|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-6 The apostle had no wordly design in his preaching. Suffering in a good cause should sharpen holy resolution. The gospel of Christ at first met with much opposition; and it was preached with contention, with striving in preaching, and against opposition. And as the matter of the apostle's exhortation was true and pure, the manner of his speaking was without guile. The gospel of Christ is designed for mortifying corrupt affections, and that men may be brought under the power of faith. This is the great motive to sincerity, to consider that God not only sees all we do, but knows our thoughts afar off, and searches the heart. And it is from this God who trieth our hearts, that we must receive our reward. The evidences of the apostle's sincerity were, that he avoided flattery and covetousness. He avoided ambition and vain-glory.
Verse 3. - For our exhortation. This word has a twofold signification, denoting both "exhortation" and "consolation;" when it refers to the moral conduct it denotes exhortation, but when it is an address to a sufferer it denotes consolation. In the gospel these two meanings are blended together. Was not of deceit. Not in the sense of guile, which would be tantological, but simply "error," without any direct evil intent; our gospel was not a delusion - we were not ourselves deceived. Nor of uncleanness; a word usually employed to denote sensuality, and in this sense the meaning is - We did not, like the heathen in their worship, give occasion to unclean practices: "We have corrupted no man" (2 Corinthians 7:2). The word, however, may be taken in a more general sense, as denoting impurity of disposition, impure motives: such as the impure desire of applause or of gain, to which the apostle afterwards alludes. Or of guile. As we were not ourselves deceived, so neither did we attempt to deceive others. The apostle did not adapt his religion, an. Mahomet, to suit the prejudices or passions of men; he did not employ any seductive or temporizing arts; but he boldly went in the face of the prevailing religions of the age, both of the Jews and of the Gentiles.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For our exhortation,.... Or "consolation"; for the ministry of the Gospel, which is here meant, consists of doctrines full of comfort to distressed minds, such as free justification by the righteousness of Christ, full pardon by his blood, and complete satisfaction by his sacrifice; as well as of exhortations to the exercise of grace and discharge of duty: and this was
not of deceit; or "error", was not "fallacious", as the Ethiopic version renders it; it consisted of nothing but truth, it was the word of truth, and the truth as it is in Jesus; nor did it proceed from any intention to deceive and impose on persons; it was no imposture:
nor of uncleanness; it did not spring from any impure affection for any sin, for popular applause, or worldly interest; nor did the ministers of it connive at uncleanness in others, or practise it themselves, as did the false teachers; but bore their testimony against it, both by word and example, and taught no doctrine that encouraged to it; but, on the contrary, the doctrine which is according to godliness, and which teaches men to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts:
nor in guile; as there was no deceitful design in the ministry of the word, nor anything impure and immoral in the matter of it; so there was no artifice used in the dispensing of it; it was plain and simple, without any colour and guile, without the hidden things of dishonesty, without craftiness and handling the word deceitfully; and this is a reason why the apostles preached it with so much freedom and boldness, because there was nothing false, impure, or artful in it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. For—The ground of his "boldness" (1Th 2:2), his freedom from all "deceit, uncleanness, and guile"; guile, before God, deceit (Greek, "imposture"), towards men (compare 2Co 1:12; 2:17; Eph 4:14); uncleanness, in relation to one's self (impure motives of carnal self-gratification in gain, 1Th 2:5), or lust; such as actuated false teachers of the Gentiles (Php 1:16; 2Pe 2:10, 14; Jude 8; Re 2:14, 15). So Simon Magus and Cerinthus taught [Estius].
exhortation—The Greek means "consolation" as well as "exhortation." The same Gospel which exhorts comforts. Its first lesson to each is that of peace in believing amidst outward and inward sorrows. It comforts them that mourn (compare 1Th 2:11; Isa 61:2, 3; 2Co 1:3, 4).
of—springing from—having its source in—deceit, &c.
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