These included jealousy, divisiveness, sexual immorality, and failure to discipline members.
This letter confronted these issues head on. But Paul added the section we explore today to place his strong words in a broader perspective.
Interact with God’s Word
- How (v. 15) had Paul become spiritual father to the believers in Corinth?
- Do you think that Paul’s statement in verse 14 rang true? Why should the Corinthians sense that Paul’s tough words were motivated by love?
- What special privileges does being a spiritual role model bestow? What special responsibilities come with that?
- Paul was only human. So why was it appropriate for him (v. 16) to offer himself as an example to follow?
- Why (v. 17) would Timothy be able to help the Corin-thians follow Paul’s example? (See 1 Timothy 1:2.)
- If you have children, how are you functioning as a spiritual father to them?
- If you don’t have children, for whom might you serve as a discipleship pattern?
Spend Time in Prayer: Ask God to enable you to walk so close to Him that your life becomes an authentic example to other Christians.
14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. 15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. 16 So I urge you to imitate me.
17 That’s why I have sent Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of how I follow Christ Jesus, just as I teach in all the churches wherever I go.