1 Cor 4:8-14
You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us—and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you! For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure, being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now. I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.
Paul had used ironic or sarcastic words to admonish the Corinthian church. They prided themselves on the abundance of everything – spiritual gifts, luxury, comfort and ease. They had no sense of need. They acted as though they were reigning already. Paul had stated clearly that his purpose was not to shame but to warn (1 Cor 4:14) and he did it in the spirit and zealousness of love for he called them his beloved children.
But sadly today, many have wandered from the truth and such admonishment will come across as judgmental. Pastors who voice such admonishment, like Paul, today will be construed as “ranting” against the respectable Christendom for leaving them out of their fellowship.
“It is positive disloyalty to seek our crown before the King gets His. Yet this is what some of the Christians at Corinth were doing. The apostles were bearing the reproach of Christ. But the Corinthian Christians were “rich” and “honorable”. They were seeking a good time where their Lord and Master had such a hard time.” – H P Barker. (Believer’s Bible Commentary)