1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

1 Corinthians 4:16

ESV I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
NIV Therefore I urge you to imitate me.
NASB Therefore I urge you, be imitators of me.
CSB Therefore I urge you to imitate me.
NLT So I urge you to imitate me.
KJV Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

What does 1 Corinthians 4:16 mean?

Little children often develop by imitating their fathers. Paul has compared his role in the spiritual lives of the Corinthians as that of a father. He sees them as his beloved children. He is writing harsh words to them about their attitudes and behavior because of his fatherly concern for them.

Now Paul urges them to pattern their lives after his. This is not pride and ego at work. Paul is not trying to set himself up as a kind of cult leader. He is not asking to be called by the title of "father," or demanding any other honor. He does not want to take the place of Christ in their lives. Instead, he is describing the pattern of Christian discipleship. He is saying to the Corinthians, "I have taught you what to believe, now follow my example of how to live it out."

Paul mentions Timothy in the following verse, a man discipled by Paul who has joined in Paul's ministry. Paul wrote to Timothy that he should be, to those under his care, an example "in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12).

More specifically, though, Paul wants the Corinthians to follow the example of his lifestyle described in the previous verses. There he described himself and the other apostles as leading lives of poverty, considered as foolish by the world for Christ's sake, and mistreated for their association with Him. Instead of retaliating or running away, though, they followed Jesus' example by doing good to those who treated them badly.

Paul wants the Corinthians to do as he did, to give up chasing wealth and trying to gain the respect of the unbelievers in their culture and to serve Christ first and above all.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: