“I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 4:14-15
Up until this point in his letter to the Corinthians, Paul has likened his position as a spiritual leader to a servant, farmer, builder, under-rower and steward, but in the passage above he uses the most beautiful and intimate description yet - a spiritual father.
Like a father, Paul has been stern in his rebuke of the sinful activity the Corinthians were participating in, even to the point of sarcasm. Now he shares with them the reason why he had to be so stern - he loves them as a father loves his children. Paul could not bear to see them stray from the wisdom of God and the fullness of the Christian life. As their spiritual father he felt responsible for their spiritual growth. The apostle John said it well: “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in truth.”
Like a good father, Paul wasn’t going to allow his children to continue doing things that would harm them. And he knew that if they started to walk away from the Lord, the best thing to do was not to push them down, but to warn them and lift them up.
There may be thousands of wonderful instructors and churches these days, but it is not very often that a pastor is able to be act like a father. A father is one that cares so much for his children he is willing to do whatever it takes for them to grow and be nourished in the wisdom of God that they may experience the abundant life.
Join us on Sunday as we open 1 Corinthians 4:6-21 where Paul is going to show us that we can find “The Cure for Complacency” when we are able to function as fathers to one another. God bless you all and hope to see you there!