“Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.”
King James Version (KJV)
4:8 Now ye are full - The Corinthians abounded with spiritual gifts; and so did the apostles: but the apostles, by continual want and sufferings, were kept from self - complacency. The Corinthians suffering nothing, and having plenty of all things, were pleased with and applauded themselves; and they were like children who, being raised in the world, disregard their poor parents. Now ye are full, says the apostle, in a beautiful gradation, ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings - A proverbial expression, denoting the most splendid and plentiful circumstances. Without any thought of us. And I would ye did reign - In the best sense: I would ye had attained the height of holiness. That we might reign with you - Having no more sorrow on your account, but sharing in your happiness.
1Co 4:8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich. Paul has just rebuked their glorying over gifts bestowed upon them. Now he uses a burst of irony. Though receiving all the grace they had, being dependent and needy, they boasted as if they had it of themselves. The apostles had spiritual gifts, but were poor and persecuted; the Corinthians had these gifts, imparted by Paul, but were puffed up, felt, in his absence, as though they were "full", had all things; were "rich", well supplied. Ye have reigned as kings. Held their heads high as though they were made kings. I would to God ye did reign. Here comes the keenness of the rebuke which follows the irony. If they were only exalted to be kings, as they seemed to think themselves, perhaps then those who had imparted to them all that they boasted of might become kings also. The apostles were in the suffering period, but these converts had got to the reigning period.