Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.
1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore? Let’s take a look at the preceding verses
1 This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.
1 Corinthians 4:1-4
This then tells me we have to look a bit further back as well because This then based on what in chapter 3?
18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 21 So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
1 Corinthians 3:18-23
So, with these antecedents in mind we may clearly look at today’s verse. We are not to deceive ourselves or think ourselves wise by the standards of this age [or any age]. How are we to regard ourselves? As servants of Christ entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. It does not matter if I am judged by you or by any human court because It is the Lord who judges me.
Thus we are to wait on Jesus return for He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. It does not matter so much what we do, but the motives behind our actions are what will be judged by our Lord. This suggests very clearly we should not only look at what we are doing, but why are we doing taking the actions we take. There are many examples in the Old Testament where God found the actions of those simply going through the motions of worship and sacrifice to be detestable.
All too often we look only at what we do and seldom at our motives. Even when we do what God has called us to do, we do not do it to honor Him, but to say now we should get what we want. We have done our part God, now do yours! And that is so incredibly wrong. Our reward is not in this life, but in the next. We do what we are supposed to do to honor Him and His Son, because
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
In a week’s time we will celebrate the birth of Jesus who was born for one purpose and one purpose only, to die for our sins, to pay the ransom for our sins so that we might be able to join Him in Heaven as adopted sons of God. For such a gift we should only say Thanks! again and again without making a single demand upon the one true God who loves us so much.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
We have much to be thankful for even today over two thousand years later!