|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:16-21 We must, according to our power, give to the necessities of the souls and bodies of men: God will accept these offerings with pleasure, and will accept and bless the offerers through Christ. The apostle then states what is their duty to living ministers; to obey and submit to them, so far as is agreeable to the mind and will of God, made known in his word. Christians must not think themselves too wise, too good, or too great, to learn. The people must search the Scriptures, and so far as the ministers teach according to that rule, they ought to receive their instructions as the word of God, which works in those that believe. It is the interest of hearers, that the account their ministers give of them may be with joy, and not with grief. Faithful ministers deliver their own souls, but the ruin of a fruitless and faithless people will be upon their own heads. The more earnestly the people pray for their ministers, the more benefit they may expect from their ministry. A good conscience has respect to all God's commands, and all our duty. Those who have this good conscience, yet need the prayers of others. When ministers come to a people who pray for them, they come with greater satisfaction to themselves, and success to the people. We should seek all our mercies by prayer. God is the God of peace, fully reconciled to believers; who has made a way for peace and reconciliation between himself and sinners, and who loves peace on earth, especially in his churches. He is the Author of spiritual peace in the hearts and consciences of his people. How firm a covenant is that which has its foundation in the blood of the Son of God! The perfecting of the saints in every good work, is the great thing desired by them, and for them; and that they may at length be fitted for the employment and happiness of heaven. There is no good thing wrought in us, but it is the work of God. And no good thing is wrought in us by God, but through Christ, for his sake and by his Spirit.
Verse 16. - But to do good and to communicate forget not (τῆς δὲ εὐποιι'ας καὶ κοινωνίας μὴ ἐπιλανθάνεσθε: where εὐποιι'ας means "doing good to others" (cf. Mark 14:7); while κοινωνίας expresses the sense of Christian fellowship evinced by communicating to others a share of what we have; cf. Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 9:13): for With such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But to do good and to communicate forget not,.... Which is to be understood, not of doing good works in general, but of acts of beneficence, or communicating to "the poor", as the Syriac version renders it: the apostle proceeds to take notice of another sort of sacrifice, which continues under the Gospel dispensation; and that is, alms; which should be attended to: alms should be given, or beneficence be exercised to all men in need, even to our enemies, as well as to our friends and relations; and especially to poor saints, and ministers of the Gospel: and this believers should not "forget"; which shows that it is a duty of importance; and that men are too apt to neglect it, and should be stirred up unto it:
for with such sacrifices God is well pleased; not that they are meritorious of the favour of God and of eternal life; for what a man gives in a way of charity is but what God has given him, and cannot be profitable to God, though it is to a fellow creature; nor is there any proportion between what is given, and grace and glory which the saints receive; yet doing good in this way, when it is done in faith, springs from love, and is directed to the glory of God, is well pleasing to him; yea, these sacrifices are preferred by him to legal ones, Hosea 6:6 and the Jews also say, that
"greater is he who does alms than (if he offered) all sacrifices (c).''
(c) T. Bab. Succa, fol. 49. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. But—But the sacrifice of praise with the lips (Heb 13:15) is not enough; there must be also doing good (beneficence) and communicating (that is, imparting a share of your means, Ga 6:6) to the needy.
with such—and not mere ritualistic sacrifices.
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