|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.
Verse 16. - Cease not to give thanks for you. This clause expresses the continuation of a former action - the giving thanks for them had begun before the hearing of their faith and love - from the days, in short, of his personal intercourse. We notice as a remarkable feature of Paul's personal religion, as well as his pastoral care, the frequency of his thanksgiving, indicating the prevalence in him of a bright, joyous state of mind, and tending to increase and perpetuate the same. Constantly to recognize God's goodness in the past begets a larger expectation of it in the future. Making mention of you in my prayers. This seems additional to his giving thanks. "Prayers" (προσευχῶν) refers more to supplication and entreaty. While thankful for them, his heart was not satisfied regarding them; he wished them to forget the things behind, and reach forth to those before. The apostle's prayers for his spiritual charge are always remarkable. They are very short, but wonderfully deep and comprehensive; very rich and sublime in aspiration; powerful in their pleas, whether expressed or implied; and exhaustive in the range of blessings which they implore.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Cease not to give thanks for you,.... On account of their faith and love; which were gifts of grace bestowed upon them, and not the produce of their own free will and power; and therefore thanks are given to God for them:
making mention of you in my prayers; which shows the apostle to be a praying person, and that he was constant at the throne of grace, where he prayed for others as well as for himself; and it points out the time and way, when, and in which he gave thanks to God for them; and is mentioned, not only to testify his great affection for them, but also to excite them, by his example, to the practice of those duties themselves.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. (Col 1:9).
of you—omitted in the oldest manuscripts. Then the translation may be as English Version still, or as Alford, "making mention of them" (your "faith and love").
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