|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:14-21 In reproving for sin, we should distinguish between sinners and their sins. Reproofs that kindly and affectionately warn, are likely to reform. Though the apostle spoke with authority as a parent, he would rather beseech them in love. And as ministers are to set an example, others must follow them, as far as they follow Christ in faith and practice. Christians may mistake and differ in their views, but Christ and Christian truth are the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Whenever the gospel is effectual, it comes not in word only, but also in power, by the Holy Spirit, quickening dead sinners, delivering persons from the slavery of sin and Satan, renewing them both inwardly and outwardly, and comforting, strengthening, and establishing the saints, which cannot be done by the persuasive language of men, but by the power of God. And it is a happy temper, to have the spirit of love and meekness bear the rule, yet to maintain just authority.
Verse 18. - Are puffed up; rather, were puffed up; at the time that they made these disparaging comparisons of me with others. As though I would not come to you; rather, as though I were not coming to you. St. Paul was on the eve of starting for Macedonia on his way to visit them (1 Corinthians 16:5), but, owing to the grievous state of the Church, he subsequently changed his purpose (2 Corinthians 1:15, 23). When he left them he had promised to return, "if God wilt" (Acts 18:21). His many enemies and critics were likely to say, "He is afraid to come himself, and so he sends Timothy." They flattered themselves that he was alarmed by their culture and intellectualism.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now some are puffed up,.... Some with their gifts, learning, and eloquence, and with the high station they were in, in the church; believing they should continue therein undisturbed, thinking them selves safe and secure through the absence of the apostle, and which they flattered themselves would always be the case:
as though I would not come to you; and others that were for Apollos and Cephas against Paul, were puffed up against their fellow members on the same account; hoping they should never see him more, to put them in any other situation than what they were in, by demolishing their factions and parties; and others, as the incestuous person, and those that took encouragement to sin by his example, were also puffed up upon this score, and mourned not over, nor repented of their iniquities, but remained secure and hardened; believing the apostle would never more come among them, to call them to an account for their malpractices.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. some … as though I would not come—He guards against some misconstruing (as by the Spirit he foresees they will, when his letter shall have arrived) his sending Timothy, "as though" he "would not come" (or, "were not coming") himself. A puffed-up spirit was the besetting sin of the Corinthians (compare 1Co 1:11; 5:2).
1 Corinthians 4:18 Parallel Commentaries
1 Corinthians 4:18 NIV
1 Corinthians 4:18 NLT
1 Corinthians 4:18 ESV
1 Corinthians 4:18 NASB
1 Corinthians 4:18 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible