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1 Corinthians 4:7

    1 Corinthians 4:7 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For who makes you to differ from another? and what have you that you did not receive? now if you did receive it, why do you glory, as if you had not received it?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For who maketh thee to differ? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? but if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For who made you better than your brother? or what have you that has not been given to you? but if it has been given to you, what cause have you for pride, as if it had not been given to you?

    Webster's Revision

    For who maketh thee to differ? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? but if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?

    World English Bible

    For who makes you different? And what do you have that you didn't receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For who maketh thee to differ? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? but if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 4:7

    For who maketh thee to differ - It is likely that the apostle is here addressing himself to some one of those puffed up teachers, who was glorying in his gifts, and in the knowledge he had of the Gospel, etc. As if he had said: If thou hast all that knowledge which thou professest to have, didst thou not receive it from myself or some other of my fellow helpers who first preached the Gospel at Corinth? God never spoke to thee to make thee an apostle. Hast thou a particle of light that thou hast not received from our preaching? Why then dost thou glory, boast, and exult, as if God had first spoken by thee, and not by us?

    This is the most likely meaning of this verse; and a meaning that is suitable to the whole of the context. It has been applied in a more general sense by religious people, and the doctrine they build on it is true in itself, though it does not appear to me to be any part of the apostle's meaning in this place. The doctrine I refer to is this: God is the foundation of all good; no man possesses any good but what he has derived from God. If any man possess that grace which saves him from scandalous enormities, let him consider that he has received it as a mere free gift from God's mercy. Let him not despise his neighbor who has it not; there was a time when he himself did not possess it; and a time may come when the man whom he now affects to despise, and on whose conduct he is unmerciful and severe, may receive it, and probably may make a more evangelical use of it than he is now doing. This caution is necessary to many religious people, who imagine that they have been eternal objects of God's favor, and that others have been eternal objects of his hate, for no reason that they can show for either the one, or the other. He can have little acquaintance with his own heart, who is not aware of the possibility of pride lurking under the exclamation, Why me! when comparing his own gracious state with the unregenerate state of another.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 4:7

    For who maketh ... - This verse contains a reason for what Paul had just said; and the reason is, that all that any of them possessed had been derived from God, and no endowments whatever, which they had, could be laid as the foundation for self-congratulation and boasting. The apostle here doubtless has in his eye the teachers in the church of Corinth, and intends to show them that there was no occasion of pride or to assume pre-eminence. As all that they possessed had been given of God, it could not be the occasion of boasting or self-confidence.

    To differ from another - Who has separateD you from another; or who has made you superior to others. This may refer to everything in which one was superior to others, or distinguished from them. The apostle doubtless has reference to those attainments in piety, talents, or knowledge by which one teacher was more eminent than others. But the same question may be applied to native endowments of mind; to opportunities of education; to the arrangements by which one rises in the world; to health; to property; to piety; to eminence and usefulness in the church. It is God who makes one, in any of these respects, to differ from others; and it is especially true in regard to personal piety. Had not God interfered and made a difference, all would have remained alike under sin. The race would have together rejected his mercy; and it is only by his distinguishing love that any are brought to believe and be saved.

    And what hast thou - Either talent, piety, of learning.

    That thou didst not receive - From God. By whatever means you have obtained it, it has been the gift of God.

    Why dost thou glory ... - Why dost thou boast as if it were the result of your own toil, skill or endeavor. This is not designed to discourage human exertion; but to discourage a spirit of vain-glory and boasting. A man who makes the most painful and faithful effort to obtain anything good, will, if successful, trace his success to God. He will still feel that it is God who gave him the disposition, the time, the strength, the success. And he will be grateful that he was enabled to make the effort; not vain, or proud, or boastful, because that he was successful. This passage states a general doctrine, that the reason why one man differs from another is to be traced to God; and that this fact should repress all boasting and glorying, and produce true humility in the minds of Christians. It may be observed, however, that it is as true of intellectual rank, of health, of wealth, of food, of raiment, of liberty, of peace, as it is of religion, that all come from God; and as this fact which is so obvious and well known, does not repress the exertions of people to preserve their health and to obtain property, so it should not repress their exertions to obtain salvation. God governs the world on the same good principles everywhere; and the fact that he is the source of all blessings, should not operate to discourage, but should prompt to human effort. The hope of his aid and blessing is the only ground of encouragement in any undertaking.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 4:7

    4:7 Who maketh thee to differ - Either in gifts or graces. As if thou hadst not received it - As if thou hadst it originally from thyself.