Spiritual Fathers

by | Apr 7, 2017

A Father to Them

Everyone has two parents. They are responsible for our DNA, personality, and looks. Whether we like our parents or not doesn’t matter, they are still our parents. Nothing can change that. Paul started the church in Corinth. He was the spiritual father of many in the church. He led them to Christ, baptized them, and taught them the ways of Jesus Christ. After he left to start other churches there were some who denied his place in their lives. Paul sets the record straight.

1 Corinthians 4:14-21

I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

Falling Short

As a parent, our job is to point out areas where our children are falling short of God’s standard. We don’t embarrass or humiliate them but we do call them out for the sins and attitudes that aren’t acceptable. Spiritual fathers do the same thing. Paul is doing the same to the Corinthians. He isn’t trying to shame them but brings to their awareness their shortcomings. He is, after all, their spiritual father and he implores them to imitate him.

Spiritual Fathers

We all need examples that we can look to and Paul was one of the best. You can tell in his words that he loves this church and wants the best for them. Spiritual leaders point us to Scripture and encourage us to walk according to the Spirit. Sometimes that leader will have tough words for us to hear. We may be getting off track and need some correction. God may have sent them into your life for just that task. Listen to them and follow their counsel.