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so to love their wives as their own bodies: he that lovetfi
29 his wife loveth himself. Now no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also the Lord the
30 church. For we are members of his body, of his flesh,
31 and of his bones. For * this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and
32 they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; I
33 mean concerning Christ and the church. But let every one of you in particular so love his wife as himself: and let the wife reverence her husband.
CHAP. VI. 1. Children, obey your parents in the
2 Lord; for this is right, t Honour thy father and mother,
3 (which is the first commandment with a promise,) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayst live long upon the
4 earth. And,- ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the instruction and discipline of the Lord.
5 Servants, obey your masters according to the flesh, with fear*and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as
* Gen. ii. 24. t Exod. xx. 20.
V. 29. His own flesh—That is, himself; nourisheth and clierisheth—That is, feeds and clothes it.
V. 30. For we—The reason why Christ nourishes and cherishes the church, is that close connexion between them, which is here expressed in the words of Moses, originally spoken concerning Eve, are members—Are as intimately ■nited to Christ, in a spiritual sense, as if we were literally flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone.
V. 31. For this cause —Because of this intimate union.
CHAP. VI. Ver. 1. Children, obey your parents—In all things lawful the will of the parent is a law to the child, in the Lord—For his sake, for this is right—Manifestly just and reasonable.
V. 2. Honour—That is, love, reverence, obey, assist in all things. The mother is particularly mentioned, as being more liable to be slighted than the father; which is the first commandment with a promise—For the promise implied in the second commandment, does not belong to the keeping that command in particular, but the whole law.
V. 3. That thou mayest life long upon the earth—That is*usually fulfilled to eminently dutiful children. And he who lives long and well, has a long seedtime for the eternal harvest. But this promise, in the Christian dispensation, is to be understood chiefly in a more exalted and spiritual sense.
V. 4. And ye fathers—Mothers are included; but fathers are named, as being more apt to be stern and severe: provoke not your children to wrath—Do not needlessly fret or exasperate them; but bring them up—With all tender" ness and mil'lneps, in the instruction and discipline of the Lord—Both in Christian knowledge and practice.
V. 5. Your masters according to the flesh—-According to the present state of things: afterward, the servant is free from hisSMfeer. With fear and tremtling—4 proverbial expression, implying the utmost care and diligence, in singleness of Aeort—With a single eye to the providence and will of God.
6 onto the Lord: Not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from
7 the soul, With good will doing service as unto the Lord,
8 and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good each man doth, the same shall he receive from the Lord, whe
9 ther he be a servant or free. And ye masters, do the same things to them, forbearing threatening, knowing that your own Master is in heaven, and there is no respect of persons with him.
30 Finally, brethren, be strong through the Lord, and
11 through the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the
12 wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the world, of the darkness of this
13 age, against wicked spirits in heavenly places. Wherefore take to you the whole armour of God, that ye may
V. 6. Not with eye service—serving them better when under their eye than at other times, but doing the will of God from the heart—Doing whatever you do, as the will of God, and with your might.
V. 7. Unto the Lord, and not to men—That is, rather than to men: and by making every action of common life a sacrifice to God; having an eye to high in all things, even as if there were no other master.
V. 8. He shall receive the same—That is, a full and adequate recompense for it.
V. p. Do the same things to them—That is, act toward them from the same principle; forbearing threatening—Behaving with gentleness and humanity, not in a harsh or domineering way.
V. 1o. Brethren—This is the only place in this epistle where he uses this compellation. Soldiers frequently use it to each other is the field. Be strong —Nothing less will suffice for such a fight. To be weak, and remain so, is the way to perish: in the power of his might—A very uncommon expression; plainly denoting what great assistance we need. As if his might woutd not do: it must be the powerful exertion of his might.
V. n. Put on the whole armour of God—The Greek word means a complete suit of armour. Believers are said to put on the girdle, breast-plate, shoes; to take the shield of faith and sword of the Spirit. The whole armour—As if the armour would scarce do: it must be the whole armour. This is repeated, (ver. 13,) because of the strength and subtilty of our adversaries; and because of an evil day of sore trial being at hand.
V. 12. For our wrestling—Is not only, not chiefly against Jlesh and blood— Weak men, or fleshly appetites, but against principalities, against powers—The mighty princes of all the infernal legions. And great is their power, and that likewise of those legions whom they command, against the rulers of the world —Perhaps these principalities and powers remain mostly in the citadel of the kingdom of darkness. But there are other evil spirits'who range abroad, to whom the provinces of the world are committed, of the darkness—This is chiefly spiritual darkness | Jthhis age—Whieh prevails during the present state of things, against ivM^E:spirits—Who continually oppose faith, love, holiness, either by force or fraud: and labour toinfuse unbelief, pride, idolatry, malice, envy, anger, hatred, in heavenly places—Which were once their abode, and which they still aspire to, as far as they are permitted.
In the evil i?3JHHk war is perpetual: but the fight is one day less, .
be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, 14 to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about
with truth, and having put on the breastplate of rrghtel 5 ousness, And having your feet shod with the preparation
16 of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, whereby ye shall be able to quench all the fiery
17 darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of
another more violent. The etii/ day is either at the approach of death or in life; may be longer or shorter, and admits of numberless varieties. And having done all, to stand. That ye may still keep on your armour, still stand upon your guard, still watch and pray: and thus ye will be enabled to endure unto the end, and stand with joy before the face of the Son of Man.
V. 14. Having your loins girt about—That ye may be ready for every motion, with truth—Not only with the truths of the gospel, but with truth in the inward parts—For without this, all our knowledge of divine truth, will prove but a poor girdle in the evil day. So our Lord is described, Isa. xi. 5. And as a girded man is always ready to go on; so this seems to intimate an obedient heart, a ready will. Our Lord adds to the loins girded, the lights burning, (Luke xii. 35,) shewing that watching and ready obedience are the inseparable companions of faith and love, and having on the breastplate ofrighteousness—The righteousness of a spotless purity, in which Christ will present us faultless before God, through the merit of his own blood. With this breast-plate our Lord is described, Isa. lix. 17. In the breast is the seat of conscience, which is guarded by righteousness. No armour for the hack is mentioned. We are always to face our enemies.
V. 15. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel—Let this be always ready to direct and confirm you in every step. This part of the armour, for the feet, is needful, considering what a journey we have to go; what a race to run. Our feet must be so shod, that our foot-steps slip not. To order our life and conversation aright, we are prepared by the gospel blessing, the peace and love of God ruling in the heart, (Col. iii. 14, 15.) By this only can we tread the rough ways, surmount our difficulties, and hold out to the end.
V. 16. Above or over all—As a sort of universal covering to every ot her part of the armour itself, continually exercise a strong and lively faith. This you may use as a shield, which will quench all the fiery darts, the furious temptations, violent and sudden injections of the devil.
V. 17. And take for an helmet the hope of salvation—(1 Thess. v. 8.) The head is that part which is most carefully to be defended. One stroke here may prove fatal. The armour for this is the hope of salvation. The lowest degree of this hope is a confidence that God will work the whole work of faith in us: the highest is a full assurance of future glory added to the experimental knowledge of pardoning love. Armed with this helmet, (the hope of the joy set before him,) Christ endured the cross, and despised the shame, Heb. xii. 2, and the sword of the Spirit, the word of God—This Satan caunot with, stand, when it is edged and wielded by faith. Till now our armour has been only defensive. But we are to attack Satan, as well as secure ourselves: the shield in one hand, and the sword in the other. Whoever fights with the powers of hell will need both. He that is covered with armour from head to foot, and neglects this, will be foiled after all. This whole description shews us how great a thing it is to be a Christian, flfebe want of any one thing makes him incomplete. Though he has his IqjS^Bkf u ith truth, righteousness for a breast-plate, his feet shod with the prepurqj^Kff' the gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the accord oj^Kun'l.' yet one thing he wants after all. What is that? It follows, I
18 God, Praying always by the Spirit with all prayer and supplication, and watching thereunto with all persever
19 ance and supplication for all the saints, And for me, that utterance may be given me, by the opening of my mouth to
20 make known boldly the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds, that I may speak boldly therein as I ought to speak.
81 But that ye also may know my affairs, how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the
22 Lord, will make known to you all things: Whom I have sent to you for this very thing, that ye might know our
23 affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father
24 and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
V. 18. Praying always—At all times, and on every occasion, in the midst of all employments, inwardly praying without ceasing; by the Spirit—Through the influence of the Holy Spirit, with all prayer—With all sort of prayer, public, private, mental, vocal. Some are careful in respect of one kind of prayer, and negligent in others. If we would have the petitions we ask, let us use all. Some there are who use only mental prayer or ejaculations, and think they are in a high state of grace, and use a way of worship far superior to any other: but such only fancy themselves to be above what is really above them; it requiring far more grace to be enabled to pour out a fervent and continued prayer, than to offer up mental aspirations; and supplication—Repeating and urging our prayer, as Christ did in the garden, and watching— Inwardly attending on God, to know his will, to gain power to do it, and to attain to the blessings we desire, with all perseverance-—,Continuing to the end in this holy exercise, and supplication for all the saints—Wrestling in fervent, continued intercession for others, especially for the faithful, that they may do all the will of God, and be steadfast to the end. Perhaps we receive few answers to prayer, because we do not intercede enough for others.
V. 19. By the opening of my mouth—Removing every inwar4 and every outward hindrance.
V. 20. An ambassador in bonds—The ambassadors of men usually appear in great pomp. How differently does the ambassador of Christ appear! V. a1. Ye also—As well as others.
V. 22. That he might comfort your hearts—By relating the supports I find from God, and the success of the gospel.
V. 23. Peace—This verse recapitulates the whole epistle.
V. 24. In sincerity—Or in incorruption; without corrupting his genuine gospel, without any mixture of corrupt affections, And that with continuance, till grace issue in glory.
STi PAUL'8 EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS;
PHIL1PPI was so called from Philip, king of Macedonia, who much enlarged and beautified it. Afterwards it became a Roman colony, and the chief city of that part of Macedonia. Hither St. Paul was sent by a vision to preach; and here, not long after his coming, he was shamefully intreated. Nevertheless many were converted by him, during the short time of his abode there; by whose liberality he was more assisted, than by any other church of his planting. And they had now sent large assistance to him by Epaphroditus; by whom be returns them this Epistle.
IT Contains six Parts:
I. The inscription, C. i. 1, s
II. Thaaksgiving and Prayers for them, 3—11
III. He relates his present State and good Hope: 13—24 Whence he exhorts them,
1. While he remains with them, to walk worthy of the Gospel, 35—30
C. ii. 1—16
3. Though he be killed, to rejoice with him, 17, is
1. To certify them of all Things by Timotheus, 10—34 3. In the mean Time to send Epaphroditus, 35—30
IV. He exhorts them to rejoice, C. iii. l—3
admonishing them, to beware of false Teachers, and to imitate
the true, 3—21
commending Concord, G. iv. l—3
He again exhorts them to Joy and Meekness, 4—7 and to whatsoever Things are excellent, 8, 9
V. He accepts of their Liberality, 10—2* n. The Conclusion, 81—2*