|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:12-17 We must not only do no hurt to any, but do what good we can to all. Those who are the elect of God, holy and beloved, ought to be lowly and compassionate towards all. While in this world, where there is so much corruption in our hearts, quarrels will sometimes arise. But it is our duty to forgive one another, imitating the forgiveness through which we are saved. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts; it is of his working in all who are his. Thanksgiving to God, helps to make us agreeable to all men. The gospel is the word of Christ. Many have the word, but it dwells in them poorly; it has no power over them. The soul prospers, when we are full of the Scriptures and of the grace of Christ. But when we sing psalms, we must be affected with what we sing. Whatever we are employed about, let us do every thing in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in believing dependence on him. Those who do all in Christ's name, will never want matter of thanksgiving to God, even the Father.
Verse 13. - Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other (literally, yourselves), if any one have a complaint against any (Ephesians 4:1, 2, 32; Ephesians 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 1 Corinthians 6:7, 8; 2 Corinthians 2:10; Matthew 6:14, 15; Matthew 18:21-35; Mark 11:25; Luke 17:3, 4). (On "bearing with" or "forbearing," see 1 Corinthians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 11:19, 20; Matthew 17:17.) It is ascribed to God, with "long-suffering," especially as shown in his dealing with the sins of men before the coming of Christ (Romans 2:4; Romans 3:26: comp. Acts 17:30). Long suffering may be shown towards all who do us injury; forbearance especially towards those from whom regard or obedience is due. It falls short of forgiveness, which can only ensue on repentance (Luke 17:3, 4: comp. Romans 3:25, 26; Acts 17:30). The change of pronoun in the two participial clauses appears also in Ephesians 4:2 and 32: the first is reciprocal, but the second is reflexive, implying the oneness of the forgiving and the forgiven party. Forgiving a Christian brother, it is as though a man were forgiving himself (comp. vers. 14, 15; Galatians 6:1; Romans 12:5; Romans 15:5-7; and the same variation in 1 Peter 4:8-10). "Forgive" is literally "to grant grace," used of Divine forgiveness m Colossians 2:13 (see note). The words, "if any have any complaint," etc., would certainly apply to Philemon as against Onesimus (Philemon 1:18, 19: comp. 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; Mark 11:25). Even as the Lord (or, Christ) forgave you, so also ye (Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 4:32; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:24-26; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Acts 13:38; Acts 5:31; 1 John 1:9; Matthew 9:1-8; Matthew 18:27; Exodus 34:6, 7; Psalm 103:3). This argument is latent in the appeal to the "elect" and "beloved" of ver. 12. The evidence for the alternative readings, "Lord" and "Christ," is nearly equal in weight. In any case, the "Lord" is "Christ" in this passage (Colossians 2:6; Colossians 3:17, 24): and that he forgave (comp. Colossians 1:20, note) is quite consistent with the assertion that God forgave (Colossians 2:13), for God forgave "in Christ" (Ephesians 4:32). So "God in Christ reconciled" (2 Corinthians 5:19); and yet "Christ reconciled us" (Colossians 1:20, 21; Ephesians 2:16). "Forgiving," supplied in thought from previous context, completes the sense of "so also ye" (Meyer, Alford, Ellicott). To suppose an ellipsis of the imperative, with Light foot and the English Version ("do ye"), is needlessly to break the structure of the sentence. Ver. 14 shows that the leading imperative, "put on," of ver. 12 is still in the writer's mind. For the reciprocal double καί ("even.., also"), comp. Colossians 1:6 or Romans 1:13; it is characteristic of the writer.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Forbearing one another,.... Not only bearing one another's burdens, and with one another's weaknesses, but forbearing to render evil for evil, or railing for railing, or to seek revenge for affronts given, in whatsoever way, whether by words or deeds:
and forgiving one another; all trespasses and offences, so far as committed against themselves, and praying to God to forgive them, as committed against him:
if any man have a quarrel against any; let him be who he will, high or low, rich or poor, of whatsoever age, state, or condition, and let his quarrel or complaint be what it will, ever so great, or ever so just and well founded, yet let him put up with it, and forgive it:
even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye; what God is said to do for Christ's sake; see Gill on Ephesians 4:32, what here Christ is said to do: as Mediator, he has procured the remission of sins by the shedding of his blood; and as God he forgives sins freely, fully, forgetting the injuries done, not upbraiding with former offences, and that too without asking, and before there is any appearance of repentance; and so should the saints forgive one another, as they expect to have an application and manifestation of forgiveness to themselves.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. Forbearing—as to present offenses.
forgiving—as to past offenses.
quarrel—rather as Greek, "cause of blame," "cause of complaint."
Christ—who had so infinitely greater cause of complaint against us. The oldest manuscripts and Vulgate read "the Lord." English Version is supported by one very old manuscript and old versions. It seems to have crept in from Eph 4:32.
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