1 Corinthians 4:1-21

In this chapter Paul brings to a close the argument he began in chapter one of his letter, namely, that the Corinthians should not be boasting in the name of any human leader over against another. As he wraps things up, Paul finds himself in a difficult position. On the one hand, Paul needs to reassert his authority - but without going back on what he has just taught them about the servant nature of leadership. On the other hand, Paul needs to contend for the necessary implications of the gospel in the lives of those who follow Christ, specifically that our lives are shaped by the cross. Paul's deep desire is to see the Corinthians transformed into men and women shaped by the cross and united in Christ.