The world teaches that the more you get the better. Excel. It’s all about getting to the top, having prominence and popularity. People want to be superstars. We see it on large and small scales. All of these things were at the root of Satan’s heart and caused him to fall. The devil succeeds in instilling this in the hearts of men. We have to overcome and give credit where it is due. Think about how many people in the Bible didn’t give God glory and what happened to them. The people told Herod he had the voice of a god. That’s how Romans and Greeks thought. Herod was a Hebrew and when he fell prey to that thinking, he was eaten by worms. All the good we are and any good we do comes because of the Lord.
I Corinthians 4: 6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. 7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? 8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.
What was transferred? Paul was talking about the division and problems in the church at Corinth. Any kind of problem a church could have was going on there. It was bad. Paul and Apollos helped straighten it out and the people gave them the glory. In chapter 3 Paul cautioned them about saying “I am of Paul” or “I am of Apollos.” They even threw Peter in there. Instead of looking at God, they looked at men. It’s not a matter of likes and dislikes. That’s the carnal nature talking. Verse 6 says that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. That doesn’t mean not to respect others or even yourself. We can have confidence in others. We should not put anyone—others or self—on a pedestal. We’re not God’s right hand man. We should honor all the same. It’s God that works. I try to preach what God gives me. Whether its beans and cornbread or mush, we have to take it because God knows what we need.
We should not use our brothers and sisters to uplift ourselves. Don’t take credit for what someone else does and don’t take credit for what God does. We’ve never done anything all by ourselves. Verse 7 says for who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? We have created nothing on our own. Whatever we have has been received. Think about God’s goodness. If we say we’re responsible for the goodness, why is it that when things go bad it’s someone else’s fault. Don’t get mad at the doctor if he tells you to lose weight.
When things go right we want the credit. It’s not me and God. It’s God. We’re in the receiver position. In football I don’t care how good the quarterback is. If he doesn’t have a receiver to catch the ball it won’t work. God passes it on and we have to receive. Freely you receive; freely give. What we have is because we received it. God is the giver. We’re the receivers.
Seeking to get ahead, many smash others. Their drive is to get to the top? Is there a top to be had? If we want to get to the top we must get to God. Who made the difference in life? What we have is more than material things. I was at the library and a young man was taking a long time at the desk and I was behind him. I thought to myself why didn’t he go look that stuff up for himself? He turned around and told me he was sorry to be taking so much time. I saw why. He was blind. It made me feel bad that I got irritated at having to wait. We need to be thankful for what we have. The things we have are stuff, disposable. When we accumulate what God gives, we have something—sight, hearing, health. We’re not as young as we used to be. We don’t get around as easy as we did. We’re still doing all right. The credit goes to God. All that we have, all that we are is from God. All that we know God revealed to us. Thank God for what he’s done! When we look at what’s right about us, we can’t take the glory. I’m not that good at being good. If not for God I wouldn’t be a good person at all.
It’s foolishness to think we can master our bodies or make ourselves well by chanting or doing some mantra. It’s not about us. God’s touch is what does it all. I can talk today because God gave my voice to me. I received it. We receive then give God glory and share it with people. The best you can be as a Christian is to be a receiver and give God the glory. Being a receiver and giving God glory will take care of many other things in life.
Verse 8 says now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. Rich? Yes! We have WHO it takes. The church of Jesus Christ is made up of people, not on a pedestal, but who serve a God who is on his throne. Let him be the exalted one. God loved us so much he gave us his Son. He gave us power to become the children of God. We were able to receive and we’re saved. Credit is not for the preacher and Jesus. The message of the gospel was shared, but it is Jesus who saves.
If a person takes credit for who or what he or she is, God may just him try it on his own. We’d find out real fast. If God stopped giving, are we big enough to take his place? Absolutely not! The best we can do is be a receiver and then give God the glory.