Friday, March 13, 2015

Fridays with Fee: Part V

Today's edition of "Fridays with Fee" will be a bit different. In this post I want to highlight a few quotables of a single verse, 1 Cor 4:7:"For what makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?"

1 Cor 4:7 is part of a larger unit, 4:6-13, in which Fee labels "The Marks of True Apostleship".  Here are some of Fee's incisive comments regarding this verse:

"Their (the Corinthians) pride in persons reflects a lack of proper perspective, a lack of gratitude. The Fall has given us all too high a view of ourselves, with a correspondingly low view of others." (186)

If the first question marks the Corinthian conceit as presumptuous, the second marks it as ungrateful--and is singularly devastating: 'What do you have that you did not receive?' This is an invitation to experience one of those rare, unguarded moments of total honesty, where in the presence of the eternal God one recognizes that everything--absolutely everything--that one 'has' is a gift. All is of grace; nothing is deserved, nothing earned. Those who so experience grace also live from a posture of unbounded gratitude. (186; italics original)

"Grace leads to gratitude; 'wisdom' and self-sufficiency lead to boasting and judging. Grace has a leveling effect; self-esteem has a self-exalting effect. Grace means humility; boasting means that one has arrived." (186)

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