We read how Paul told the Corinthians he is “not aware of anything against myself” [1 Cor. 4 v.4]. But that does not mean he sees himself as perfect – only the Lord achieved that, he was the only “one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” [Heb. 4 v.15]
Paul said “It is the Lord who judges me.”[v.4] and we all can say the same. We live in a world in which there is much divisiveness in trying to apply human judgement – we particularly see this in this country at the moment with the Catholic church, the past sins of the Priests are coming to light!
The genuine heart searching concerns of true and sincere believers must be on what will ‘come to light’ of their behaviour when Christ returns. We note Paul’s declaration that, when “the Lord comes” he “will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. [v.5] How awesomely true this is! Yesterday we read in ch. 3 that ” each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.” [v.13]
Let us have a genuine heart now and we will have no fear for the time all “will be revealed “for the Day will disclose it.”
Paul saw the Corinthians as “my beloved children” [5 v.14]. After making that point we are then challenged by his statement that “though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers.” [v.15]
Paul then states, “I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.” We try to guide each other by following faithfully the words of such as Paul – and applying them. Our purpose in reading is surely to apply them! As we succeed in this then, on that day, when “the purposes of the heart” – our hearts – are disclosed, we will “have joy” – but how few will – in this godless world? We will finish by quoting Proverbs 12 v.20 “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy.”