1 Corinthians 4:14-21
In our last passage, Paul used a series of sarcastic statements to call out the arrogance of many in the Corinthian church. But now, in 1 Corinthians 4:14, his tone changes. He speaks of them as “my beloved children.” Paul makes clear that he did not rebuke them to shame them (v. 14), but to correct them, just as a loving father would. Sometimes this correction requires harsher tones and words, but even that shows the care of the father. It is important for Paul, as their “father in Christ Jesus” (v. 15), to have this hard conversation
with them. The words of their other “countless guides in Christ” (v. 15) do not carry the same weight as those of their spiritual father. Paul is modeling to them the way the Lord as our Father disciplines us: “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:6). Paul brings loving correction to the arrogance that has grown like leaven in this church.