1Corinthians 4:1-5 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
‘Stewards of the mysteries of God’ – administrators of gospel truths of God.
‘Mystery’ [Greek: musterion] something previously hidden, but now fully revealed. In the New Testament it always means any doctrine that has not, in former times, been made fully known to people. It is found 27 times in the New Testament and not once in the Old Testament. Eighteen mysteries of are noted in Scripture: The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God (Matt. 13:11; Mark 4:11; Luke 8:10); Israel’s blindness (Rom. 11:25); salvation in Christ (Rom. 16:25); the wisdom of God (1Cor. 2:7); the doctrines of God (1Cor. 4:1; Col. 2:2; 1Tim. 3:16); the gospel (Eph. 6:19); gift of knowledge (1Cor. 13:2); speaking in tongues (1Cor. 14:2); the rapture of Christians (1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; John 14:1-3; 1Thess. 4:13-16); God’s will (Eph. 1:9); the body of Christ (Eph. 3:1-9; 5:32); Christ in people (Col. 1:26-27); doctrines of Christ (Col. 4:3); the spirit of lawlessness (2Thess. 2:7); the faith of the gospel (1Tim. 3:9); the seven candlesticks (Rev. 1:20); God’s delay in casting out of satan (Rev. 10:7; 12:7-17) and mystery Babylon (Rev. 17:5, 7).
‘Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.’ This is the 4th New Testament prophecy in 1Corinthians and is unfulfilled. The Lord is judge of all things and will render to every man according to his deeds (4:4-5).
‘Until the Lord come’ – this is the time of the judgment of believers. The coming here refers to the rapture, not the second coming (John 14:1-3; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; 1Thess. 4:13-16; Php. 3:20-21).
‘Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.’ Three things God will do: Bring hidden things to light (3:13); reveal secrets of people (Rom. 2:16) and reward each man accordingly (3:11-15; 2Cor. 5:10; Matt. 16:27; Rev. 22:12).