Apologists for the Church of Rome have quoted 1 Corinthians 4:15 as a biblical proof-text for the Papacy, namely as a defense of using religious titles of honor. It has been argued by some that since the Apostle Paul referred to himself as a "father" figure, that the priests and head of the Roman Catholic hierarchy have been given the same right to be exalted with titles through apostolic succession.
Converts were made through the preaching of the gospel and were thus led to eternal salvation. The apostles worked to establish, preserve, and build up the Christian church of the first century so that it could continue to thrive successfully by God's grace in future generations. The phrase "countless guides in Christ" is to be understood as hyperbole.