The Destructive Consequences of Pride

TITLE: The Destructive Consequences of Pride

SUBJECT: 1 Corinthians

PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will study 1 Corinthians 4 and learn that pride causes us to: 1) Be judges over God’s stewards, 2) Go beyond what is written, 3) Serve self instead of God, and 4) Not imitate the spiritual.

OBJECTIVE: The listener should learn that pride is a deadly enemy of God’s people and responsible for much division in the church.

AIM: This lesson is designed to help us learn more about 1 Corinthians 4.


1. Read: 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

2. About the Text:

1) 1 Corinthians is about man’s wisdom vs. God’s wisdom.

2) Paul is completing his thoughts regarding the sinful division in Corinth.

3) In chapter 4 he deals with the personal motives of those causing the division: pride.

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: Pride causes us to . . .

I.   Be judges over God’s stewards (1-5).

1. God’s people are stewards, and that is how we ought to consider one another.

1) Stewards have charge of other’s property, not their own.

2) God owns everything – Psalm 24:1

2. When we divide over people, we are acting as the judges.

1) We must judge one to follow another.

2) This is unrighteous judgment.

3) John 7:24

3. We should let the Lord be the judge instead of thinking we are worthy of that place.

1) Judge not lest you be judged (Matthew 7:1ff).

2) Read James 4:11-12.

II.  Go beyond what is written (6-7).

1. Dividing according to men is going beyond what is written.

1) The standard is God’s word.

2) God’s word teaches us to have unity and humility (Phil.2:1-4).

2. It is being prideful to set oneself against another (2 Corinthians 10:12).

3. God has given us all things; division implies discontentment with God’s gifts (Hebrews 13:5).

III. Serve self instead of God (8-13).

1. Serving self separates us from others.

1) When we are just concerned about ourselves, we fail to love our neighbor.

2) Proverbs 18:1 – “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”

2. The apostles are servants of God who live for Him, not self.

1) This means suffering for righteousness sake.

2) Matthew 5:11-12 – “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

IV.  Not imitate the spiritual.

1. We need to imitate the spiritual as a son imitates his father.

1) 3 John 1:11 – “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.”

2) Ephesians 5:1 – Be imitators of God.

2. Preachers are supposed to remind brethren to imitate Christ (Phil.2:5ff).

3. Those who do not follow Christ are proud and have no real power (1 Tim.6:3-5).


1. Pride causes us to . . .

1) Be judges over God’s stewards.

2) Go beyond what is written.

3) Serve self instead of God.

4) Not imitate the spiritual.

2. Invitation