|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:32-39 Many and various afflictions united against the early Christians, and they had a great conflict. The Christian spirit is not a selfish spirit; it puts us upon pitying others, visiting them, helping them, and pleading for them. All things here are but shadows. The happiness of the saints in heaven will last for ever; enemies can never take it away as earthly goods. This will make rich amends for all we may lose and suffer here. The greatest part of the saints' happiness, as yet, is in promise. It is a trial of the patience of Christians, to be content to live after their work is done, and to stay for their reward till God's time to give it is come. He will soon come to them at death, to end all their sufferings, and to give them a crown of life. The Christian's present conflict may be sharp, but will be soon over. God never is pleased with the formal profession and outward duties and services of such as do not persevere; but he beholds them with great displeasure. And those who have been kept faithful in great trails for the time past, have reason to hope for the same grace to help them still to live by faith, till they receive the end of their faith and patience, even the salvation of their souls. Living by faith, and dying in faith, our souls are safe for ever.
Verse 39. - But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe unto the saving of the soul; literally, not of the drawing back unto... but of faith unto, etc. Thus, once more before proceeding to the subject now before him, the writer is careful to disclaim any real expectation of defection in his readers, and with delicacy he includes himself with them by his use of the nominative plural.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition,.... There is a drawing back which is not unto perdition; persons may be attended with much unbelief, may be very cold and indifferent to Gospel ordinances, may fall into great sins, and may greatly backslide, and yet be recovered, as David, Peter, and others: and there is a drawing back to perdition; when Christ is rejected as the alone Saviour; when he is not held to as the head; when false doctrines and damnable heresies are given into; and when men draw back, and never return, nor are they, nor can they be returned, and their apostasy is total, and final: but true believers do not, and cannot draw back in this sense; because they are held fast in the arms, and with the cords of everlasting love, are chosen of God unto salvation, are given unto Christ, and secured in him; they are redeemed and purchased by him; they are united to him, and built upon him; they are interested in his prayers and preparations, and are his jewels, and his portion; they are regenerated, sanctified, inhabited, and sealed by the Spirit of God, and have the promises and power of God, on their side.
But of them that believe to the saving of the soul; or "of faith, to the salvation of the soul"; not of faith of miracles, nor of an historical faith; but of that faith, which is the faith of God's elect, is the gift of God, and the operation of his Spirit; by which a soul sees Christ, goes to him, lays holds on him, commits all to him, and expects all from him: this stands opposed to drawing back; for by faith a man lives, walks, and stands; and with this is connected the salvation of the soul, as opposed to perdition; not as though it is a cause of salvation, but as a means of God's appointing to receive the blessings of salvation, and which is entirely consistent with the grace of God; and since salvation and faith are inseparably connected together, so that he that has the one shall have the other, it follows, that true believers can never perish. The nature and excellency of this grace is largely treated of in the following chapter.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
39. A Pauline elegant turning-off from denunciatory warnings to charitable hopes of his readers (Ro 8:12).
saving of the soul—literally, "acquisition (or obtaining) of the soul." The kindred Greek verb is applied to Christ's acquiring the Church as the purchase of His blood (Ac 20:28). If we acquire or obtain our soul's salvation, it is through Him who has obtained it for us by His bloodshedding. "The unbelieving man loses his soul: for not being God's, neither is he his own [compare Mt 16:26, with Lu 9:25]: faith saves the soul by linking it to God" [Delitzsch in Alford].
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