|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-11 We are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The Lord is able to give peace to the troubled conscience, and to calm the raging passions of the soul. These blessings are given by him, as the Father of his redeemed family. It is our Saviour who says, Let not your heart be troubled. All comforts come from God, and our sweetest comforts are in him. He speaks peace to souls by granting the free remission of sins; and he comforts them by the enlivening influences of the Holy Spirit, and by the rich mercies of his grace. He is able to bind up the broken-hearted, to heal the most painful wounds, and also to give hope and joy under the heaviest sorrows. The favours God bestows on us, are not only to make us cheerful, but also that we may be useful to others. He sends comforts enough to support such as simply trust in and serve him. If we should be brought so low as to despair even of life, yet we may then trust God, who can bring back even from death. Their hope and trust were not in vain; nor shall any be ashamed who trust in the Lord. Past experiences encourage faith and hope, and lay us under obligation to trust in God for time to come. And it is our duty, not only to help one another with prayer, but in praise and thanksgiving, and thereby to make suitable returns for benefits received. Thus both trials and mercies will end in good to ourselves and others.
Verse 5. - As the sufferings of Christ abound in us; rather, unto us. "The sufferings of Christ" are the sufferings which he endured in the days of his flesh, and they were not exhausted by him, but overflow to us who have to suffer as he suffered, bearing about with us his dying, that we may share his life (2 Corinthians 4:10). The idea is, not that he is suffering in us and with us (though the truth of his intense sympathy with his suffering Church may be shadowed forth in some such terms, Matthew 25:40-45; Acts 9:4), but that we have "a fellowship in his sufferings" (Philippians 3:17); Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ;" Hebrews 13:13, "Bearing his reproach." Our sufferings are the sufferings of Christ because we suffer as he suffered (1 Peter 4:13) and in the same cause. Aboundeth by Christ. If his sufferings, as it were, overflow to us, so too is he the Source of our comfort, in that he sendeth us the Comforter (John 14:16-18).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us,.... By "the sufferings of Christ" are not meant those which he suffered in his own person for the sake, and in the room and stead of his people, the fruits and effects of which abound to them, and in them; but those which he suffers in his members, or which they suffer for his sake; and which are said to "abound in" them, because of the variety and greatness of them; though not as if they were more or greater than what Christ suffered in his soul and body, when he was made sin and a curse for his people: yet notwithstanding the abundance of them, such is the goodness and grace of God, that he proportions comforts to them; as their afflictions increase, so do their comforts; as their sufferings for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel, are more and greater,
so, says he,
our consolation aboundeth by Christ: meaning, either that consolation which they felt and enjoyed in their own souls, under all their tribulations, which abundantly answered to them, and which they ascribe to Christ, from and by whom it comes to them; or else that consolation, which, by preaching Christ, abounded to the relief of others who were in distress and trouble.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. sufferings—standing in contrast with "salvation" (2Co 1:6); as "tribulation" (distress of mind), with comfort or "consolation."
of Christ—Compare Col 1:24. The sufferings endured, whether by Himself, or by His Church, with which He considers Himself identified (Mt 25:40, 45; Ac 9:4; 1Jo 4:17-21). Christ calls His people's sufferings His own suffering: (1) because of the sympathy and mystical union between Him and us (Ro 8:17; 1Co 4:10); (2) They are borne for His sake; (3) They tend to His glory (Eph 4:1; 1Pe 4:14, 16).
abound in us—Greek, "abound unto us." The order of the Greek following words is more forcible than in English Version, "Even so through Christ aboundeth also our comfort." The sufferings (plural) are many; but the consolation (though singular) swallows up them all. Comfort preponderates in this Epistle above that in the first Epistle, as now by the effect of the latter most of the Corinthians had been much impressed.
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