that reason, they held an honorable office.

or of man's judgment:
Or of man's judgment—Of any man's judgment. What he had just said, “that whatever their opinion of him might be, it was a matter not worth his consideration,” may seem to look like arrogance, or appear as if he looked upon them with contempt. In order to avoid this false impression, he says here that it was not because he despised them, or regarded their opinion as of less value than that of others, but that he had the same feelings in regard to all people. Whatever might be their status, character, talent, or learning, he regarded their opinion of him as a matter of the least possible consequence. He was not answerable to them, but to his Master; and he could pursue an independent course regardless of what they might think of his conduct.

It is comforting to know that men are not going to be our final judges. And it is not through having a favorable opinion of ourselves, or justifying ourselves, that we will become safe and happy. The person that would be faithful to Christ must pay no heed to the contempt of men for His sake. He must look upon it as a very little thing (if his Lord approves of him) what opinion men form of him. They may think very shamefully or very honorably of him, while he is doing his duty; but it is not by their judgment that he will stand or fall. And faithful ministers are glad that they have a more honorable and truthful judge than their fellow-servants; one who knows and pities their imperfections, though he has none of his own. It is better to fall into the hands of God than into the hands of men; “And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man” (2 Sam 24:14; KJV). The best of men are too apt to judge rashly, and harshly, and unjustly; but His judgment is always according to truth. It is a comfort that men are not to be our final judges.

Can, or should, every Christian today have the same attitude? Should we have no or little regard for what other Christians think about us, and just say he who judges me is the Lord? We can only say this, in the full sense that Paul means it, if we are apostles. If the Corinthians were to claim that Paul could not judge them, and that they would simply wait for God's judgment, Paul would remind them that he is a father to them, and has the right to correct their behavior.

yea, I judge not mine own self.
Paul exclaims, “I judge not my own self”—In other words, “I do not attempt to pronounce a judgment on myself. I am aware of my imperfections, and of being influenced by self-love. I do not believe that if I were to judge myself that I could be impartial, and trusted to do the right thing, since my opinion of myself would always be favorable.” He may have designed these words to soften what he had just said about their judging him, and to further show what little value can be placed on the judgments which man may form. "If I do not highly regard my own opinion of myself, I cannot be suspected of undervaluing you when I say that I do not respect your opinion; and if I do not highly regard my own opinion of myself, then it is not to be expected that I should set a high value on the opinions of others"—God is the only infallible judge; and since we and our fellow-men are liable to be biased in our opinions, due to envy, ignorance, or self-love, we should regard the judgment of the world as of little value.

It is certain, that as a spiritual man, he judged all things, and so he judged himself, his demeanor, circumstances, and condition; he examined his own heart and behavior, and was able to form a judgment of what he was and did; nevertheless he chose not to stand and fall by his own judgment. And since he would not accept his own judgment, even though he knew himself better than anyone else could possibly know him, he would not subject himself to their appraisal, or to any human judgment, by people who were strangers to him. “I will not judge myself, but I will leave that up to God, whose I am, and whom I serve.

There is a day coming, that will bring men's secret sins into the light of day, and reveal the secrets of their hearts. Then every slandered believer will be justified, and every faithful servant accepted and rewarded. The word of God is the best measure with which to judge men. Pride is usually at the bottom of quarrels. Self-conceit contributes as much as anything to produce unwarranted esteem for our teachers, as well as for ourselves. We will not be puffed up and pit one preacher or teacher against another, if we remember that we are all instruments, employed by God, and endowed by him with various talents.

 

4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

For I know nothing by myself;
Verses 4 and 5 could be considered together since they deal with the manner by which this faithful steward is justified, but that is not the method we have followed in the past; preferring to unravel one verse at a time. Paul says, “I know nothing by myself,” by which he means “I know nothing against myself;” but, this statement must be restricted to the subject of this passage, faithfulness in the ministry. It was the testimonial which a holy and faithful man could make regarding the integrity of his public life, and it is a pronouncement every minister of the gospel ought to be able to make. He was certainly a faithful minister of Christ, but he knew a great deal about himself; he was aware of his indwelling sin, and the corruption of his nature, which he sometimes found very strong and prevalent within him, and of the daily failings of life; but as far as his ministerial service is concerned, he honestly declared what he knew to be the opinion of God; he had done nothing that would offend God or men, his conscience was clear. He could not say this about his entire life, because before he met Christ on the Damascus Road, he was the greatest persecutor of Christians. Now he could say, “Others may accuse me, but I am not aware of anything that could condemn me, or render me unworthy of this office." It was this sort of total commitment that gave Paul the authority to make such a statement as “be ye followers of me” (I Cor 4:16; 11:1). Also, “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27; KJV).

These two verses (vv. 4 & 5) present the three courts before which we all must appear. They may seem to be rather difficult verses, but actually they are not. They tell us that you have no right to sit in judgment on me, and I have no right to sit in judgment on you because we both are going to stand before a higher court.
1. The first court is the lower court. It is the court of the opinion of others. He says, “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or by man’s judgment.” Phillips, in his paraphrase, gives an excellent interpretation of this. “But, as a matter of fact, it matters very little to me what you, or any man, thinks of me …” (1 Cor. 4:3, PHILLIPS). That is not a literal translation, but it is a good interpretation. This is a striking statement, and it may sound as if Paul were antisocial. However, Paul was not callous or contemptuous of the opinion of others. He was not immune to the assessment of those about him. He defended his apostleship with great feeling when he was challenged by his critics. He was always hurt by false rumors. Right here in this very chapter he made mention of it: “Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day” (vv. 11–13). You can see that Paul was very sensitive to the opinions of others; yet his life was not directed by them. They were not at the steering wheel of his life.
2. The second court is a higher court. It is the court of one’s own conscience. “Yea, I judge not mine own self.” Is conscience a safe guide? Paul says that it is not an accurate guide. We are to be led of the Spirit. Christians should have an enlightened conscience. When it rebukes us and tells us that we are wrong, we should obey it. However, our conscience can also approve our easygoing ways and can appeal to our vanity and can flatter us. Then we should beware of it. We all stand or fall before this court.

An honest man will not be guided by the opinion of others, but he will do what he thinks is right. It is a brave formula. It is a noble rule. Yet Paul said that he didn’t follow it: “… I don’t value my opinion of myself … but that doesn’t justify me before God” (1 Cor. 4:4, PHILLIPS). It wasn’t that Paul knew some bit of evidence against himself. On the contrary, he says he knew nothing against himself, but that still didn’t clear him before God. It is characteristic of our human nature to be harsh on others and very lenient with ourselves.

That was David’s problem. He could see the evil in someone else, but he couldn’t see it in himself. How about us? When others hold tenaciously to some opinion, we call them contentious, but when we do it, we are showing the courage of our convictions. Others cause divisions and make trouble, but we are standing for what is right. Others are backslidden when they forsake God’s house, but we have a good reason. You know we are not very apt to be severe upon ourselves. We always like to cast ourselves in a leading role, and generally we distort it.

No, we do not stand or fall before ourselves. God may reverse the decision of this second court, the court of our own conscience.

There is a third court before which we must stand; but we will discuss that one at the end of this chapter.

yet am I not hereby justified:
Paul recognized that even he was not competent to adequately examine himself, because he may be deceived, and that he does not stand in a perfect state of justification or innocence just because he was not aware of any failure in doing his duty and because his conscience was clear. He knew that God the Judge could see his imperfections where he could see none, and that his righteousness came from Jesus, not from his own personal life—even though he had a godly walk. Arthur Custance observes, “Man is totally irrational in his attitude and assessment of his own nature. He is a fallen creature with a heart that is desperately wicked above all else—“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer 17:9; KJV)—and a mind that has to be renewed from all fault and blame, which might possibly escape his knowledge and observation; for in many things all offend, and no man can understand all his errors; and there might be some mistakes which the apostle was not privy to, or conscious of; and were he even free from all, he declares, that such an unstained integrity, in the discharge of his ministerial work, was not the matter of his justification before God, nor did he depend upon it: “And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2; ASV). (A. C. Custance, Man in Adam and in Christ, p. 17).

but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
This is a third court before which we must stand (see above)—“he that judgeth me is the Lord.” The Supreme Court is the one and only Master; it is the bema or the judgment seat of Christ. Paul says that he is going to stand someday before the judgment seat of Christ. Each one of us will appear before that judgment seat. (He will say more about this in chapter 5 of his Second Epistle to the Corinthians.)

What is going to be judged there? We know that we will not be judged for our sins because a believer’s sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalms 103:12; KJV). Our sins are under the blood of Jesus Christ and God remembers them no more. The believer will be judged for his stewardship. All our physical possessions—our bodies, our material resources, our giving—these are the things that will be brought up for judgment. So you can see that being a faithful steward is very important.

After all, we own nothing. We have learned before that all things are Christ’s and that we belong to Him. We are in partnership with Him. We saw at the close of chapter 3 that all things are ours (v.3.22). Paul is ours and Apollos is ours, Calvin is ours and John Wesley is ours and Martin Luther is ours and Billy Graham is ours. This world we live in is ours—we can enjoy the beauty of its scenery, the mountains, the trees, the ocean, and life itself. (I wouldn’t want to be dead today, would you?) But even death is ours! Dr. Parker says, “Death is yours. It belongs to you. Death is not to master you; you are going to master it.” Death is yours. How wonderful that is. When we belong to Christ, all things are ours—present and future. And we are stewards of all He has entrusted to us.

The Christian can approach the judgment without fear, because his judge has already decided he is worthy of eternal life, because he has the righteousness of His Son. We may have to live under the contempt of God-haters who honor us when they include us with Him—I will appeal and submit to Him, and in the mean time, while under all the censures and slanders of men, I will rest easy knowing I am loved by the God who will be my judge. The apostle did, as his Lord and Savior had done before him, who, when he was reviled and reproached by men, and being conscious of his own innocence and integrity, committed himself to Him that judges righteously. 

“Before the Judgment Seat of Christ my service will be judged not by how much I have done, but by how much I could have done.” —A.W. Tozer

 

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