|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:1-6 The strongest and best arguments against sin, are taken from the sufferings of Christ. He died to destroy sin; and though he cheerfully submitted to the worst sufferings, yet he never gave way to the least sin. Temptations could not prevail, were it not for man's own corruption; but true Christians make the will of God, not their own lust or desires, the rule of their lives and actions. And true conversion makes a marvellous change in the heart and life. It alters the mind, judgment, affections, and conversation. When a man is truly converted, it is very grievous to him to think how the time past of his life has been spent. One sin draws on another. Six sins are here mentioned which have dependence one upon another. It is a Christian's duty, not only to keep from gross wickedness, but also from things that lead to sin, or appear evil. The gospel had been preached to those since dead, who by the proud and carnal judgment of wicked men were condemned as evil-doers, some even suffering death. But being quickened to Divine life by the Holy Spirit, they lived to God as his devoted servants. Let not believers care, though the world scorns and reproaches them.
Verse 5. - Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. The judgment is at hand; the Judge standeth before the door; all men, quick and dead alike, must give account to him. It is better to suffer now for well-doing than then for evil-doing. Men call you to give account now (1 Peter 3:15); they themselves must give account to God.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Who shall give account to him,.... "To God himself", as the Syriac version reads; of all their blasphemies, and hard speeches spoken by them against God, Christ, the Gospel, and good men, and receive their just punishment. This the apostle says, to calm the minds of God's people, and make them to sit easy under all censures, reproaches, and calumnies, and not think of avenging themselves, but commit themselves to him that will judge righteously; even to him,
that is ready to judge the quick and the dead; that is, all men, such as will be found alive when he comes, and those that have died before, who will then be raised from the dead, to receive their judgment; and by whom is meant the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom all judgment is committed; and who is ordained to be the Judge of quick and dead, and will judge both at his appearing and kingdom; yea, the day is appointed when this judgment will proceed by him, and he is at the door; so that he may be truly said to be ready for it, as he is every way equal to it, and will finish it with righteousness.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. They who now call you to account falsely, shall have to give account themselves for this very evil-speaking (Jude 15), and be condemned justly.
ready—very speedily (1Pe 4:7; 2Pe 3:10). Christ's coming is to the believer always near.
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