I Corinthians 16

 

1 Now concerning the collection for the saints” - “the saints” are here the poor Christians

at Jerusalem (Romans 15:26). The subject weighed much on Paul’s mind. First, there was real

need for their charity, for at Jerusalem there was as sharp a contrast between the lots of

the rich and poor as there is in London, and the “poor saints,” being the poorest of the poor

(James 2:5), must have often been in deep distress.  Not many years before this time, in the

famine of Claudius, (Acts 11:27-30), Queen Helena of Adiabene had kept the paupers of

Jerusalem alive by importing cargoes of dried grapes and figs.   In this way could the Gentile

Churches show their gratitude to the mother Church.  In Galatians 2:10, Paul had promised

the apostles at Jerusalem that he would remember the poor.  Hence he frequently alludes to

this collection (II Corinthians chps. 8-9;  Romans 15:26; Acts 24:17). The enthusiastic

communism of the earliest Christian society in Jerusalem had soon ceased, being, as all

experience proves, an impossible experiment under the conditions which regulate all

human life, and it may have aggravated the chronic distress – “as I have given order

to the churches of Galatia” - Not in his extant letter to the Galatians, but either in

a visit three years before this time (Acts 18), or by letter. It appears from

II Corinthians 8:10 that Paul had already asked for the contributions of the Corinthians.

To the Corinthians he proposes the example of the Galatians; to the Macedonians the example

of the Corinthians; to the Romans that of the Macedonians and Corinthians. Great is the

power of example – “even so do ye.” The aorist implies that they should do it at once.

2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God

hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” - rather, that, when I

come, there may then be no collections. When he came he did not wish his attention to be

absorbed in serving tables.  3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by

your letters” - The letters would be letters of introduction or commendation (Acts 18:27;

Romans 16:1; II Corinthians 3:1) to the apostles at Jerusalem –“them will I send to bring

your liberality unto Jerusalem.” - literally, your grace or favor; i.e. the token of your

voluntary affection.  4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.”  Paul

would not take this money himself. His “religious” enemies were many, bitter, and

unscrupulous, and he would give them no possibility of a handle against him. He makes

such arrangements as should place him above suspicion (II Corinthians 8:20). It turned

out that the subscription was an adequate one, and Paul accompanied the Corinthian

delegates (Romans 15:25; Acts 20:4). The thought that they might visit Jerusalem and

see some of the twelve would act as an incentive to the Corinthians. 5 Now I will come

unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia:  for I do pass through Macedonia.”

We learn from II Corinthians 1:15-16, that it had been Paul’s intention to sail from Ephesus

to Corinth, thence, after a brief stay, to proceed to Macedonia, and on his return to come

again for a longer stay at Corinth on his way to Judaea. He had in an Epistle, now lost

(ch. 5:9), announced to them this intention, he changed his plan because, in the present

disgraceful state of disorganization into which the Church had fallen, he felt that he could

not visit them without being compelled to exercise a severity which, he hoped, might be

obviated by writing to them and delaying his intended visit. Nothing but his usual delicacy

and desire to spare them prevented him from stating all this more fully (II Corinthians 1:23;

2:1). Mistaking the kindness of his purpose, the Corinthians accused him of levity. He

defends himself from this charge in the Second Epistle, and he carried out the plan

which he here announces (II Corinthians 2:13; 8:1; 9:2, 4; 12:14; 13:1).  6 And it may be

that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey” –

It was the custom in ancient days to accompany a departing guest for a short distance

(Romans 15:24; Acts 15:3; 17:15) – “whithersoever I go.” Paul well knew that some

uncertainty must attach to his plans. As it was, he had to change his plan at the last

moment. He had meant to sail from Corinth, but, owing to a plot to assassinate him,

he was obliged to go overland round by Macedonia (Acts 20:3).  7 For I will not see

you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.”

Christians made a rule of adding these phrases in sign of dependence upon God                                                                

(II Corinthians 4:19; Acts 18:1; James 4:15; Hebrews 6:3).  [From my youth, it

has been often my practice to either preface a statement or append to it the  words

if all goes well” – my private and feeble attempt of acknowledging “ye ought to say,

If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that” -James 4:14-16” – CY – 2010]

The text tells us that Paul had made a plan to visit the Corinthians, to “tarry a while” with

them, and to spend the winter with them, after he had passed through Macedonia, and tarrying,

at Ephesus until the Pentecost; but see, he rests this plan on the Lord’s will “if the Lord

 permit.”  The great truth implied in this expression of Paul’s is that God is in the history

of individual man. “If a man love me, he will keep my words:  and my Father will

love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23)

He is not merely in the great material universe, in angelic hierarchies, in human empires,

communities, Churches, families, but in the individual man himself. God is not too absorbed

in the vast for this, not too great for this. Paul believed that God was interested in him

personally, and that He arranged for him personally. There is something sublime, bracing,

and ennobling in the thought that God knows me, cares for me, arranges for me.

There is an acquiescence implied here. “If the Lord permit.” This means, “I have no will

of my own.” As if he had said personally, “Consulting merely my own will, I should like to

winter with you, my Corinthian friends, but I subordinate my will to the will of my God. I feel

myself in His hands, and am ready to act in everything according to His arrangements.”

8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.”  It is possible that this intention was

frustrated by the riot stirred up by the silversmiths (Acts 19:23-41). But, in any case, he

stayed at Ephesus nearly as long as he intended, for the riot only occurred when he was

already preparing to leave (ibid. vs. 21-22).  9 For a great door and effectual is opened

unto me”  - A wide and promising opportunity for winning souls to God. The metaphor of

a door,” perhaps suggested by our Lord himself, was common among Christians

(II Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:3; Acts 14:27; Revelation 3:8)  - “and there are

many adversaries.” (Acts 19:1, 8-9,19-20).  10 Now if Timotheus come” - Paul had

already sent on Timothy (II Corinthians 4:17), with Erastus (Acts 19:22), to go to Corinth by

way of Macedonia, and prepare for his visit. But possibly he had countermanded these

directions when he postponed his own visit. In the uncertainties of ancient travelling, be could

not be certain whether his counter order would reach Timothy or not. It appears to have done

so, for nothing is said of any visit of Timothy to Corinth, and Paul sent Titus – “see that he

may be with you without fear” -  Timothy must at this time have been very young

(I Timothy 4:12). As a mere substitute for Paul’s personal visit, he would be unacceptable.

In every allusion to him we find traces of a somewhat timid and sensitive disposition

(ibid. 5:21-23; II Timothy 1:6-8). He may well, therefore, have shrunk from the thought

of meeting the haughty sophisters and disputatious partisans of Corinth – “for he worketh

the work of the Lord, as I also do.” “As a son with the father, he hath served with me

in the gospel” (Philippians 2:22). Paul felt for Timothy a deeper personal tenderness than

for any of his other friends, and the companionship of this gentle and devoted youth was one

of the chief comforts of his missionary labor.  11 Let no man therefore despise him: but

conduct him forth in peace that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the

brethren.”  There was a reason for adding this. The Corinthians would see that any unkindness

or contempt shown towards Timothy would at once be reported to Paul.  Who “the brethren”

are is not mentioned, for in Acts 19:22 we are only told that Timothy was accompanied by

Erastus.  One of these brethren must have been Titus (II Corinthians 2:13; 7:6-7), and there

were two others.  12 As touching our brother Apollos” - It seems clear from this that the

Corinthians, in their letter, had requested that this eloquent and favorite teacher might be sent

to them – “I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren” - rather, I besought

him much. There were at Corinth persons malignant enough to have suggested that Paul had

refused their request; that he would not send Apollos to them out of jealousy of Apollos’s

superior oratory, and of the party which assumed his name. Paul anticipated this sneer. His

nature was much too noble to feel the least jealousy. Both he and Apollos here show

themselves in the purest light – “but his will was not at all to come at this time” –

Apollos had decided not to come at present, obviously because his name had been abused

for purposes of party faction (ch. 3:5). This was all the more noble on his part because he

seems to have been a special friend of Titus (Titus 3:13). Paul would gladly have sent his two

ablest and most energetic disciples to this distracted Church – “but he will come when he

shall have convenient time.”  rather, when a good opportunity offers itself to him.

Whether Apollos ever revisited Corinth or not we do not know. 13 Watch ye, stand fast

in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” - The brief impetuous imperatives show a

sudden burst of emotion as he draws to a close. The next clause seems like an after thought.

Watchfulness (I Thessalonians 5:6; I Peter. 5:8; Revelation 3:2; 16:15), steadfastness

(Philippians 1:27), and strength (Ephesians 6:10; Colossians 1:11; II Timothy 2:1), and

love (ch. 13.; I Peter 4:8) were frequent subjects of Christian exhortation. The verb

ajndri>zesfe - andrizesthe – “act manly” - which  expresses Christian manliness

(“Play the men!”) occurs here only. It is found in the LXX. of  Joshua 1:6. The Corinthians

needed all these exhortations, for they were, in Christian matters, drowsy, unstable,

effeminate, and factious.  14 Let all your things be done with charity.” - Let all that

 ye do be done in love.  15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas

This paragraph seems to have been written lest the Corinthians should be angry with

Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus — who, perhaps, were slaves of the household of

Chloe — for having carried to Paul their ill report (ch. 1:11) -   “that it is the first-fruits

of Achaia” - For which reason Paul had baptized Stephanas and his house (ibid. v.16).

In Romans 16:5 Epaenetus is called “the firstfruits of Achaia,” but there the reading

ought to be, of Asia “and that they have addicted themselves” - rather, they set

 themselves  from ta>ssw, — tas’-so; a prolonged form of a primary verb (which

latter appears only in certain tenses); to arrange in an orderly manner, i.e. assign or

dispose (to a certain position or lot): — addict, appoint, determine, ordain, set.

 to the ministry of  the saints).  16 That ye submit yourselves unto such” - Slaves

though they may be in earthly rank, recognize their Christian authority as  good men and

women (see Ephesians 5:21; I Timothy 5:17). The verb used for “submit yourselves,” or, “

set yourselves under,” is the same root word in the previous verse (uJpota>ssw, —

hoop-ot-as’-so; from  uJpo> - hoop-o’ – under; beneath - (ta>ssw); [as above reference

in v. 15] to subordinate; reflexive to obey: — be under obedience (obedient), put under,

subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.

and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboreth.  17 I am glad of the coming” –

rather at the presence of -  “of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which

was lacking on your part they have supplied.”  This sounds like a reproach in the

Authorized Version, but is quite the reverse. It should be rendered, the void caused by

 your absence. The same word occurs in II Corinthians 8:13-14; 9:12; 11:9. The

nearest parallel to the usage here is Philippians 2:30.  18 For they have refreshed

my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.”

 

 

                        Salutations and Autograph Conclusion (vs. 19-24)

 

19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the

Lord” - This admirable Christian husband and wife had no small share in founding the

Churches both of Corinth and Ephesus.  Being Paul’s partners in trade, he spent much

time with them. (For all that is known of them. see Acts 18:1-2, 26; Romans 16:3-5.)

 with the church that is in their house.”  The time for large common churches for

public worship had not yet arrived, Hence, when the Christian community numbered

more than could meet in one place, the congregations were held in separate houses

(Romans 16:4,15; Acts 2:46; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2).  20 All the brethren

greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.”  The kiss of peace is

mentioned in Romans 16:16; II Corinthians 13:12; I Peter 5:14. It was a sign of the

reconciliation of all dissensions. But the abuse of the practice and the hideous heathen

calumnies which it helped to perpetuate, led to its abolition.  21 The salutation of me

Paul with mine own hand.”  Every one of Paul’s Epistles, except that to the Galatians

(Galatians 6:11), seems to have been written by an amanuensis. The blaze of light in the

vision on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9) seems to have left him with acute and

permanent ophthalmia  as his “thorn in the flesh;” (II Corinthians 12:7) and this would

naturally disincline him to the physical labor of writing. When he did write, his letters seem

to have been large and straggling (Galatians 6:11), But this was an age in which

documents were frequently falsified by designing persons, and this seems to have happened

to Paul after he had written his very first extant letter.  After warning the Thessalonians not

to be frightened “by epistle as from us” (II Thessalonians 2:2), he adds, at the close of

the letter, that henceforth he intends to authenticate every letter by an autograph

salutation (ibid. 3:17; Colossians 4:18; Romans 16:22). To this bad and dangerous

practice of forgery is due the energetic appeal of Revelation 22:18-19 – “For I testify

unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man

shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written

in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this

prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy

city, and from the things which are written in this book.”  22 If any man love not

the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema (ajna>qema) — an-ath’-em-ah; meaning

“accursed” or “to curse” – “Maranatha” - mara<n ajqa>, — mar’-an ath’-ah; of Chaldian

origin (meaning our Lord has come); maranatha, i.e. an exclamation of the approaching

divine judgment: — Maran-atha.  It seems to be an appeal to the judgment of Christ, and

may possibly have been an allusion to Malachi 4:6, the words with which the Old Testament

ends (see also Jude 1:14-15).  24 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

This is a gnorisma, or “badge of confidence,” which, in one or other of its forms, is

found at the end of all Paul’s Epistles. Here it is the same as in I Thessalonians 5:28.

“With you all” is added in II Thessalonians 3:18; Romans 16:24; Philippians 4:23.

In Galatians and Philemon we have “with your spirit.” In the pastoral Epistles and

Colossians, “Peace be with you.” In Ephesians 6:24 it is confined to those “who love

the Lord Jesus in sincerity.”   “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love

of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.  Amen.”

(Corinthians 13:14).   There alone we have the full “apostolic benediction.” 

24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”  Added as a last proof that, if he

has written in severity, he has also written in love.

 

 

                                                ADDITIONAL NOTES

 

 

                                         Christian Philanthropy (vs. 1-4)

 

Immediately after the apostle had passed through the discussion on the doctrine of the

resurrection of the dead, he says, “Now concerning the collection.” Practical benevolence

is doctrine  demonstrated, exemplified, and reduced to utility; and is the blossom turning into

fruit. 

 

  • Contributions should be personal. “Let every one of you lay by him in store,”

      No one was exempted, however poor; the widow’s mite was acceptable. (Mark 12:

      41-44. If no coin, then give service.

 

  • Contributions should be systematic. “Upon the first day of the Week.” Begin

      the week with deeds of practical benevolence.

 

  • Contributions should be religious. “As God hath prospered him.” This was the

      principle to rule the amount. Were this principle acted upon, some of the men who

      subscribe their ten thousand dollars, and who are lauded the world over as

      philanthropists, would be found to be churls after all, and those who subscribed their

      few shillings would appear as princes in the domain of practical charity. But, alas!

      how men reverse this principle! The more they have the less they give.

 

  • Contributions should be honestly distributed. “And when I come, whomsoever

      ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto

            Jerusalem.”  It is your duty to see that what you have subscribed shall be honestly

            distributed.  How sadly is this duty frequently neglected! How much money given

            for charitable purposes is dishonestly used and misappropriated every year!

 

 

 

 

                                                Christian Soldiers (v. 13)

 

  • THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS A SCENE OF WARFARE. It is an opportunity for

      bearing witness to the grace of God, an opportunity for faithful and diligent service.

      But this is not all. Who can, in any station of life, sincerely endeavor to live as a

      Christian, without finding out that life is a campaign, a scene of discipline, of conflict?

      Surely the language of the New Testament in which we are addressed as soldiers

      of the cross, is not mere poetry, the utterance of imagination!

 

  • THE FOES WHOM THE CHRISTIAN IS CALLED TO ENCOUNTER ARE

      SPIRITUAL. As the apostle, expresses it elsewhere, “We wrestle not with flesh

      and blood, but with principalities and powers,”  (Ephesians 6:12).  Whether at

      Corinth or at Ephesus, or in modem America, or far away beyond the seas, he who

      is bent upon doing the will of God must needs make up his mind to face the adversary.

      The devil walks about “as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour  -

      (I Peter 5:8) Thankfully, “we are not ignorant of his devices” – (II Corinthians 2:11)

      Many are the forms assumed by the foe of souls, many his devices, great his craft and

      power. In his temptation, our Divine Lord and Leader, the Captain of our salvation,

            Himself faced the enemy, and withstood his repeated and various assaults.

 

  • OUR POSITION OF DANGER CALLS FOR THE EXERCISE OF

      THE SOLDIER LIKE VIRTUES OF COURAGE AND ENDURANCE.

 

ü      Watchfulness; lest the soldier be surprised at his post, and fall a victim to

                        his foe. What stress our Lord and His apostles have laid upon this attitude

                        of vigilance! If we know ourselves, our weakness, our liability to sin; if we

                        know the resources of our enemies — we shall feel the necessity of

                        watching, lest we enter into temptation.

 

ü      Steadfastness in the faith; lest we be tossed to and fro by our indecision

                        and vacillation. Persecution and prosperity are alike in this, that they

                        expose us to this danger.  We have to abide in the faith. He that “endureth

                        to the end” shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13)  Lack of steadfastness:

 

Ø      hinders our spiritual growth;

Ø      mars our usefulness;

Ø      imperils our salvation;

Ø      is a stumbling block to others;

Ø      a great offence to Christ;

Ø       spoils our spiritual joys.

 

ü      Manliness is, no doubt, in contrast to the spirit of effeminacy and sloth.

                        “Quit you like men!” is the ringing battle cry of one whose own life

                        illustrated the precept.  Christians should be robust. They are not always to

                        be children in the faith. They need a manly temper:

 

Ø      to contend with difficulties;

Ø      to bear up under opposition;

Ø      to endure temporary defeat.

           

                        Christians should be bold and fearless. Every Christian should be a

                        courageous Christian. The service in which we are engaged is grand

                        beyond conception — the issues how momentous! “Quit you like men!”

 

ü      Strength is needed in such a combat, in which only “the weapons of

                        warfare which are not carnal are mighty through God to the pulling

                        down of the strongholds.  (II Corinthians 10:4)  Does it seem strange that

                        we are commanded to be strong? Some will say we can only be what we

                        are, and it is worse than futile to say to a weak man, “Be strong.” But Paul

                        said, “When I am weak then am I strong.” (II Corinthians 12:10) When

                        we are bidden to be strong, then we often feel most our weakness; but then

                         we go to the Strong for strength. “The Lion of the tribe of Judah

                        (Revelation 5:5) can give  to us a lion-like might. As to means: if we would

                        be strong we must:

 

Ø      abound in prayer

Ø      and in work — using all the strength we have;

Ø      avoid evil influences — not be more than duty calls us in

                                    pestilential worldly atmospheres;  Remember though, Jesus

                                    prayed “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the

                                    world, but that thou shouldest keep them from evil” – (John 17:15)

Ø      seek solid knowledge of things Divine;

Ø      strive against sin.

 

ü      Love should rule all our thoughts, purposes, words, and acts.  We are

      nothing if we are without love (ch. 13.). This is the key to the preceding

      exhortations. If we have a real living love towards God and man,

                        it will become easy to live in watchfulness; we shall not want to relinquish

                        our faith; our Christian manliness will rapidly develop; and we shall be

                        strong, for we shall be like God. “God is love.” Love is salt; it will

                        preserve from corruption our whole spiritual life.  We may regard love as a

                        sentiment. It is one of the most powerful practical principles of our being.

                        Human love can effect great things. And Divine love is the motive which

                        God Himself has appointed for the renewal and salvation of our humanity.

                        And this same emotion becomes in Christian society an elevating, purifying,

                        regulating, and transforming power. It is thus that it is regarded in the text.

 

Ø      THE MODEL OF THE LIFE OF LOVE IS TO BE FOUND IN

                                    THE LIFE OF CHRIST. Love gleamed from His countenance,

                                    spoke in His tones, flowed from His presence, wrought by His

                                    hands. And love led Him to His cross.

 

Ø      THE AUTHORITY FOR THE LIFE OF LOVE IS TO BE

      FOUND IN THE WORDS OF CHRIST. Again and again did

      the Savior enjoin upon His disciples the virtue of brotherly love.

      It was His new commandment. (John 13:34-35) “A new

      commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another;

      as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By

      this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye

      also love one another.”  It was His test of discipleship.

      Love to God and love to man constituted, according to Him,

      the sum of obedience, righteousness, religion.

 

Ø      THE UNIVERSAL APPLICATION OF THIS PRINCIPLE.

      It is too common to regard Christian charity as a grace to be

      displayed in certain relations and upon certain occasions. But this

      is not the New Testament idea. Love is to govern the whole life,

      and is to permeate the Christian society. There is no limitation

      in the language of the text: Let all that ye do be done in love!”

      It is a lofty motive, a far-reaching principle. The precept is doubtless

      one not easy of application so general. Yet nothing less than its

      universal adoption and prevalence can satisfy the Lord of the

                                    kingdom.

 

Ø      THE ADVANTAGES ACCRUING TO THE CHURCH FROM

      THE ADOPTION OF THIS PRINCIPLE. How different is the

      selfish principle adopted by the unchristian world, is at once apparent.

      This is a new, an antagonistic principle, yet, in its proper influence, the

      principle which is to pacify strife, to harmonize conflicting interests, to

      breathe new life into human society. “All ye are brethren”

      (Matthew 23:8) was the Master’s explicit declaration concerning the

      members of His Church. “See how these Christians love one

                                    another!” was the exclamation of a surprised and admiring world.

                                   

Ø      THE IMPRESSION PRODUCED UPON THE WORLD BY

      THE PRACTICAL EMBODIMENT OF THIS PRINCIPLE.

      The world is doubtless impressed by the novelty, the beauty, the

      celestial dignity, of Christian doctrine. Yet the expression of that

      doctrine in the life of brotherly love is more effective; and the

      realization of Christ’s idea, the fulfillment of Christ’s law, will do

      more than all preaching to convince the world of the Divine mission

      of the Christ.  “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor:  therefore

      love is the fulfilling of the law.”  (Romans 13:10)

 

  • DIVINE GRACE ALONE CAN EQUIP AND UPHOLD THE SOLDIERS IN

      THIS HOLY WAR. This great truth is always, when not expressed, in the

      background, when admonitions to vigilance and courage are addressed to Christians.

      It is not to be supposed that in our own strength we can comply with requirements

      so stringent and conduct a warfare so perilous. But “if God be for us, who can be

      against us?” (Romans 8:31)  The warfare is not ours, but God’s, and His are the

      weapons and His the might, even as His is the glory of the victory.

 

 

                                    Christianity’s Demands (vs. 13-14)

 

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith,” etc. Here are certain demands which Christianity makes

on ALL MEN:

 

  • A demand for VIGILANCE. “Watch ye.” A military metaphor this, derived from the

      duty of those who are stationed to guard a camp or to observe the motions of an

      enemy.  There were many evils, as we have seen, in the Corinthian Church

      dissensions, heresies, unchastity, intemperance, etc. Hence the necessity of

      watchfulness. But where do not evils abound? Hosts surround us all, hence,

      “Watch ye.” “Watch and pray,” says Christ.  (Mark 13:35-37)

 

  • A demand for STABILITY. “Stand fast in the faith.” Do not be vacillating,

      wavering, “tossed about by every wind of doctrine.” (Ephesians 4:14)

      Strike the roots of your faith deep into the soil of eternal realities. Firmness is no

            more obstinacy than the stony rock is to the deep-rooted oak.

 

  • A demand for MANLINESS. “Quit you like men.” Be courageous, invincible,

      well equipped, manly. Be an ideal man; you can be nothing higher than this, nothing

      greater. There are great philosophers, great poets, great statesmen, great orators,

      great warriors, who are small men, if men at all, leagues away from the ideal.

      A great functionary is often a very small man. “Quit you like men.” Be heroes

      in the strife.

 

  • A demand for CHARITY.Let all your things be done with charity” or love.

      Man’s life consists of many acts, many “things done.” Activity is at once the law

      and the necessity of his nature. He only really lives as he acts; inactivity is death.

      But whilst the acts of men are numerous and varied, the animating and controlling

      spirit should be one, and that spirit is love.

 

 

                                    Crime and Punishment (vs. 21-22)

 

“If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha”.

These words contain two things:

 

  • A NEGATIVE CRIME. “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ,”

            We make three remarks on this state of mind in relation to Christ.

 

ü      It is unreasonable. There is everything in Him to call out the highest

                        love. There are three kinds of love to which we are susceptible, and which

                        are incumbent on us — gratitude, esteem, and benevolence. Gratitude

                        requires a manifestation of kindness; esteem requires moral excellence;

                        benevolence requires a purpose for the common good. Christ manifests

                        ALL THESE,  and therefore deserves our highest love.

 

ü      It is ascertainable. We can soon ascertain whether we love Christ or

                        not. There are infallible criteria. For example, the chief object of love will

                        always be:

 

Ø      the engrossing subject of thought;

Ø      the attractive theme of conversation;

Ø      the source of the greatest delight in pleasing;

Ø      the most transformative power of character; and

Ø      the most identified with our conscious life.

 

 

ü      It is deplorable. This love is the only true regulative power of the soul.

                        Where this is not, all the powers of our nature are misemployed, and.

                        all is confusion.

 

  • A POSITIVE PUNISHMENT. “Let him be Anathema Maran-atha.”

            These words intimate two things concerning the punishment.

 

ü      Its nature. “Let him be Anathema.” The word expresses some terrible

                        amount of suffering. It is one of Paul’s strong words to express a terrible

                        evil. Excommunication from all that is pure and good and happy is

                        undoubtedly involved. The soul cut off from Christ, its Centre, Root,

                        Fountain, Life, is utterly destroyed.

 

ü      Its certainty. Maran-atha,” which means, “The Lord will come.”

      This word is probably introduced by Paul in order to convey the certainty

      of the destruction of those who “love not the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul

      had written the other part of this letter by an amanuensis, but to write these

      terrible words he takes up the pen himself. “The salutation of me Paul

      with mine own hand.” He felt the utmost recoil of heart for those who

      love not the Lord Jesus Christ,” and had the most overwhelming idea

      of the misery to which such will be exposed. Men are accursed, not

      merely because they hate Christ, rebel against His authority, and

      profane His ordinances, but because THEY DO NOT LOVE HIM!

 

 

 

 

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