|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:12-21 This simple dependence and earnestness of soul, were not mentioned as if the apostle had gained the prize, or were already made perfect in the Saviour's likeness. He forgot the things which were behind, so as not to be content with past labours or present measures of grace. He reached forth, stretched himself forward towards his point; expressions showing great concern to become more and more like unto Christ. He who runs a race, must never stop short of the end, but press forward as fast as he can; so those who have heaven in their view, must still press forward to it, in holy desires and hopes, and constant endeavours. Eternal life is the gift of God, but it is in Christ Jesus; through his hand it must come to us, as it is procured for us by him. There is no getting to heaven as our home, but by Christ as our Way. True believers, in seeking this assurance, as well as to glorify him, will seek more nearly to resemble his sufferings and death, by dying to sin, and by crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts. In these things there is a great difference among real Christians, but all know something of them. Believers make Christ all in all, and set their hearts upon another world. If they differ from one another, and are not of the same judgment in lesser matters, yet they must not judge one another; while they all meet now in Christ, and hope to meet shortly in heaven. Let them join in all the great things in which they are agreed, and wait for further light as to lesser things wherein they differ. The enemies of the cross of Christ mind nothing but their sensual appetites. Sin is the sinner's shame, especially when gloried in. The way of those who mind earthly things, may seem pleasant, but death and hell are at the end of it. If we choose their way, we shall share their end. The life of a Christian is in heaven, where his Head and his home are, and where he hopes to be shortly; he sets his affections upon things above; and where his heart is, there will his conversation be. There is glory kept for the bodies of the saints, in which they will appear at the resurrection. Then the body will be made glorious; not only raised again to life, but raised to great advantage. Observe the power by which this change will be wrought. May we be always prepared for the coming of our Judge; looking to have our vile bodies changed by his Almighty power, and applying to him daily to new-create our souls unto holiness; to deliver us from our enemies, and to employ our bodies and souls as instruments of righteousness in his service.
Verse 16. - Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Omit, with the best manuscripts, the words from "rule" to "thing," and translate, R.V., only, whereunto we have already attained, by that same (rule) let us walk; or, more literally, only, what we arrived at, by that same walk. Let there be no falling back; let us, at each point in our Christian course, maintain and walk according to that degree of grace at which we arrived. This explanation seems more probable than the other view, which understands the words, "by the same," of the rule of faith as opposed to the works of the Law.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained,.... Whatever degree of knowledge of Christ, and the truths of his Gospel, is attained to, let it be retained, and not departed from:
let us walk by the same rule; either the doctrine of justification by Christ's righteousness in particular, which is a rule of judgment concerning other things; for so far as they agree or disagree with this, they are to be received or rejected; or the Scriptures of truth, which are the rule of faith and practice, and the standard and test, to which all are to be brought and tried:
let us mind the same thing; be of one heart and affection to each other, Romans 12:10, and of the same judgment in the doctrines of the Gospel, 1 Corinthians 1:10, and pursue the same measures; particularly press towards the same mark, and for the same prize the apostle did, Philippians 3:14, and be followers of him, as is exhorted to in Philippians 3:17.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. The expectation of a new revelation is not to make you less careful in walking according to whatever degree of knowledge of divine things and perfection you have already attained. God makes further revelations to those who walk up to the revelations they already have (Ho 6:3).
rule, let us mind the same thing—omitted in the oldest manuscripts. Perhaps partly inserted from Ga 6:16, and Php 2:2. Translate then, "Whereunto we have attained, let us walk on (a military term, march in order) in the same (the measure of knowledge already attained)."
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