|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-7 As our trials increase, we need to grow stronger in that which is good; our faith stronger, our resolution stronger, our love to God and Christ stronger. This is opposed to our being strong in our own strength. All Christians, but especially ministers, must be faithful to their Captain, and resolute in his cause. The great care of a Christian must be to please Christ. We are to strive to get the mastery of our lusts and corruptions, but we cannot expect the prize unless we observe the laws. We must take care that we do good in a right manner, that our good may not be spoken evil of. Some who are active, spend their zeal about outward forms and doubtful disputations. But those who strive lawfully shall be crowned at last. If we would partake the fruits, we must labour; if we would gain the prize, we must run the race. We must do the will of God, before we receive the promises, for which reason we have need of patience. Together with our prayers for others, that the Lord would give them understanding in all things, we must exhort and stir them up to consider what they hear or read.
Verse 4. - Soldier on service for man that warreth, A.V.; in for with, A.V.; enrolled him as for hath chosen him to be, A.V. Soldier on service (στρατευόμενος); as 1 Corinthians 9:7 (see, too. 1 Timothy 1:18). In Luke 3:14 στρατευόμενοι is rendered simply "soldiers," with margin, "Greek, soldiers on service." There is no difference in meaning between the "man that warreth" in the A.V., and the "soldier on service" of the R.V. Affairs (πραγματείσις); only here in the New Testament, but common in the LXX. and in classical Greek, where it means, as here, "business," "affairs," "occupation," "trade," and the like, with the accessory idea of its being an "absorbing, engrossing pursuit." Enrolled him, etc. (στρατολογήσαντι); only here in the New Testament, not found in the LXX., but common in classical Greek for "to levy an army," "to enlist soldiers." The great lesson here taught is that the warfare of the Christian soldier requires the same concentration of purpose as that of the earthly warrior, if he would win the victory.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
No man that warreth,.... Who is a soldier, and gives himself up to military service, in a literal sense: the Vulgate Latin version, without any authority, adds, "to God"; as if the apostle was speaking of a spiritual warfare; whereas he is illustrating a spiritual warfare by a corporeal one; and observes, that no one, that is in a military state,
entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; with civil affairs, in distinction from military ones. The Roman soldiers might not follow any trade or business of life, or be concerned in husbandry, or merchandise of any sort, but were wholly to attend to military exercises, and to the orders of their general; for to be employed in any secular business was reckoned an entangling of them, a taking of them off from, and an hindrance to their military discipline: and by this the apostle suggests that Christ's people, his soldiers, and especially his ministers, should not he involved and implicated in worldly affairs and cares; for no man can serve two masters, God and mammon; but should wholly give up themselves to the work and service to which they are called; and be ready to part with all worldly enjoyments, and cheerfully suffer the loss of all things, when called to it, for the sake of Christ and his Gospel:
that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier; his captain, or general, who has enlisted him, enrolled and registered him among his soldiers; whom to please should be his chief concern; as it should be the principal thing attended to by a Christian soldier, or minister of the Gospel, not to please men, nor to please himself, by seeking his own ease and rest, his worldly emoluments and advantages, but to please the Lord Christ, in whose book his name is written.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. "No one while serving as a soldier."
the affairs of (this) life—"the businesses of life" [Alford]; mercantile, or other than military.
him who hath chosen him—the general who at the first enlisted him as a soldier. Paul himself worked at tent-making (Ac 18:3). Therefore what is prohibited here is, not all other save religious occupation, but the becoming entangled, or over-engrossed therewith.
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