|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 18. - Pray for us: for we trust (rather, we are persuaded, πειθόμεθα) that we have a good conscience, in all things willing (i.e. desiring) to live honestly. When St. Paul uses the plural ἡμεῖς he usually at least, if not always, includes his colleagues (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Colossians 4:3). So probably the writer here, especially as there is a transition to the singular in the following verse. Whoever he was, he associates himself in sending the Epistle with his fellow-laborers, i.e. with others of what we may call the Pauline circle, who were engaged with him elsewhere. Both this and the request for prayer, and also the assertion of integrity, which seems to imply suspicion of possible mistrust, are quite in St. Paul's way, and confirm the view that, though the author may not have been St. Paul himself, it was at any rate some one who was, or had been, closely connected with him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Pray for us,.... Who are in the ministry; your guides and governors; since the work is of so much moment, and so arduous and awful, and you have such a concern in it; See Gill on 2 Thessalonians 3:1.
for we trust we have a good conscience; there is a conscience in every man, but it is naturally evil: a good conscience is a conscience sanctified by the Spirit of God, and sprinkled by the blood of Jesus; here it chiefly respects the upright discharge of it in the ministerial work: this the apostle often asserts, and appeals to, and which he here expresses with modesty, and yet with confidence; and which he uses as an argument for prayer for them:
in all things willing to live honestly; not only as men, but as ministers; faithfully dispensing the word of truth, without any regard to the favour or frowns of men, as good stewards of the mysteries of God; which contains in it another reason for prayer: the phrase, "in all things", is so placed, that it may be read in connection with either clause; and the sense is either that they exercised a good conscience in all things, in which they were concerned with God, or man, and among all persons, Jews and Gentiles; or that they were willing to live honestly in every respect, as men, Christians, and ministers.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. Pray for us—Paul usually requests the Church's intercessions for him in closing his Epistles, just as he begins with assuring them of his having them at heart in his prayers (but in this Epistle not till Heb 13:20, 21), Ro 15:30. "Us," includes both himself and his companions; he passes to himself alone, Heb 13:19.
we trust we have a good conscience—in spite of your former jealousies, and the charges of my Jewish enemies at Jerusalem, which have been the occasion of my imprisonment at Rome. In refutation of the Jews' aspersions, he asserts in the same language as here his own conscientiousness before God and man, Ac 23:1-3; 24:16, 20, 21 (wherein he virtually implies that his reply to Ananias was not sinful impatience; for, indeed, it was a prophecy which he was inspired at the moment to utter, and which was fulfilled soon after).
we trust—Greek, "we are persuaded," in the oldest manuscripts. Good conscience produces confidence, where the Holy Spirit rules the conscience (Ro 9:1).
honestly—"in a good way." The same Greek word as "good conscience." Literally, "rightly," "becomingly."
Hebrews 13:18 Parallel Commentaries
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