Assign Fathers Task of Planting or Watering the Seed for God’s Glory
Paul addressed the Corinthians as worldly or infants in Christ needing milk, not solid food, since they were unprepared. Their jealousy and quarreling proved their worldliness. When one said, "I follow Paul" or "I follow Apollos," they acted like mere men, but believed in Christ through servants like Paul and Apollos. The Lord assigned each a particular task with one purpose and rewarded them according to their labor when Paul planted the seed, Apollos watered it and God made it grow. Paul and the Corinthians were God's fellow workers. The Corinthians were God's field and building (1 Cor. 3:1-9). Assign fathers in the faith the task of planting or watering the seed for God’s glory.
Allow Holy Spirit Inspire Fathers’ Works to Receive Reward at Judgment Seat of Christ
Paul received grace from God to lay a foundation as an expert builder. Be careful how you build upon the foundation of Christ, which could be gold, silver, costly stones or wood, hay or straw. God would reveal His work with fire at the judgment seat to test its quality. If his work survived, he was rewarded. If his work burned, he suffered loss, but was saved, yet escaped through the flames (1 Cor. 3:10-15). Allow the Holy Spirit to inspire fathers’ works so they receive reward at the judgment seat of Christ.
Become Wise in Christ Instead of World Because Holy Spirit Indwells Fathers
God's Spirit lived in them as His temple. If anyone destroyed God's temple, He would destroy him for His temple was sacred. Do not think you were wise according to the world's standards because the wisdom of this world is foolishness and futile. Become foolish so you can become wise. Do not boast about men because you have everything in Christ (1 Cor. 3:16-23). Become wise in Christ instead of the world because the Holy Spirit indwells fathers.
Serve Faithfully Knowing God Judges Fathers’ Motives with Praise Coming From Him
Be regarded as faithful servants of Christ entrusted with the sacred things of God since no one including ourselves could judge correctly, except God. He brought what was hidden in darkness to expose the motives of men's hearts so each received praise from God (1 Cor. 4:1-5). Serve faithfully knowing God judges fathers’ motives with praise coming from Him.
Endure Mistreatment and Dishonor as Father Being a Spectacle to Men and Angels
Because everything came from God who made you unique, stop comparing yourself with others. Paul was made an apostle instead of a king and put on display like men condemned to die in an arena as a spectacle to the whole universe. He was a fool for Christ, weak, dishonored, hungry, thirsty, in rags, brutally treated, homeless and worked hard with his hands. In contrast, they were wise in Christ, strong and honored. Paul blessed when cursed, endured when persecuted and answered kindly when slandered as the scum of the earth and refuse of the world (1 Cor. 4:6-13). Endure mistreatment and dishonor as a father being a spectacle to men and angels.
Demonstrate a Loving Way of Life as Father Before Children
Paul urged them to imitate him as their father in the gospel of Christ. He sent Timothy, his son in the faith, to remind them of his way of life in Christ that agreed with what he taught in every church. If God willed, Paul planned to come soon to determine which power was behind what arrogant people said. The kingdom of God was not talk, but power. He preferred to come with love and a gentle spirit instead of a whip (1 Cor. 4:14-21). Demonstrate a loving way of life as a father before children.
Ask God to empower you in the following aspects of natural and spiritual fatherhood:
1. Plant or water the word so God gets the glory
2. Allow the Holy Spirit to inspire your works
3. Become wise in Christ instead of the world
4. Serve faithfully knowing God judges motives
5. Endure mistreatment and dishonor
6. Demonstrate a loving way of life to children