|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:11-16 It ill becomes any men, but especially men of God, to set their hearts upon the things of this world; men of God should be taken up with the things of God. There must be a conflict with corruption, and temptations, and the powers of darkness. Eternal life is the crown proposed for our encouragement. We are called to lay hold thereon. To the rich must especially be pointed out their dangers and duties, as to the proper use of wealth. But who can give such a charge, that is not himself above the love of things that wealth can buy? The appearing of Christ is certain, but it is not for us to know the time. Mortal eyes cannot bear the brightness of the Divine glory. None can approach him except as he is made known unto sinners in and by Christ. The Godhead is here adored without distinction of Persons, as all these things are properly spoken, whether of the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost. God is revealed to us, only in and through the human nature of Christ, as the only begotten Son of the Father.
Verse 16. - Light unapproachable for the light which no man can approach unto, A.V.; eternal for everlasting, A.V. Unapproachable (ἀπρόσιτον); only here in the New Testament, but found occasionally in. the later classics, corresponding to the more common ἄβατος. Whom no man hath seen, nor can see (comp. 1 Timothy 1:17 (where see note) and Exodus 33:20-23). The appearance of the "God of Israel" to Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, related in Exodus 34:9-11, was that of the Son in anticipation of the Incarnation. The invisibility of the essential Godhead is also predicated in our Lord's saying, "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24). This whole passage is a magnificent embodiment of the attributes of the living God, supreme blessedness and almighty power, universal dominion, and unchangeable being, inscrutable majesty, radiant holiness, and glory inaccessible and unapproachable by his creatures, save through the mediation of his only begotten Son.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Who only hath immortality,.... Angels are immortal, and so are the souls of men, and so will be the bodies of men after the resurrection; but then neither of these have immortality of themselves, they have it from God; who only has it, of himself, originally, essentially, and inderivatively.
Dwelling in that light which no man can approach unto; in this present, frail, and mortal state; yea, angels themselves cannot bear the lustre of it, but cover their faces with their wings; for God is light itself, as well as clothes himself with light, as with a garment; and is the Father and fountain of lights to all his creatures.
Whom no man hath seen, nor can see: nowhere but in Christ, at least spiritually and savingly; and that but very imperfectly in the present state: the sin, frailty, and mortality of human nature must be taken away, in order to inherit the kingdom of God, and enjoy the beatific vision of him; which saints in heaven have, who see him as he is, and in such sort as no man now does, or can see him:
to whom be honour and power everlasting, Amen. Which may be considered either as a wish, that such honour, power, and glory might be ascribed unto him, as we supply it; or as an assertion that it is given to him, as it is by the angels, and by the saints in heaven and in earth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. Who only hath immortality—in His own essence, not merely at the will of another, as all other immortal beings [Justin Martyr, Quæst. ad Orthod., 61]. As He hath immortality, so will He give it to us who believe; to be out of Him is death. It is mere heathen philosophy that attributes to the soul indestructibility in itself, which is to be attributed solely to God's gift. As He hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (Joh 5:26). The term used in the New Testament for "immortal," which does not occur, is "incorruptible." "Immortality" is found in 1Co 15:53, 54.
dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto—After life comes mention of light, as in Joh 1:4. That light is unapproachable to creatures, except in so far as they are admitted by Him, and as He goes forth to them [Bengel]. It is unapproachable on account of its exceeding brightness [Theophylact]. If one cannot gaze steadfastly at the sun, which is but a small part of creation, by reason of its exceeding heat and power, how much less can mortal man gaze at the inexpressible glory of God [Theophylact, To Autolycus] (Ps 104:2; 1Jo 1:5).
no man hath seen—(Ex 23:20; Joh 1:18; Col 1:15; Heb 11:27; 1Jo 4:12). Perhaps even in the perfect state no creature shall fully see God. Still the saints shall, in some sense, have the blessedness of seeing Him, which is denied to mere man (Mt 5:8; 1Co 13:12; 1Jo 3:2; Re 22:4).
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