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Do Not Go Beyond the Bible

John Collins09/07/2012

1 Corinthians 4 warns us not to go beyond what is written in the Bible.

Paul warned that if men went beyond what was written in scripture with new doctrines, it would create men who were exalted and in favor of others.  He said that he and Apollos were devoted to being good stewards for the Gospel of Jesus Christ for their benefit, so they would learn not to go beyond what was written.

Paul asked them, "Who can see any difference in you now?  What do you think you have now that you did not receive?  And then when you received it, why do you brag about it as though you did not receive it?"  They were falling quickly back into the ways of men rather than the ways of God.  They kept wanting more and more.

Paul told them that they already had everything the wanted.  They were already rich like kings.  Paul said that he wished he and the apostles could reign as kings as they did.

He said that God had put the apostles on display for mankind, as the last display of all.  They were like men sentenced to death, because they were to become a spectacle to the world.  They would be on display for not only men, but angels!  For Christ's sake, the apostles were made like fools in front of mankind, but were made wise in Christ.  They were made strong, held in honor, while Paul and the apostles were made weak and slandered.  They hungered and thirsted, were poorly dressed and homeless.  When reviled before others, they blessed in returned.  When persecuted, they endured.  When slandered, they entreated with love.  They were refuse before men.

Paul said that he did not write these things to make the people ashamed, but to admonish them as though they were his beloved children.  They had countless men guiding them in the ways of Christ, but do not have many who treated them as fathers.  Paul said that he became their father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that he could remind them about the ways of Christ.  He taught the ways of Christ everywhere and in every church.  

Some men among them were becoming arrogant in their doctrines, and Paul said that he would come if the Lord permitted.  He said that he did not come to listen to their doctrines, but to find out if they had received the power of the Holy Ghost.  The kingdom of God does not exist of doctrines, the words of man.  Paul said that it consisted in power.

Paul gave these men spreading their doctrines a solemn warning:  Do you want me to come to you with a rod of correction, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Do we place emphasis on the doctrines of men or in the Word?  If Paul came today, would he find us exalting a man or the God who sent his Son, Jesus Christ?  Do we find emphasis on things that came after the scriptures or "in-between the lines," or is our only emphasis placed upon the scriptures found in the Bible?  What do we think we have now that was not already written in the Word of God?