Paul opens the 4th chapter of 1st Corinthians by explaining criteria of being a minister. He explains that a minister is a steward of the the gospel. A minister holds the “mysteries” of God and because of that trust he must be found faithful. He tells us not to judge each other but we need to judge ourselves.
As the next section (vs. 6) Paul expounds on some of the misunderstandings regarding his ministry. He speaks of people getting “puffed up” against one another.
Paul seems to be lamenting for most of the rest of the chapter about the abuse they have suffered and how they have been mistreated because of the Gospel. In verse 17 he even reveals to the Corinthians that he has sent Timotheus to them in order to warn them and explain the proper delivery of the Gospel.
In verses 18 and 19 he acknowledges how some people have gotten angry because they think he is not going to visit them but makes the promise that he will visit BUT when he comes he will not be preaching to simply satisfy the people who have spoken against him but will be preaching the power of the gospel.
Paul closes the chapter by asking them if he wants them to visit with a rod and preach hard against them or if he wants them to come in love.
Chapter 5 will explain more of why he asked this question.