New Defender's Study Bible Notes
4:2 required in stewards. Christian stewards are “stewards of the mysteries of God” (I Corinthians 4:1), and “stewards of the manifold grace of God” (I Peter 4:10). God expects His stewards to be faithful in these responsibilities, not fruitful. Any fruit to be borne as we testify to His grace and share the Biblical explanations of the great mysteries of God is His responsibility, for God gives the increase.
4:5 before the time. “The time” is “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 1:8) and “the day [that] shall declare it” (I Corinthians 3:13). At that time, at Christ’s judgment seat, “shall every man have praise [literally “his praise”] of God.” Not even Paul was qualified to judge himself (I Corinthians 4:3); the Lord will judge each of us in that day, regardless of man’s judgment.