1 Corinthians Ch4

This study of 1 Corinthians chapter 4 was given by pastor Barry Forder at Calvary Portsmouth on 29th October 2023. 

In this chapter, Paul continues his words of correction for the Corinthian believers who had allowed divisions to occur in the church. Paul reminds them that God’s servants are not to be exalted. Christ alone is the head of the church.

Paul highlights that, rather spend our time on pointless arguments over who is the most important, and rather than trying to artificially create a sence of self-worth, we should realise that we have been entrusted with divine insights, ‘mysteries’, that make sense of our world, God’s plan and the time we are living in. We should know and understand these mysteries and then communicate them to a desperate world that ‘those who have ears to hear’ would hear and come to a saving-faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul uses this word ‘mystērion’ (meaning something that was once hidden, but now had been revealed) 21 times. 

Scholars have tried to catalogue these, and the list below is a helpful summary: 

  1. Mystery of the Kingdom of God
    • Luke 8:10; Mark 4:11;
  2. Mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven
    • Matt 13:11
  3. Mystery of Manifestation in the Flesh
    • 1 Tim 3:16
  4. Mystery of Salvation by Faith
    • Eph 3:19; Rom 16:25,26; 1 Tim 3:9
  5. Mystery of the Will of God
    • Eph 1:9
  6. Mystery of Jews & Gentiles in same Body
    • Rom 16:25; Eph 3:3
  7. Mystery of the Bride of Christ
    • Eph 5:10; Eph 2:6; 1 Cor 6:17
    • Col 1:26,27; 2:2; 4:3
  8. The Mystery of the Harpazo
    • 1 Cor 15:51; 1 Thes 4:12-18
    • OT: Isa 26:19-21; Ps 27:5; Zep 2:3
  9. The Mystery of Iniquity
    • 2 Thes 2:6-12
  10. Mystery of the Seven Churches
    • Rev 1:20
  11. Mystery of Israel’s Blindness
    • Luke 19:42-44; Rom 11:25
  12. Mystery Babylon (Counterfeit Kingdom)
    • Rev 17, 18 (Cf Gen 10:10, 1st mention)


May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.



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