1 Corinthians 4:6-8 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. KJV
Paul wrote all of the things previously to bring down the Corinthian believers from their need or want to elevate “individual men” because Paul knew they really wanted to elevate themselves by boasting in their flashy, flamboyant, and fascinating gifts such as speaking in tongues or prophesying to others or working of some miracle, etc. Paul warned them to not become “puffed up” and this English phrase is translated by the Greek word phusioo which means to inflate; to make proud or haughty. This is exactly what happened to these believers and what caused the divisions amongst them, their heads became inflated with their God Given, Divinely Ordained, Supernatural gifts ,so much so, that they began to think they were the originators of their abilities and forgot from where our Lord Jesus Christ found them in sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Paul asks them this question, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthian 4:7) in order to deflate them or let the air of pride out of their heads.
Paul is going to later on (in his second letter to them) tell them the “true story” of how he went to heaven and saw and heard inexpressible things and how our loving, compassionate, and merciful Lord Jesus Christ allowed a messenger of satan to come to him and buffet him so that he would not do exactly what they were doing by boasting and being proud, forgetting from Whom they have received such spiritual gifts. Paul said it this way, 2 Corinthians 12:2-7 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago--whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows--such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows--was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses. For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me. Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself! NKJV Paul from a heart of loving-kindness toward these Corinthian believers begins here to warn them of “self-exaltation” knowing that our Lord Jesus never shares His Glory with another.
Because our Lord was present when satan exalted himself (internally) and desired to overthrow God the Father, our Lord Jesus will even use that adversary, accuser, and antagonist of His and ours to humble us to prevent us from going the way of pride and boasting. This is why Paul stated this to them earlier, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:31) and Paul said it in the negative just two verses before 31, “That no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:29). Paul declares that God the Father has made them to be “full” and “rich” and “ye have reigned as kings” in our Lord Jesus Christ. The English word full is translated by the Greek word korennumi which means to satiate or fill to satisfaction. Paul declares that before they came to Christ they were empty and spiritually dead in their trespasses and sins filled up with all uncleanness and working all evil satisfying the lust of the flesh being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful (Romans 1:29-31), but now they having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:11) are satisfied completely and fully in Him.
Paul calls them rich and this English word is translated by the Greek word plouteo which means in this case figuratively or metaphorically to be richly supplied with spiritual blessings and built up strong in our Lord Jesus Christ to proclaim the true gospel to those still in darkness that many would come to salvation; also it means to be blessed with earthly resources to fund the work of God on the earth in getting out the Word of God. Paul used this same word when speaking to the believers in Rome he said, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich (plouteo) unto all that call upon Him. KJV Someone has rightly said these words and I concur, “You have as much of the Lord Jesus Christ as you want” and again this is because He is “rich” in everything love, grace, mercy, peace, purity, goodness, meekness, self-control, etc. because the list is endless.
The Apostle James declares it this way with these words, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” KJV. Paul uses the English phrase “ye have reigned as kings” speaking of these Corinthian believers (despite all of their envy, strife, and divisions, not to mention the sexual immorality) were reigning in their world “in Christ” and this phrase is translated by the Greek word basileuo which means to rule; to be king, to exercise kingly power; and metaphorically to exercise the highest influence, to control. Paul said this “in speaking of the reign and rule” of believers “in Christ” when writing his only letter to the church in Rome, “For if by one man’s offence death reigned (basileuo) by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign (basileuo) in life by One, Jesus Christ” KJV. In Christ, believers are “more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Romans 8:37) and no matter the persecution, the hatred, and any hostility aimed at us we do not flinch, nor do we draw back as it is written, “But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39).
“We have no reason to be proud of our attainments, enjoyments, or performances; all that we have, or are, or do, that is good, is owing to the free and rich grace of God. Boasting is forever excluded. There is nothing we have that we can properly call our own: all is received from God. It is foolish in us therefore, and injurious to Him, to boast of it; those who receive all should be proud of nothing, Psalms 115:1. Beggars and dependents may glory in their supports; but to glory in themselves is to be proud at once of meanness, impotence, and want. Note, Due attention to our obligations to Divine grace would cure us of arrogance and self-conceit.” Matthew Henry
“If the will of God is our will, and if He always has His way, then we always have our way also, and we reign in a perpetual kingdom. He who sides with God cannot fail to win in every encounter; and, whether the result shall be joy or sorrow, failure or success, death or life, we may, under all circumstances, join in the Apostle’s shout of victory, ‘Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ!’” Hannah Whitall Smith
“We that have been truly saved eternally by the Sovereign Will of God never have anything to boast in or about but our Lord Jesus Christ, for apart from Him we can do nothing and we are nothing but a pile of dung physically and spiritually.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…