|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:15-23 God has laid up spiritual blessings for us in his Son the Lord Jesus; but requires us to draw them out and fetch them in by prayer. Even the best Christians need to be prayed for: and while we hear of the welfare of Christian friends, we should pray for them. Even true believers greatly want heavenly wisdom. Are not the best of us unwilling to come under God's yoke, though there is no other way to find rest for the soul? Do we not for a little pleasure often part with our peace? And if we dispute less, and prayed more with and for each other, we should daily see more and more what is the hope of our calling, and the riches of the Divine glory in this inheritance. It is desirable to feel the mighty power of Divine grace, beginning and carrying on the work of faith in our souls. But it is difficult to bring a soul to believe fully in Christ, and to venture its all, and the hope of eternal life, upon his righteousness. Nothing less than Almighty power will work this in us. Here is signified that it is Christ the Saviour, who supplies all the necessities of those who trust in him, and gives them all blessings in the richest abundance. And by being partakers of Christ himself, we come to be filled with the fulness of grace and glory in him. How then do those forget themselves who seek for righteousness out of him! This teaches us to come to Christ. And did we know what we are called to, and what we might find in him, surely we should come and be suitors to him. When feeling our weakness and the power of our enemies, we most perceive the greatness of that mighty power which effects the conversion of the believer, and is engaged to perfect his salvation. Surely this will constrain us by love to live to our Redeemer's glory.
Verses 15-23. - PRAYER FOR THEIR SPIRITUAL GROWTH. Verse 15. - Wherefore I also, having heard of the faith among you in the Lord Jesus, and your love which extends to all the saints. The "wherefore" has reference to their present standing in grace, described in the verses preceding: since ye have heard, believed, been sealed, and thereby shown to be in the right line, I apply myself towards promoting your progress, towards advancing you to the higher stages of the Christian life. Special mention is made of their faith and love, as cardinal Christian graces, to which elsewhere the apostle adds hope (1 Corinthians 13:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:3). The literal expression, "faith among you" (καθ ὑμᾶς), indicates that it was a marked social feature, but perhaps not universal; while their love was not mere general amiability, but a love that embraced the saints as such, having a special complacency in them, and being directed to them all. If it be asked - Could this knowledge of the condition of his correspondents have been derived from hearsay ("having heard") if the letter was addressed to the Ephesians, among whom Paul had lived so long, and whose condition he must have known by personal intercourse (Acts 19:10; Acts 20:31)? we reply that, though he derived his first acquaintance from personal intercourse, it was some years since he had been at Ephesus, and the ἀκούσας refers to what he had heard in the interval (see Introduction).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wherefore I also,.... As well as others:
after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus; who is the immediate object of faith, and a very proper and suitable one; having every thing in him that is agreeable to the case and circumstances of those that trust in him. And the grace of faith, which terminates on him, is a seeing him, a beholding the glory of his person, and the fulness of his grace; a going to him, and venturing on him; a laying hold upon him, and embracing of him; a committing all unto him, and a leaning and depending on him, and a living upon him, and a walking on in him.
And love unto all the saints: whether Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, greater or lesser believers, of meaner gifts, or larger abilities; and which love was unfeigned, fervent, active, and laborious; and which is the evidence of regeneration, and without which a profession is in vain. These two graces, faith and love, are inseparable; they always go together, and are to be found in the same persons; and where they are, they cannot be hid, as they were not in these Ephesians; their faith was professed by them, and was made public, and their love showed itself in deeds, as well as in words, to the saints: hence the apostle came to hear of them both, upon the certain relation of others; for these things were come abroad, and were talked of; See Gill on Colossians 1:3. See Gill on Colossians 1:4. See Gill on Plm 1:4. See Gill on Plm 1:5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. Wherefore—because ye are in Christ and sealed by His Spirit (Eph 1:13, 14).
I also—on my part, in return for God's so great benefits to you.
after I heard—ever since I have heard. Not implying that he had only heard of their conversion: an erroneous argument used by some against the address of this Epistle to the Ephesians (see on Eph 1:1); but referring to the report he had heard since he was with them, as to their Christian graces. So in the case of Philemon, his "beloved fellow laborer" (Phm 1), he uses the same words (Phm 4, 5).
your faith—rather, as Greek, "the faith among you," that is, which many (not all) of you have.
love unto all the saints—of whatever name, simply because they are saints. A distinguishing characteristic of true Christianity (Eph 6:24). "Faith and love he often joins together. A wondrous pair" [Chrysostom]. Hope is added, Eph 1:18.
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