1 Corinthians 4:1-7 ESV
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. 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?
I.THE HYPOCRISY OF A NON-JUDGMENTAL CULTURE
A.While we value tolerance as our highest cultural ideal, we live in the most judgmental time in human history.
B.Trying to live up to the judgmental expectations of others is a roller coaster of exhaustion.
II.THE HYPOCRISY OF A NON-JUDGMENTAL CHURCH
A.Following Jesus can only add to the pressure to perform and meet not just the commands of God but the expectations of others.
B.Christianity feels like a double dose of expectations and stress rather than a double dose of the freedom bought by Christ.
III.THE ONLY VOICE THAT MATTERS
A.Pleasing God, not people is what matters.
B.God cares about faithfulness because fruitfulness is His to give and not ours to create.
C.It doesn’t even matter what I think of me.
D.God alone is fit to be our judge because God alone knows what we do, what we desire, and who we are in the dark.
IV.JUDGMENT ROOTED IN THE CROSS
A.It is patient, not pre-mature.
B.It is humble, not haughty.
C.It remembers adoption is a gift of grace, not earned.
D.It is rooted in what is written, rather than what we want.
1.The priesthood of all believers means we are all pastors and all subject to spiritual scrutiny (1 Pet 2:5-9, Rev 1:5-6)
2.The bad news is that as Christians we tend to eat our own with the sharp fangs of harsh judgment.
3.The good news is that there is comfort from the cross while we live in stained glass houses.