|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-9 All Christians are by baptism dedicated and devoted to Christ, and are under strict obligations to be holy. But in the true church of God are all who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, and who call upon him as God manifest in the flesh, for all the blessings of salvation; who acknowledge and obey him as their Lord, and as Lord of all; it includes no other persons. Christians are distinguished from the profane and atheists, that they dare not live without prayer; and they are distinguished from Jews and pagans, that they call on the name of Christ. Observe how often in these verses the apostle repeats the words, Our Lord Jesus Christ. He feared not to make too frequent or too honourable mention of him. To all who called upon Christ, the apostle gave his usual salutation, desiring, in their behalf, the pardoning mercy, sanctifying grace, and comforting peace of God, through Jesus Christ. Sinners can have no peace with God, nor any from him, but through Christ. He gives thanks for their conversion to the faith of Christ; that grace was given them by Jesus Christ. They had been enriched by him with all spiritual gifts. He speaks of utterance and knowledge. And where God has given these two gifts, he has given great power for usefulness. These were gifts of the Holy Ghost, by which God bore witness to the apostles. Those that wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, will be kept by him to the end; and those that are so, will be blameless in the day of Christ, made so by rich and free grace. How glorious are the hopes of such a privilege; to be kept by the power of Christ, from the power of our corruptions and Satan's temptations!
Verse 7. - So that ye come behind in no gift. The "gifts" are here the charismata, graces, such as powers of healing, etc., which were the result of the outpouring of the Spirit. The sequel shows that they were rather outward than inward; they were splendid endowments rather than spiritual fruits. Yet even these were not wholly wanting, as we see from 2 Corinthians 8:7. The Greek may also mean "causing you not to be conscious of inferiority." Waiting; expecting, not fearing it, This was the constant attitude of the early Christians (Romans 8:19-25; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 9:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Colossians 3:4; Titus 2:13). Love for Christ's manifestation was a Christian characteristic (2 Timothy 4:8). The revelation. Three words are used to express the second advent: apokalypsis (as here and in 2 Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:7, 13); parousia (as in Matthew 24:3, 27, etc.; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; James 5:7, 8, etc.); and epiphaneia, in the pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; 2 Timothy 4:1-8; Titus 2:13). St. Paul, however, only uses parousia six times in 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and once in 1 Corinthians 15:23. All Christians alike expected the return of Christ very soon, and possibly in their own lifetime (1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10, etc.; 1 Corinthians 15:51; James 5:8, 9; 1 Peter 4:7; 1 John 2:18; Revelation 22:20, etc.). Their expectation was founded on the great eschatological discourse of our Lord (Matthew 24:29, 30, 34), and on his express promise that that generation should not pass away before his predictions were fulfilled. They were fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem and the close of the old dispensation, though they await a stilt more universal fulfilment.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So that ye come behind in no gift,.... Ordinary or extraordinary; a detail of the gifts which were bestowed on them is made in 1 Corinthians 12:8; by which it appears that they were not inferior in gifts to any of the churches:
waiting for the coming; or "the revelation"
of our Lord Jesus Christ; who will appear a second time, come in great glory, will raise the dead, and judge both quick and dead; when gifts will cease and be of no more use, and when they must all be accounted for; and therefore, till that time comes, should be diligently made use of, and improved to the interest and service of Christ; who will surely come again, and call his servants and churches to an account for the talents he has intrusted them with; and whose coming is to be believed, loved, looked, and hoped for by all, that love him in sincerity and truth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. ye come behind—are inferior to other Christians elsewhere [Grotius].
in no gift—not that all had all gifts, but different persons among them had different gifts (1Co 12:4, &c.).
waiting for … coming of … Christ—The crowning proof of their "coming behind in no gift." Faith, hope, and love, are all exercised herein (compare 2Ti 4:8; Tit 2:13). "Leaving to others their MEMENTO MORI (remember death), do thou earnestly cherish this joyous expectation of the Lord's coming" [Bengel]. The Greek verb implies, "to expect constantly, not only for a certain time, but even to the end till the expected event happens" (Ro 8:19, [Tittmann, Greek Synonyms of the New Testament]).
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