|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-4 The promises of God are strong reasons for us to follow after holiness; we must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit. If we hope in God as our Father, we must seek to be holy as he is holy, and perfect as our Father in heaven. His grace, by the influences of his Spirit, alone can purify, but holiness should be the object of our constant prayers. If the ministers of the gospel are thought contemptible, there is danger lest the gospel itself be despised also; and though ministers must flatter none, yet they must be gentle towards all. Ministers may look for esteem and favour, when they can safely appeal to the people, that they have corrupted no man by false doctrines or flattering speeches; that they have defrauded no man; nor sought to promote their own interests so as to hurt any. It was affection to them made the apostle speak so freely to them, and caused him to glory of them, in all places, and upon all occasions.
Verse 3. - I speak not this to condemn you. "Not by way of condemnation am I speaking." My object is to maintain the old love between us; what I say, therefore, is merely to defend myself, not to complain of you (comp. 1 Corinthians 4:14). I have said before. He has not said it in so many words, but has implied it in 2 Corinthians 3:2, 3; 2 Corinthians 6:11-14. Ye are in our hearts. So he says to his beloved Philippians, "I have you in my heart" (Philippians 1:7). To die and live with you. Similarly he tells the Thessalonians that he was ready to give them even his own life (1 Thessalonians 2:8). This is no mere conventional expression of deep affection, like Horace's, "Tecum vivere amem, tecum obeam libens;" nor is it the description of some compact for life and death like that of the Theban Band. It has the deeper meaning which was involved by the words "life" and "death" on the lips of a Christian (2 Corinthians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 6:9). And one whose life was, for Christ's sake, a daily death, naturally mentions death first.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I speak not this to condemn you,.... Referring either to the exhortations before given, to have no sinful conversation with unbelievers, and to cleanse themselves from all impurity, external and internal; and to go on in a course of holiness, in the fear of God, to the end of life; or to the account just given of himself and fellow ministers; and his sense is this, the exhortations I have given must not be so understood, as though I charged and accused you with keeping company with unbelievers, or as though you were not concerned for purity of life and conversation; or when I remove the above mentioned things from myself and others, I mean not to lay them upon you, as if I thought that you had wronged, corrupted, or defrauded any; when I clear myself and others, I do not design to accuse or condemn you; my view is only to the false apostles, who have done these things, when we have not, and therefore we have the best claim to your affections:
for I have said before, you are in our hearts; you are inscribed on our hearts, engraven there, "ye are our epistle written in our hearts", 2 Corinthians 3:2 ye are not straitened in us, 2 Corinthians 6:12 you have a place and room enough in our affections, which are strong towards you, insomuch that it is our desire and resolution
to die and live with you; or together: neither death nor life shall separate our love, or destroy our friendship; there is nothing we more desire than to live with you; and should there be any occasion for it, could freely die with you, and for you.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. In excusing myself, I do not accuse you, as though you suspected me of such things [Menochius], or as though you were guilty of such things; for I speak only of the false apostles [Estius and Greek commentators]. Rather, "as though you were ungrateful and treacherous" [Beza].
I have said before—in 2Co 6:11, 12; compare Php 1:7.
die and live with you—the height of friendship. I am ready to die and live with you and for you (Php 1:7, 20, 24; 2:17, 18). Compare as to Christ, Joh 10:11.
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