1 Corinthians 4:6-14
Paul now becomes very pointed in his application to the Corinthians. He even takes a tone of cynical sarcasm, intended to show them quite abrasively the foolishness of their man-centered wisdom. For God-fearing Christians to live by the wisdom of men is sad and inexcusable- furthermore, to borrow from Paul’s own attitude as revealed here, it is ridiculous and pretentious.
As we will see in our text today, Paul is striking hard against a specific iteration of the man-centered philosophy of the Corinthians- the misbegotten notion that being a Christian means achieving honor in the courts of men. Everything that Paul is saying in ch. 3-4 is intended to reveal that honor in the judgment of God will most likely lead to dishonor in the assessment of men. Or to state the opposite- if you want to be accepted and idolized by godless men, do not be a Christian! Be an atheist. Ignore eternity. Live for the here and now. Reject the title of Christian. Reject the morality of Christianity. Pursue a lifestyle of hedonistic immorality. Be completely selfish and self-serving. By these means, you may achieve honor in the court of men. But those who do so are living without God’s grace, and will experience ultimate reckoning before the judgment seat of God.
So Paul cuts to the chase, and is very blunt with those who could only understand bluntness.