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.
4:9 spectacle. The word is better translated “theater;” in its only other occurrence in the New Testament, this word is so translated (Acts 19:29,31). It is sobering, as well as amazing, to realize that Christians—especially Christian leaders, such as Paul and the apostles—are on a stage, as it were, being carefully watched by an audience which even includes the angels. Compare similar intimations of an angelic audience in Ephesians 3:10; I Corinthians 11:10, I Peter 1:12.
4:13 Being defamed, we intreat. Bible-believing Christians—especially literal creationists—are constantly being vilified by the media and by self-appointed spokesmen of the academic and educational establishments. But the proper way to respond is given in Christ’s response to more intense opposition than we can ever face (I Peter 2:21-23). Note also Matthew 5:11,44).
4:16 followers of me. See note on Philippians 3:17.