Not Innocent

1 Corinthians 4:1-4 

1This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.

Personal Reason

            If someone will ask about your personal reason why you consider yourself as believer of Christ, what will you say? Normally, Christians would respond, “It is because I believe and trust Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior.” Wonderful!

            How do you practically prove that you believe Christ as Savior and trust him as your Lord? Did you realize the need of Lord who can provide for your needs? Did you realize the need of Savior who can save you from eternal penalty of sin? What practical reason had caused you to trust and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Can you readily share one personal experience?

            One person who grew up in family of Christians confessed, “I don’t have any dramatic experience of transformation to practically prove that I believe in Christ as my personal Savior and trust him as my Lord.” Many Christians identify with similar experience when testifying about their faith in Christ. Worship of God as expression of faith and trust in Jesus Christ has become ordinary activity.

Should consistent worship of God be enough to prove faith in Jesus Christ?

Apostle Paul wrote how much he knew about his disciple in 2 Timothy 1:5.

            5I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

            Timothy was a disciple of Apostle Paul. Timothy observed his grandmother and mother practised their faith in God. Paul confirmed that Timothy was very sincere in his faith; eventually, Timothy served God as pastor. Timothy may not be concerned how he practically proved his faith. He just served God with sincerity.

            How confident are you that your behavior affirms sincerity in your faith in Christ? But, what’s the need to have affirmation of our sincerity of faith in Christ?

            Let’s learn from Apostle Paul as servant of Christ; God entrusted him godly mysteries not just to secure but also to manage them with proper interpretation.

1.  Manage

1This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

            God requires faithfulness from stewards and managers of his mysteries.

The term “Entrusted” is properly interpreted as pertaining to stewards or managers of the mysteries of God. The Lord entrusts mysteries to be secured by his chosen stewards. Of course, God won’t completely trust human instincts.

The Holy Spirit produces faithfulness for preachers to properly interpret the mysteries of God in the Scripture. So how should preachers and servants of God prove that they are faithful stewards to manage and secure godly mysteries?

Preachers or teachers of the Scripture should be prayerful and carefully study the original and historical context, background, situations or circumstances of the Scripture. That kind of faithfulness was exemplified by Apostle Paul.

Did Paul imply that the Corinthian Christians should prioritize faithfulness of God’s servants instead of simply be loyal to preachers that they prefer?

All of us should be careful when we interpret the Scripture especially those who are called to teach. What is expected from teachers of the word of God?

It warns in James 3:1, 1Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

            This warning may have scared many Christians to avoid serving the Lord as teachers or preachers; they clearly understand the warning of strict judgment. Or, it can be biblical means to dissuade or discourage pretenders from carelessness. Many preachers had interpreted the Scripture to advance their personal motives. And many parishioners are victimized when they follow their preferred leaders.


            With advancement of technologies and internet, it is easy to find preachers who call themselves, “The Messiah or Jesus Christ the Son of God.” Following preachers blindly may have happened in the church of Corinth since they verbally declared their preferred leader. Did they care if their church could be divided?

            So, who should be blamed for division or split in the church: blind followers or preachers? We should not focus on who should be blamed for church division.

As genuine Christians, we should focus more on our behavior and live according to God’s word. We should heed what it advised us in Colossians 2:6-8.

6Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

            Are you serious in your faith? Do you assume that since you have declared faith in Christ and followed him through water baptism, you are satisfied with you spiritual life? What one practical proof do you have that your faith had rooted and built up in Jesus Christ? Overflowing with thankfulness! Do you have it?

            To verbally say that we believe and trust Christ, does it make us Christian?  Overflowing gratitude practically affirms our faith. Do you care if others observe it in us? Apostle Paul did not! It did not matter to him even if he is judged in human court. What mattered to him was faithfulness in his calling to serve the Lord.

2.  Matter

3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 

            We can be overly concerned of what others may say about us. And that may delay progress in our spiritual growth. Overly concerned of reputation may cause us to be distracted, and we forget to behave according to the will of God.

When Apostle Paul said that he did not even judge himself, did he imply that he was not concerned if he behaved according to the will of God or not?

            Previously, Apostle Paul explained that the wisdom of the world is foolish in the sight of God. So, if he normalized evaluation of behavior to see if he properly behaved or not, then it could just benefit promotional stunt or advertisement.

Apostle Paul was more concerned about his dependence on the Holy Spirit. If we are always dependent on the Holy Spirit of Christ, did Paul encourage us not be overly concerned of what others may say? Can Jesus Christ keep us safe and secure? What is your personal concern that you wish to secure or keep safe?

Security Camera

            A person who sells security camera said, “Our product keeps this province secured!” The homeowner asked, “How can your product keep me secure from bad elements?” “I will give you free high technology camera and set up at your door. It can record anything that may happen!” the salesperson responded.

            Seriously? How can a camera keep you secure when all it can do is record events? You can easily find recorded activities of bad elements in the internet. But have you watched anyone who testified, “I was secured by this hi-tech camera!”

            Are you worried about your security? Are you worried of what may happen to your house, car or family? The market capitalized on worries to sell products.

            Life on earth can be worrisome. No one can totally prevent tragic events. If we are concerned about safety, we are encouraged to depend all the more on the Holy Spirit of Christ. Together, let us reflect on what Galatians 5:16-23 teaches,

16Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

            When the desire of the flesh is gratified, the obvious result is temporary excitement for a short moment. But when we seek to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, we sense joyful peace. We can have clear conscience, and we can have good night rest; but just as Apostle Paul said, it doesn’t make us innocent.

3.  Make

4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.

            Clear conscience is peaceful but it does not make us innocent or not prone to mistake. We want to sleep soundly with clear conscience, right? Always seek inspiration of the Holy Spirit, why? This world offers attractive pleasure, and we can be enticed. Our human nature is inclined to disregard the instruction of God.

            But, if we always depend on the Holy Spirit, ordinary things can become the best experience we can ever have dreamed or imagined. We must obey the Lord.

Of course, we need godly wisdom and inspiration from the Holy Spirit for us to clearly understand and interpret properly what the Lord tells us to do.

Wine in Cana

            Together, let us try to personally meditate on what has transpired when the Lord Jesus Christ transformed water into the best wine at a wedding banquet. Observe how the Lord transformed ordinary things and activities into miracles.

John 2:5-10 states, 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

 6Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

            To fill the jars with water was ordinary activity for servants. But when they obeyed the Lord, they personally observed firsthand the first ever miracle that Jesus Christ did on earth. Servants are expected to obey what they were told to do, but the master of the banquet and the guests have tasted the best wine ever.

What can we learn? If we diligently obey the instructions of Christ, he will transform ordinary things and others can benefit also in his grace. Do you agree?

            Together, let’s reflect of what the Lord Jesus Christ said in John 4:23-24.

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

            Here’s a personal reflection for everyone: When we attend worship service, what do you normally sense in your inner being? Do you sense any enthusiasm or urgency to be at the sanctuary on time? Or, do you sense like you’re just going through the motion to attend worship as ordinary activity for you as Christian?

            Someone may ask, “What does ‘worship God in the Spirit and truth’ mean?”

            It’s experiential knowledge of the Lord and not just simply head knowledge.

            When the servants obeyed what they were told, they personally witnessed mysterious miracles that Jesus did. Similarly, when we listen attentively and obey diligently the Holy Spirit of Christ, the result will be worship of God with gratitude.

            Keep praying to be filled and inspired by the Holy Spirit. Then when you obey him with enthusiasm, you personally experience and witness that Christ truly cares for you. Surely, that would be one good reason to worship God.

What one practical proof that your faith had rooted and built up in Christ?

Overflowing with thankfulness! Do you sense overflowing gratitude in your heart?

><((‘> .. ><((‘> … ><(((“> tmec\2023 <“)))>< … <‘))>< .. <‘))><

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.