|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:6-15 Those who have received the gospel, are to live according to the gospel. Such as could work, and would not, were not to be maintained in idleness. Christianity is not to countenance slothfulness, which would consume what is meant to encourage the industrious, and to support the sick and afflicted. Industry in our callings as men, is a duty required by our calling as Christians. But some expected to be maintained in idleness, and indulged a curious and conceited temper. They meddled with the concerns of others, and did much harm. It is a great error and abuse of religion, to make it a cloak for idleness or any other sin. The servant who waits for the coming of his Lord aright, must be working as his Lord has commanded. If we are idle, the devil and a corrupt heart will soon find us somewhat to do. The mind of man is a busy thing; if it is not employed in doing good, it will be doing evil. It is an excellent, but rare union, to be active in our own business, yet quiet as to other people's. If any refused to labour with quietness, they were to note him with censure, and to separate from his company, yet they were to seek his good by loving admonitions. The Lords is with you while you are with him. Hold on your way, and hold on to the end. We must never give over, or tire in our work. It will be time enough to rest when we come to heaven.
Verse 15. - Yet; or as it is in the original, and; a purely connective particle. Count him not as an enemy; an entire outcast. But admonish him as a brother; a Christian brother. No hostile feeling was to be united with this avoidance of intercourse with the erring, but rather loving admonition, inasmuch as he was still a Christian brother.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Yet count him not as an enemy,.... As an enemy of Christ, and the Christian religion, as the Jews and Pagans were; or as an enemy of all righteousness, as Elymas the sorcerer was; as one that has an implacable hatred to good men, and a persecutor of them, and has an utter aversion to them and their principles; nor deal with him in an hostile, fierce, furious, and passionate manner, as if you were seeking his destruction, and not his restoration. This seems to be levelled against the Jews, who allowed of hatred to incorrigible persons: they say (t),
"an hater that is spoken of in the law, is not of the nations of the world, but of Israel; but how shall an Israelite hate an Israelite? does not the Scripture say, "thou shall not hate thy brother in thine heart?" the wise men say, when a man sees him alone, who has committed a transgression, and he admonishes him, and he does not return, lo, it is , "a commandment to hate him" until he repents and turns from his wickedness.''
But admonish, or "reprove" him
as a brother; as one that has been called a brother, and a member of the church, and who, though criminal, has no bitterness in him against the church, or against the name of Christ, and the doctrines of Christ; and therefore should not be treated in a virulent manner, but with a brotherly affection, meekness, compassion, and tenderness; and who indeed is to be reckoned as a brother, while the censure is passing, and the sentence of excommunication is executing on him; for till it is finished he stands in such a relation: though this also may have respect, as to the manner of excommunicating persons, so to the conduct of the church to such afterwards; who are not to neglect them, and much less to treat them as enemies, in a cruel and uncompassionate manner; but should inquire, and diligently observe, what effect the ordinance of excommunication has upon them, and renew their admonitions and friendly reproofs, if possible, to recover them.
(t) Maimon. Hilchot Rotzeach, c. 13. sect. 14.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. admonish him as a brother—not yet excommunicated (compare Le 19:17). Do not shun him in contemptuous silence, but tell him why he is so avoided (Mt 18:15; 1Th 5:14).
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