|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:1-6 Though it is God's gracious method to bear long with sinners, yet he will not bear always; at length he will come, and will not spare those who remain obstinate and impenitent. Christ at his crucifixion, appeared as only a weak and helpless man, but his resurrection and life showed his Divine power. So the apostles, how mean and contemptible soever they appeared to the world, yet, as instruments, they manifested the power of God. Let them prove their tempers, conduct, and experience, as gold is assayed or proved by the touchstone. If they could prove themselves not to be reprobates, not to be rejected of Christ, he trusted they would know that he was not a reprobate, not disowned by Christ. They ought to know if Christ Jesus was in them, by the influences, graces, and indwelling of his Spirit, by his kingdom set up in their hearts. Let us question our own souls; either we are true Christians, or we are deceivers. Unless Christ be in us by his Spirit, and power of his love, our faith is dead, and we are yet disapproved by our Judge.
Verse 3. - Of Christ speaking in me; rather, of the Christ who speaketh in me. Which; rather, who. But is mighty in you. The spirit of Christ, in spite of all their shortcomings, had not deserted them (see 1 Corinthians 1:6, 7; 1 Corinthians 2:4).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me,.... This is the reason why he was determined, that should he come among them, he would not spare them, because they called in question his apostleship, and demanded a proof of it; which, of all men, they had the least reason to do; for they themselves were the seals of his apostleship, and the signs of an apostle had been done among them; they queried whether he was an ambassador of Christ, and was sent by him, and in his name; whether the message he came with was from him, and whether the Gospel he preached was his voice; and particularly whether he had such a power to punish delinquents, as he threatened them with the exercise of; a strange infatuation of the false apostles this, since Christ, who sent him, was with him, and spoke in him, and by him:
which to you-ward, says he,
is not weak, but is mighty in you; the Gospel of Christ, at the first preaching of it to them by him, was the power of God unto salvation to them; and was attended with divers signs and wonders, and gifts of the Holy Ghost; and besides, they had instances of the power of Christ towards them in an awful way, in punishing sinners; as in the delivery of the incestuous person to Satan, which was done by his Spirit being with them when assembled; and by smiting many of them with sickness, diseases, and infirmities, and with death itself, who had sinned, 1 Corinthians 5:4. Wherefore, seeing after all these instances of the voice and power of Christ in him, they yet questioned his apostolical authority, and sought proof of it; and especially since this was not so much a tempting of him, as a tempting of Christ in him, he was resolved not to spare them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. Since—The reason why he will not spare: Since ye challenge me to give a "proof" that Christ speaks in me. It would be better if ye would "prove your own selves" (2Co 13:5). This disproves the assertion of some that Scripture nowhere asserts the infallibility of its writers when writing it.
is not weak—in relation to you, by me and in this very Epistle, in exercising upon you strong discipline.
mighty in you—has given many proofs of His power in miracles, and even in punishing offenders (2Co 5:11, 20, 21). Ye have no need to put me to the proof in this, as long ago Christ has exhibited great proofs of His power by me among you (2Co 12:12) [Grotius]. It is therefore not me, but Christ, whom ye wrong: it is His patience that ye try in despising my admonitions, and derogating from my authority [Calvin].
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