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Oct 8, 2023

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:14-21

Concluding his exhortations regarding pride and factions in the Corinthian church, Paul calls on the Christians there (and here) to receive instruction from two sources: the instruction of what is written (1 Cor 4:14,15), and the instruction of example (1 Cor 4:16,17).

Both exhortations are repeatedly given to us in the Bible.  "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life" (Jn 6:63).  "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom" (Col 3:16).  To the extent that we do not know what God has said in His word, we starve our souls of truth and joy and hope.

We are also exhorted in the Bible to imitate people of faith.  Paul calls on his readers to imitate him in at least five passages (1 Cor 4:16, 11:1; Phil 3:17; 4:9; 2 Thes 3:9). "And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Heb 6:11-12).

Let us be sober about our study of the Bible so that we might conform ourselves to its promises and warnings.  And let us be serious about following in the footsteps of the saints who have gone before us … that we might live with courage and joy and faith.