January 18, 2024 – Thursday
1 Corinthians 4:7 NET
7 For who concedes you any superiority? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as though you did not?
1 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV
7 For who makes you [distinguishes you] differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
1 Corinthians 4:7 NIV
7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
Today we are looking at verse seven above. Yesterday it was verse six (NKJV), 6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.
If we look at the ending of verse six (NIV), “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other, we may see verse seven continues the warning about not becoming puffed up. Here let’s look at the NET, For who concedes you any superiority? The NKJV, For who makes you [distinguishes you] differ from another? Brackets in the original. And the NIV, For who makes you different from anyone else? You go outside of scripture quoting someone and you think you are superior or this makes you differ from another or different from anyone else. In other words, puffed up, full of pride and arrogance. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with quoting particular individuals of the faith. I, for one, do it all the time. But I make no claim that I follow this or that man. However, I will quote some on their commentaries more often than others. I do that even when I disagree with them and so state that.
Paul asks three questions in this verse. Let’s look at them all (NKJV), but one at a time. For who makes you differ from another? If there is something in us that does make us differ from others, it is not us, but what the Holy Spirit has done in us so we have no call to be puffed. It is God’s doing giving us some particular understanding or insight. It is not us.
The second question Paul asks is, And what do you have that you did not receive? All we have to do is to look around us and see that everything we have is from God. Everything. Jesus reminds of this in Matthew 5:45b when He said, He (our Father in Heaven) causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. It all comes from our Heavenly Father.
And finally, the third question, Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? Guzik’s commentary calls this self-glorifying pride. So, if we have received a special insight from the Holy Spirit or think our favorite preacher has, what are we doing wallowing in some form of pride as if it is our very own achievement. It must be EGO where that can mean Easing God Out of our heart.
Bottom Line: The Christians in Corinth were often in conflict and prideful in their conflicts. They acted as if they were somehow more special than their brothers and sisters with their conflicts driven by pride. Self-examination is called for so that we each examine our own hearts.
Prayer: Almighty God, Please help us to search our hearts especially when we start thinking we know better than others what You have said. Help us always turn to scripture as our source of knowledge. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God