|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:2-9 Let believers be of one mind, and ready to help each other. As the apostle had found the benefit of their assistance, he knew how comfortable it would be to his fellow-labourers to have the help of others. Let us seek to give assurance that our names are written in the book of life. Joy in God is of great consequence in the Christian life; and Christians need to be again and again called to it. It more than outweighs all causes for sorrow. Let their enemies perceive how moderate they were as to outward things, and how composedly they suffered loss and hardships. The day of judgment will soon arrive, with full redemption to believers, and destruction to ungodly men. There is a care of diligence which is our duty, and agrees with a wise forecast and due concern; but there is a care of fear and distrust, which is sin and folly, and only perplexes and distracts the mind. As a remedy against perplexing care, constant prayer is recommended. Not only stated times for prayer, but in every thing by prayer. We must join thanksgivings with prayers and supplications; not only seek supplies of good, but own the mercies we have received. God needs not to be told our wants or desires; he knows them better than we do; but he will have us show that we value the mercy, and feel our dependence on him. The peace of God, the comfortable sense of being reconciled to God, and having a part in his favour, and the hope of the heavenly blessedness, are a greater good than can be fully expressed. This peace will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; it will keep us from sinning under troubles, and from sinking under them; keep us calm and with inward satisfaction. Believers are to get and to keep a good name; a name for good things with God and good men. We should walk in all the ways of virtue, and abide therein; then, whether our praise is of men or not, it will be of God. The apostle is for an example. His doctrine and life agreed together. The way to have the God of peace with us, is to keep close to our duty. All our privileges and salvation arise in the free mercy of God; yet the enjoyment of them depends on our sincere and holy conduct. These are works of God, pertaining to God, and to him only are they to be ascribed, and to no other, neither men, words, nor deeds.
Verse 9. - Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do. St. Paul turns from contemplation to practical life: they must translate into action the lessons which they received from him. The verbs are aorists and refer to the time when he was among them. He taught not by word only, but by living example; they saw in him when present, and heard of him when he was absent, a pattern of the Christian life. And the God of peace shall be with you. God dwells with those who think holy thoughts and live holy lives; and with him comes the peace which is his, which he giveth (comp. Romans 15:33).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
These things which ye have both learned,.... Meaning from himself, in a doctrinal way:
and received; not only into their heads but hearts, had embraced cordially, with great affection, in the love thereof, as well as given a full assent to:
and heard; either publicly or privately, from the pulpit, or in conversation; or had heard of him when absent, or from him when present:
and seen in me: in his life and conversation, which were well known, and were a pattern to them that believe; and therefore he adds,
do; practise the same things which they had learned from him as their duty, and had heard him urge as such, and had seen exemplified in himself:
and the God of peace shall be with you; to give that peace which is beyond the conception of a natural man, and the expression of a spiritual one, and is the great preservative through Christ; and to enable to do and to continue to do the above things, and to keep them from all harm, and every enemy of their souls; to favour them with his gracious presence here, and with endless peace hereafter.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. both—rather, "The things also which ye have learned … these practice"; the things which besides recommending them in words, have been also recommended by my example, carry into practice.
heard—though ye have not yet sufficiently "received" them.
seen—though ye have not as yet sufficiently "learned" them [Bengel].
and—"and then," as the necessary result (Php 4:7). Not only "the peace of God," but "the God of peace" Himself "shall be with you."
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