Commentary on 1st Corinthians

 JULY 16, 2012
Commentary on First Corinthians
By: Tom Lowe


Lesson 1.2: Thanksgiving
 Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1.4-1.9


1 Cor 1:4-9 (KJV)
4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.


Commentary

4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

I thank my God always on your behalf (account),
The apostle begins this passage with thanksgiving for various blessings bestowed upon this church, which is a proof of the apostle's great love for it, and how much its welfare was on his heart. The object of thanksgiving is God, because he is the author of all mercies, and therefore, he should be given the glory and praise for them. The apostle calls him "my God", to distinguish him from all others; and to express his faith in Him as the only true God; and to confirm to this church, that all the good things they enjoyed came from Him, who was his God and their God, his Father and their Father. This is the reason he thanked Him for them, and by so doing set them an example: the persons on whose behalf he gave thanks were not at this time himself and Sosthenes, but the members of the church at Corinth; and Paul will "always", express his thankfulness for them, as often as he went to the throne of grace, or at any other time he thought of them.

Some may question why Paul begins this way; by thanking God on their behalf.  But this may be one of the most amazing verses in the New Testament. It is almost inconceivable that a church troubled by so many blunders and outright sins, as in the case of the Corinthians, should have been the object of fervent thanksgiving by an apostle! The explanation lies in the key words, IN CHRIST JESUS. In the Lord, the Corinthians were credited with the holy righteousness of Christ himself, even as the Christians of all ages; and the blood of Christ, was CONTINUALLY cleansing them from all sins (1 John 1:7[1]). The very fact that a church should have been brought into existence at all in so wicked a place as Corinth was evidence of God’s grace and power.

There may yet be another reason for why Paul opens his letter with thanksgiving: Before speaking of the faults which he must rebuke, he speaks of the grounds for praise and hope. Admittedly there was much that he could not praise, but he could see their improvement over their former condition, as well as their present faults. A good example for all critics, and one that I have personally followed in my career; I made sure that I found something to praise everyone for (everyone does something well). I tried to bank several complements before I would offer criticism. It worked well for me; and it was not part of Paul’s disposition to withhold praise where it was due. On the contrary, he was inclined to be faithful in admonishing Christians for their errors; but he was no less inclined to commend them when it was warranted. (see Romans 1.8[2]). A willingness to commend those who do well is as much in line with the gospel, as a disposition to criticize where it is deserved. A minister, or a parent, may frequently do more good by sensible approval than by giving a reprimand, and much more than by fault-finding and harsh criticism. This is a good illustration of what the theologians like to call the “communion of the saints”; that is, to give thanks to God for the mutual benefits that he extends to all believers.

for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
and includes all sorts of grace, adopting, justifying, pardoning, regenerating, and sanctifying grace; every particular grace of the Spirit, such as faith, repentance, hope, love, fear, humility, self-denial are; all are gifts of God, and we owe it all to his free grace, and not to man's free will and power, or to any virtues of his; and all come through the hands of Christ, and are given out by him, as the Mediator of the covenant, and they are the consequence of his blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and merit. Here, in this verse he particularly gives thanks to God for the grace . . . given you--(Compare to 1 Corinthians 1:7)—by . . . Christ—literally, "IN Jesus Christ" given you as members in Christ, which is their position following their conversion to faith in Jesus Christ. He is the great procurer and distributor of the blessings of God. Those who are united to Him by faith, and made to partake of his Spirit and merits, are the objects of divine favor. God loves them, bears them bountiful good-will, and bestows on them his fatherly smiles and blessings. This is what the church of Corinth was famous for; the abundance of their spiritual gifts. They did not lag behind any of the churches in any gift, (see v. 7).

Article 1: Grace
GRACE — favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what that person deserves. Grace is one of the key attributes of God. The Lord God is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” (Ex. 34:6). Therefore, grace is almost always associated with mercy, love, compassion, and patience.
In the Old Testament, the supreme example of grace was the redemption of the Hebrew people from Egypt and their establishment in the Promised Land. This did not happen because of any merit on Israel’s part, but in spite of their unrighteousness (Deut. 7:7–8; 9:5–6). Although the grace of God is always free and undeserved, it must not be taken for granted. Grace is only enjoyed within the COVENANT—the gift is given by God, and the gift is received by people through repentance and faith (Amos 5:15). Grace is to be humbly sought through the prayer of faith (Mal. 1:9).
The grace of God was supremely revealed and given in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus was not only the beneficiary of God’s grace (Luke 2:40), but was also its very embodiment (John 1:14), bringing it to humankind for salvation (Titus 2:11). By His death and resurrection, Jesus restored the broken fellowship between God and His people, both Jew and Gentile. The only way of salvation for any person is “through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15:11).
The grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ is applied to human beings for their salvation by the HOLY SPIRIT, who is called “the Spirit of grace” (Heb. 10:29). The Spirit is the One who binds Christ to His people so that they receive forgiveness, adoption to sonship, and newness of life, as well as every spiritual gift or grace (Eph. 4:7).
The theme of grace is especially prominent in the letters of Paul. He sets grace radically over against the law and the works of the law (Rom. 3:24, 28). Paul makes it abundantly clear that salvation is not something that can be earned; it can be received only as a gift of grace (Rom. 4:4). Grace, however, must be accompanied by faith; a person must trust in the mercy and favor of God, even while it is undeserved (Rom. 4:16; Gal. 2:16).
The law of Moses revealed the righteous will of God in the midst of pagan darkness; it was God’s gracious gift to Israel (Deut. 4:8). But His will was made complete when Jesus brought the gospel of grace into the world (John 1:17).

Youngblood, R. F. 1995. Nelson's new illustrated Bible dictionary. Rev. ed. of: Nelson's illustrated Bible dictionary.

 

5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

This verse explains the preceding one. Paul gives thanks for the grace which they had received, that is, that they have been enriched in Him in every way. Here it says they have been enriched in speech and in every kind of knowledge. That is, with all the gifts of speaking and knowledge. Some were prophets, some were teachers, and some had the gift of tongues. These were different forms of the gift of utterance. By Knowledge he means every kind and degree of religious knowledge.

That in every thing ye are enriched by him,
This is still a continuation of the thanksgiving for this church (v. 1), that they were "enriched", or plentifully and abundantly provided for by Christ, with all grace, with all the riches of grace; with his own unsearchable riches, of which they were made partakers, and the riches of glory, to which they were entitled by Him; and all which come to them through his poverty, which makes his grace in the donation of these riches even more memorable: and particularly the apostle is thankful, that they were enriched by “the grace of God” in Christ.
In everything has the meaning of "in everything that really matters." The Corinthians were of the same status as all of them "that know the truth". Although every Christian is required to study and learn continually, there is a certain body of truth that he must know before he can become a Christian; and that body of teaching having been acquired, and the believer having acted upon it by being baptized into Christ, he is at that point "enriched in everything." This was the enrichment enjoyed by the Christians at Corinth. Here, Everything has in view elementary knowledge and not the exceptional sense of knowing absolutely everything they needed to know, or else there would have been no need for Paul to write to them. The idea that Paul intended this verse as a compliment to the Corinthians for their ability to speak in tongues is evidently a false assumption.

Ye are enriched by him. (see Romans 2:4[3]). The meaning of this expression is, "you abound in these things; they are conferred abundantly upon you." By the use of this word, the apostle intends to call attention to the fact that these blessings had been conferred on them abundantly; and also that this was a valuable endowment and treasure. The mercies of God are not only conferred abundantly on his people, but they are a gift of immeasurable value. (Compare to 2 Corinthians 6:10[4]).
In the last part of this verse he names two of those things that these Corinthians are enriched by; utterance and knowledge.

in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
About this we have two points to make:
1. That they had the knowledge of the truths and doctrines of the Gospel, concerning the person, offices, grace, and righteousness of Christ; and many of them had such large gifts of knowledge, that they were richly qualified to preach the Gospel to others. This church was rich in preachers and preaching of the word; and rich in knowledge or apprehension of it. All the truths of God relative to their salvation had been explicitly declared to them.
2. That they have the gift of utterance; which has a double meaning; some there had the gift of preaching, while others had the gift of tongues. Grosheide explained that this phrase, in all utterance means that "Their richness in Christ consists especially in the ability to speak well about the revelation of God." Again, they were blessed with some good preachers.

That the supernatural gift of tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance, was imparted to the early church is apparent from 1 Corinthians 12.8-10[5]. This power was conferred on the church at Corinth, and that it was highly valued by them, is evident from 1 Corinthians 14 and 2 Corinthians 8:7[6]. The power of speaking in other languages was regarded by Paul as a subject of thanksgiving, and as proof of God’s favor to them (See 1 Corinthians 14:5, 22, 39[6]).

Where God has given these two gifts, utterance and knowledge, he has given a great capacity for usefulness. Many have the flower of utterance but they don’t possess the root of knowledge, and their preaching is barren. Many have the treasure of knowledge, but they lack the utterance (speech) to employ it for the good of others, and therefore it stays dormant. But, where God gives both utterance and knowledge, a man is qualified for great usefulness.

Paul hopes to gain their goodwill by complementing them on having these two gifts, because shortly he will begin to speak on their abuse of these gifts on which they prided themselves.


6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

The force of the expression “Even as” seems to be this: “The gospel of Christ was at first established among you by means of the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost. Those same gifts are still continued among you, and they give evidence to you of the Divine favor and of the truth of the gospel, even as—that is, in the same measure as they did when the gospel was first preached. The power to speak with tongues is just one of those gifts that would be a continued miracle, and would be a demonstration to them of the truth of Christianity as it was at the beginning.

By “the testimony of Christ” is meant the Gospel of Christ, which bears a testimony to His deity, his incarnation, his obedience, sufferings, and death, his resurrection from the dead, ascension to heaven, sitting at God's right hand, and intercession for the saints; to redemption by his blood, justification by his righteousness, pardon and atonement for sin by his sacrifice, and complete salvation by his obedience and death. This, as it had been preached to the Corinthians, was confirmed and established among them, by the signs and miracles with which it was accompanied; by the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, particularly of prophecy, which was bestowed on many of them; and by the internal power and energy of the Spirit, accompanying and applying it to their souls. The message of the gospel consists in bearing witness to Christ and his work (See 1 Corinthians 15:1-4[7]; 2 Timothy 1:8[8]). Christ was the Gospel that the apostle preached.

Was confirmed, means that something was established, or proved; in this case that something is the Gospel. It was proved to be Divine, by the miraculous demonstrations of the Holy Spirit. It was confirmed, or made certain to their souls, by the action of the Holy Spirit, sealing it on their hearts. The word translated confirmed is used in the sense of establishing, confirming, or demonstrating by miracles, etc., in Mark 16:20[9], Hebrews 13:9[10].

The phrase In you means “Among you as a people, or in your hearts.” Perhaps the apostle intends to include both. The gospel had been established among them by the actions of the Spirit in the gift of tongues, and had at the same time taken deep root in their hearts, and was exerting a practical influence on their lives.
When the church of Corinth was enriched with all utterance and all knowledge, it was fitting that a large tribute of praise should be rendered to God, especially when these gifts were a testimony to the truth of the Christian doctrine, and a confirmation of the testimony of Christ among them.

 

 

7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
So that ye come behind in no gift

 

So that ye come behind in no gift;

A list of those gifts bestowed on this church is found in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10[5]; by which it appears that they were not inferior in gifts to any of the churches; and this clause is synonymous with what he had said in 1 Corinthians 1:5, that they abounded in everything. They had all the gifts, but different persons among them had different gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4[11]); all the people did not have all the gifts. Nevertheless, every gift and grace of God's Spirit was possessed by the members of the Corinthian Church, some having their gifts after this manner, others after that; and in addition to the extraordinary and miraculous gifts, he bestowed endowments of kindness that produced in them peace of mind, faithfulness, humility, etc. And the apostle meant evidently to say that they possessed, in rich abundance, all those endowments which were bestowed on Christians.

In early Christian times people must have seen all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the special ones as well as the permanent ones. As of yet they were not differentiated as special or permanent, and the church was not aware that the special gifts were not going to remain.

waiting for the coming
This is a reference to the Second Advent of Christ, indicating that the final redemption of people will take place then, and that we are living in the time of probation, which is essentially a period of waiting and expecting. There is no hint here that Paul or the Corinthians believed that the last Advent would come immediately, or in their lifetime.

Waiting for. Expecting, or looking for His coming with glad and anxious desire. This was, certainly, one of the endowments to which he referred; that they had grace given them to earnestly wish to see Him, and a confident expectation and a firm belief that the Lord Jesus will return. It demands strong faith, and it will do much to elevate the feelings above worldly desires, and to keep the mind in a state of peace.
The coming means the revelation and the manifestation of the Son of God. That is, waiting for His return to judge the world, and for Him to receive the praise of His people on that day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is both Lord and God. The earnest expectation of the Lord Jesus became one of the marks of early Christian piety. This return was promised by the Savior to his anxious disciples, when he was about to leave them, John 14:3[12]. The promise was renewed when he ascended to heaven, Acts 1:11[13]. It became the well-known hope and expectation of all Christians, everywhere, that he would return, Titus 2:13[14]; 2 Peter 3:12[15]; Hebrews 9:28[16]. And with the earnest prayer that he would quickly come, John closes the book of great inspiration, Revelation 22:20[16]. The Greek verb that is used implies, "to expect constantly, not just for a certain time, but even to the end, when the expected event happens" (Romans 8:19[17]).

It is no wonder that when they had such a foundation for their faith, that they should live in expectation of the glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is in the character of Christians to wait for Christ’s second coming; all our religion has something to do with this: we believe it, and hope for it, and it is the business of our lives to prepare for it, if we are indeed Christians. And the more faith we have in Christ and in the Christian religion the more firm is our belief in our Lord’s Second Coming, and the more earnest our expectation of it.

Some will say that they don’t know whether the apostle is talking about the Rapture or the Second Coming (see See 1 Thessalonians 3:13[18]) ; but I believe it must be the Second Coming, since the Lord doesn’t set foot on the earth when He raptures the church; we will meet Him in the air. The second coming of Christ, so clearly predicted by himself and by his apostles, connected as it is with the promise of the resurrection of his people and the consummation of his kingdom, was the object of longing expectation to all the early Christians.

of our Lord Jesus Christ:
He will appear for a second time, come in great glory, will raise the dead, and judge both the quick and dead. At that time, gifts will cease and will no longer be useful; but, until that time comes, they should be diligently made use of, and even improved for the service of Christ; who will surely come again, and call his servants and churches to an accounting of the talents he has entrusted them with. For Christians, His coming is to be believed, loved, looked for, and hoped for by all that love Him.

8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who shall also confirm you unto the end,
Some scholars refer back to God as the antecedent of "who" in this place; but Guthrie seems correct in seeing here an exhortation for the Corinthians not to trust in spiritual gifts which they had received, but that they should look to Christ who would be their strength even to the end. It is "a gentle reminder that the Corinthians had not yet `arrived' at perfection, despite their many gifts." Full redemption for all people must await THAT DAY when the Lord shall come in His glory and all His holy angels with him (2 Timothy 4:8[19]). But until THAT DAY, Paul gives them some encouraging hopes, founded on the power and love of Christ, and the faithfulness of God. He who had begun a good work in them, and carried it on thus far, would not leave it unfinished. Those that wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ will be kept by him, and confirmed in the end. Brothers and sisters, He will make you safe and keep you strong in the midst of all your trials, and all the efforts which may be made to shake your faith, and to remove you from that firm foundation on which you now rest.

God had not only enriched them with the gifts of the Spirit, but he would also confirm them. The one was an assurance of the other. Those to whom God gives the renewing influence of the Spirit, he thereby pledges himself to save; for 'the first fruits of the Spirit' are, of the nature of a pledge. They are an earnest, as the apostle says, of the future inheritance (see Ephesians 1:14[20] and 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22[21]).

that ye may be blameless
They cannot be blameless in themselves, because no man is without his faults; none of God's children are without their failings and weaknesses; they have no one to blame but themselves, and they may be blamed by God too, if it were not for one advantage they have; that they are so much in Christ their Lord, being justified by His righteousness, and washed in His blood that in the sight of God, they are considered in Christ; and will appear as such. And they will be blameless in the day of Christ: not based upon the principle of strict justice, but gracious pardon; not in the strictness of the Law, but from rich and free grace. How wonderful it is to be confirmed and kept by Christ for such a purpose as this! How glorious are the hopes of such a privilege, whether for ourselves or others! To be kept by the power of Christ from the power of our own corruption and Satan’s temptations, so that we may appear without blame on that Great Day: Free from blame when they are

called to meet the Lord.
Blameless does not mean perfect, but it denotes those against whom there is no charge of crime; that are not accused, and against whom there is no grounds for accusation. It does not mean that they were personally perfect, but that God would keep them, and enable them to demonstrate a Christian character, which would give evidence that they were his friends, and completely escape condemnation in the last day. There is no man who is without faults; no Christian who is not conscious of imperfections; but it is the will of God to keep his people safe, and to justify and sanctify them through the Lord Jesus, so that the church may be presented "a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle" Ephesians 5:27 in the day of judgment.
in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The day of our Lord Jesus Christ is that day when he shall descend from heaven, and take his saints to him, and present them to himself as a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. On that day the Lord Jesus will come to judge the world; and it will be called His day, because it will be the day in which he will be the great and conspicuous object, and which is especially appointed to glorify him. "When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe" (2 Thessalonians 1:10).

 

9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

God is faithful, by whom ye were called
The faithfulness of God is a favorite expression among the ancient Jews; and by it they give evidence of a proper understanding of the integrity of God in preserving whatever is entrusted to him. It is a wonderfully true testimonial that our God is faithful, and unchangeable, and will keep all his promises. He will not deceive. He will not promise, and then fail to perform; he will not begin anything which he will not perfect and finish. He is one in whom we may confide; one who will fulfill all his promises. The apostle's confidence in the steadfastness and final perseverance of believers was founded neither on their own strength and desire to persevere, nor on any assumption that the precepts of religion in their hearts were indestructible, but simply on God's faithfulness. The thing that the apostle had in mind here by introducing the idea of the faithfulness of God is to show the reason for believing that the Christians at Corinth would be kept unto everlasting life. The evidence that they will persevere depends on the faithfulness of God; and the argument of the apostle is, that since they had been called by Him into the fellowship of His Son, His Son’s faithfulness of character would make certain that they would be kept by eternal life until the Day of Jesus Christ. It is the same idea he presented in Philippians 1:6: "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will also perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."  Those that come at his call will never be disappointed by the hopes they have in him. If we are faithful to God, we will never find him unfaithful to us. He will not suffer his faithfulness to fail, Ps. 89:33 . Bad as conditions were in the church at Corinth, God's purpose would continue to operate on their behalf.

The word "called", as it is used here does not refer merely to an invitation or an offer of life, but to the effective influence of the Holy Spirit which created within an individual the need to be free from the bonds of sin and inclined him or her to embrace the gospel. In this sense the word “called” often occurs in the Scriptures (See Mark 2:17[22]; Galatians 1:6[23]). 

unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
Fellowship includes union and commun- ion. The original word, koinonia, signifies participation, as in 10:16[24] ('sharing in the blood of Christ'). We are called to share in Christ; share in his life, as members of his body; and therefore, share his character, his sufferings here and his glory (see Romans 8:30[25]) hereafter. We are partakers of his grace, and we are heirs of glory with him; to enjoy communion with him in private and public exercises of religion, which is an evidence of being in him, and of being joined to him; because we are not called merely into the fellowship of his saints or churches, but into the fellowship of his Son. We are members of Christ, of his body, of his flesh, and of his bone; and shall never be lost and perish, but shall be kept safe until the end; be preserved in him blameless, and presented to him faultless, and have everlasting life.

Observe: the name of Christ is mentioned nine times in as many verses, and is found more often in this than in any other Epistle.

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[1] 1 John 1:7 (KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. But if we walk in the light. We walk in the light by following Christ, the Light of the world. We have fellowship. All who are walking in the light have this in common; fellowship with Jesus. The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. Cleansed of sin by the blood of Christ, and thus made holy, we are made ready for heavenly communion.
[2] Romans 1:8 (KJV) First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Every time I hear Paul use the phrase “you all”, I think he must be a southerner.
 [3] Romans 2:4 (KJV) Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Or despisest. This word means to treat with neglect. It does not mean here that they treated God's goodness with neglect or contempt; but that they perverted and abused it; they did not make a proper use of it; they did not regard it as able to lead them to repentance; but they derived an erroneous impression, that because God had not come against them in judgment and dealt harshly with them, but had continued to bless them, that He did not regard them as sinners, or they inferred that they were innocent and safe.
[4] 2 Cor 6:10 (KJV) As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. making many rich -- Spiritually (1Co 1:5), after the example of our Lord, who "by His poverty made many rich" (2Co 8:9). having nothing -- Whatever earthly goods we have, and these are few, we have them like they are on loan and can be taken away by the owner. possessing all things -- The Greek implies firm possession, holding fast in possession. The things both of the present and of the future are, in the truest sense, in the believer's possession, for he possesses them all in Christ, his lasting possession, though the full fruition of them is reserved for the future eternity.
[5] 1 Cor 12:8-10 (KJV) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;   To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
[6] 1 Cor 14:5, 22, 39 (KJV) I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying… Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe…Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
[7] 1 Cor 15:1-4 (KJV) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
[8] 2 Tim 1:8 (KJV) Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Be not—ashamed of the testimony—The testimony of Christ is the Gospel in general, which proclaims Christ crucified, and redemption through his blood. In the sight of the world, there appeared to be some reason why a man should be ashamed of this; ashamed of him who was crucified as a malefactor; but, when this Gospel became the power of God to the salvation of every one that believed, it was a subject to exult in. Hence the apostle, Romans 1:16, said, I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Nor of me his prisoner—when our friends are in power, we can readily acknowledge them, and take opportunities to show that we have such and such connections; but when the person falls into disgrace or discredit, though we cannot pretend not to know him, yet we take care not to acknowledge him. Be thou partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel—No parent could love a child better than Paul loved Timothy; and, behold! He who could wish him nothing but what was great, honorable, and good, wishes him to be a partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel! Because, to suffer for Christ, and suffer with Christ, was the highest glory to which any human being in this state could arrive. The royal way to the crown of glory, is by the cross of Christ. According to the power of God—while thou hast no more affliction than thou hast grace to sustain thee under, thou canst have no cause to complain. And God will take care that if a faithful discharge of thy duty shall expose thee to afflictions, his power manifested in thee shall be in proportion to thy necessities. His load cannot be oppressive, who is strengthened to bear it by the power of God.
[9] Mark 16:20 (KJV) And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. The Lord working with them—This co-operation was twofold, internal and external. Internal, illuminating their minds, convincing them of the truth, and establishing them in it. External, conveying their word to the souls that heard it, by the demonstration of the Holy Ghost; convincing them of sin, righteousness, and judgment; justifying them by his blood, and sanctifying them by his Spirit. Though miraculous powers are not now requisite, because the truth of the Gospel has been sufficiently confirmed, yet this co-operation of God is indispensably necessary, without which no man can be a successful preacher; and without which no soul can be saved.
[10] Heb 13:8-9 (KJV) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
[11] 1 Cor 12:4 (KJV) Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit
[12] John 14:3 (KJV) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. I will come again, and receive you unto myself. The reference is to Christ's return from heaven, the second coming of the Lord, which is a part of the Christian faith.
[13] Acts 1:11 (KJV) Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
[14] Titus 2:12-13 (KJV) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
[15] 2 Peter 3:12 (KJV) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
[16] Rev 22:20 (KJV) He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
[17] Romans 8:19 (KJV) For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
[18] 1 Thess 3:13 (KJV) To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
[19] 2 Tim 4:8 (KJV) Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. At that day—the day of judgment; the morning of the resurrection of the dead.
[20] Eph 1:14 (KJV) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Until the redemption. Romans 8:23. The meaning here is, we have the Holy Spirit as the pledge that that shall be ours, and the Holy Spirit will be imparted to us until we enter on that inheritance.
[21] 2 Cor 1:21-22 (KJV) Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. the earnest of the Spirit -- that is, the Spirit as the earnest (that is, money given by a purchaser as a pledge for the full payment of the sum promised). The Holy Spirit is given to the believer now as a first instalment to assure him his full inheritance as a son of God shall be his hereafter (Eph 1:13, 14). "Sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession" (Ro 8:23). The Spirit is the pledge of the fulfilment of "all the promises" (2Co 1:20).
[22]Mark 2:17 (KJV) When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
[23]Gal 1:6 (KJV) I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
[24]1 Cor 10:16 (KJV) The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? The cup of blessing which we bless. The design of this verse and the following verses seems to be, to prove that Christians, by partaking of the Lord's Supper, are solemnly set apart to the service of the Lord Jesus; that they acknowledge him as their Lord, and dedicate themselves to him.
[25]Romans 8:30 (KJV) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

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