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I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not thereby stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord.(A) Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God.

Paul’s Life as Pattern.[a] I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, so that you may learn from us not to go beyond what is written,[b] so that none of you will be inflated with pride in favor of one person over against another.

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Footnotes

  1. 4:6–21 This is an emotionally charged peroration to the discussion about divisions. It contains several exhortations and statements of Paul’s purpose in writing (cf. 1 Cor 4:6, 14–17, 21) that counterbalance the initial exhortation at 1 Cor 1:10.
  2. 4:6 That you may learn from us not to go beyond what is written: the words “to go” are not in the Greek, but have here been added as the minimum necessary to elicit sense from this difficult passage. It probably means that the Corinthians should avoid the false wisdom of vain speculation, contenting themselves with Paul’s proclamation of the cross, which is the fulfillment of God’s promises in the Old Testament (what is written). Inflated with pride: literally, “puffed up,” i.e., arrogant, filled with a sense of self-importance. The term is particularly Pauline, found in the New Testament only in 1 Cor 4:6, 18–19; 5:2; 8:1; 13:4; Col 2:18 (cf. the related noun at 2 Cor 12:20). It sometimes occurs in conjunction with the theme of “boasting,” as in 1 Cor 4:6–7 here.

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