|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:10-21 Paul gives a just account of himself, which clears him from crime, and likewise shows the true reason of the violence against him. Let us never be driven from any good way by its having an ill name. It is very comfortable, in worshipping God, to look to him as the God of our fathers, and to set up no other rule of faith or practice but the Scriptures. This shows there will be a resurrection to a final judgment. Prophets and their doctrines were to be tried by their fruits. Paul's aim was to have a conscience void of offence. His care and endeavour was to abstain from many things, and to abound in the exercises of religion at all times; both towards God. and towards man. If blamed for being more earnest in the things of God than our neighbours, what is our reply? Do we shrink from the accusation? How many in the world would rather be accused of any weakness, nay, even of wickedness, than of an earnest, fervent feeling of love to the Lord Jesus Christ, and of devotedness to his service! Can such think that He will confess them when he comes in his glory, and before the angels of God? If there is any sight pleasing to the God of our salvation, and a sight at which the angels rejoice, it is, to behold a devoted follower of the Lord, here upon earth, acknowledging that he is guilty, if it be a crime, of loving the Lord who died for him, with all his heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. And that he will not in silence see God's word despised, or hear his name profaned; he will rather risk the ridicule and the hatred of the world, than one frown from that gracious Being whose love is better than life.
Verse 16. - Herein... also for and hereby, A.V. and T.R.; to have a conscience... always for to have always, etc., A.V.; and men for and toward men, A.V. (For the sentiment, comp. Acts 23:1.) Herein (ἐν τόυτῳ); i.e. on this account, under these circumstances supplying the ground and cause of my action (comp. John 16:30). So, too, Matthew 6:7, Ἐν τῇ πολυλογίᾳ αὐτῶν means "On account of their much speaking." I exercise myself; ἀσκῶ, here only in the New Testament, but frequent in medical writers for "to practice" the medical art.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And herein do I exercise myself,.... Or because of this; on account of this doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which is a doctrine according to godliness, and promotes and engages to a holy life and conversation, as the contrary tends to encourage a dissolute and sinful manner of living; see 1 Corinthians 15:32 The apostle studied, and laboured, and bent himself, and employed his thought, care, and time,
to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward man; that is, to discharge every duty which God requires, and to give to every man what is due to him; so as to please God, and not offend men, neither Jew nor Gentile, nor the church of God; and so as that conscience may be clear of guilt, and may not be defiled with sin, being purged and purified by the blood of Christ. By a "conscience void of offence", is meant a good conversation; which as it respects God, lies in a carefulness not to offend him, but to do his will; and as it respects men, a shunning what may give offence, or be a stumbling to them; and though this cannot be perfectly attained to in each of its branches, yet there is in every good man a concern to have such a conscience; and the consideration of the resurrection of the dead, the general judgment, and a future state, induce him to it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. And herein—On this account, accordingly; that is, looking forward to that awful day (compare 2Co 5:10).
I exercise myself—The "I" here is emphatic; "Whatever they do, this is my study."
to have always a conscience void of offence, &c.—See Ac 23:1; 2Co 1:12; 2:17, &c.; that is, "These are the great principles of my life and conduct—how different from turbulence and sectarianism!"
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