Answerable To the Master – 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. – 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 NIV

While Paul is talking here about himself and the other apostles, I believe this passage is very applicable to all of us who profess to follow Jesus as our Lord.  He is my master, and I am his servant.  It is too often easy to forget that and assume a more familiar relationship.  And indeed, Jesus does call us his friends; but the relationship is not what I have with a buddy.  He is still Lord and God, and I need to live in obedience to him.

As a servant, Paul had been entrusted with the mysteries of God.  The wording here is that of a steward, a trusted servant who is given responsibility for some part of the master’s belongings.  While I have not been entrusted with the mysteries of God like Paul had, I have nonetheless been entrusted with a task by God, as have each of us who serve him.  I have been entrusted with faithfully representing God in this world, as well as to disciple other believers in His word.  Others of you have been entrusted with other tasks; tasks that help to build up the body of Christ.

But, all who have been entrusted must prove faithful, and will give answer to the Master at the end; see the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. In the passage above, Paul makes it clear that the judgement of others on my stewardship doesn’t matter.  Nor does it ultimately matter how I judge my performance, although it would be good for me to have a clear conscience concerning it.  The judgement that ultimately matters is what comes from the one who assigned me with the task.

In whatever God has entrusted you with, do your best to present yourself to him as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed.  And one who looks forward to hearing his master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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