1 Corinthians chapter four part 4 completes our study with a look at 1 Corinthians 4:16 & 17, 1 Corinthians 4:18 - 20, and 1 Corinthians 4:21 with our Common Man's Commentary and study quiz.
"Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church." NIV translation
Like any father, Paul wanted his spiritual children to be like him as he followed Jesus Christ. It seems that the believers in Corinth had forgotten how Paul lived and served the Lord and, so, Paul was sending Timothy to remind them. Paul reminds them that his actions matched what he taught everywhere he traveled. He was not some "rock star" preacher coming up with another catchy sermon everywhere. In fact, many accused Paul of being an unimpressive speaker but he faithfully shared the gospel and backed it up with his life.
"Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." NIV translation
Talk is cheap and that is basically what Paul is saying here. He tells them that God will demonstrate His approval of His servants with power and authority. We, also, have that type of power and authority through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that resides in us.
"What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?" NIV translation
Paul gives the Corinthian believers the choice about which method he will use to get them to see the error of their ways.