|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:3-8 Pride is a sin in us by nature; we need to be cautioned and armed against it. All the saints make up one body in Christ, who is the Head of the body, and the common Centre of their unity. In the spiritual body, some are fitted for and called to one sort of work; others for another sort of work. We are to do all the good we can, one to another, and for the common benefit. If we duly thought about the powers we have, and how far we fail properly to improve them, it would humble us. But as we must not be proud of our talents, so we must take heed lest, under a pretence of humility and self-denial, we are slothful in laying out ourselves for the good of others. We must not say, I am nothing, therefore I will sit still, and do nothing; but, I am nothing in myself, and therefore I will lay out myself to the utmost, in the strength of the grace of Christ. Whatever our gifts or situations may be, let us try to employ ourselves humbly, diligently, cheerfully, and in simplicity; not seeking our own credit or profit, but the good of many, for this world and that which is to come.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Or ministry, let us wait on our ministry,.... The word sometimes signifies the whole ecclesiastical ministry, even the office of apostleship, as well as the ordinary ministration of the Gospel; see Acts 1:17; but here "deaconship", or the office of ministering to the poor saints, as in Acts 6:1, being a distinct office from prophesying: or preaching the word, and should be used, exercised, and attended to with diligence, care, and constancy; for such who are appointed to this office, are chosen not only to a place of honour, but of service and business, in which they should behave with prudence, sobriety, and humility:
or he that teacheth, on teaching. The gift of prophesying or preaching is subdivided into "teaching" and "exhorting"; the one belongs to "teachers" or doctors, the other to "pastors"; as the distinction is in Ephesians 4:11, not that different officers and offices are intended, but different branches of the same office; and one man's talent may lie more in the one, and another man's in the other; and accordingly each should in his preaching attend to the gift which is most peculiar to him: if his gift lies in teaching, let him constantly employ himself in that with all sobriety and "teaching" does not design an office in the school, but in the church; it is not teaching divinity as men teach logic, rhetoric, and other arts and sciences, in the schools; but an instructing of churches and the members thereof in the doctrines of the Gospel, in order to establish and build them up in their most holy faith; see 1 Corinthians 12:28; it chiefly lies in a doctrinal way of preaching, in opening, explaining, and defending the doctrines of Christ, as distinct from the practical part of the ministry of the word, and the administration of ordinances, in which the pastor is employed as well as in this.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. Or ministry, let us wait on—"be occupied with."
our ministering—The word here used imports any kind of service, from the dispensing of the word of life (Ac 6:4) to the administering of the temporal affairs of the Church (Ac 6:1-3). The latter seems intended here, being distinguished from "prophesying," "teaching," and "exhorting."
or he that teacheth—Teachers are expressly distinguished from prophets, and put after them, as exercising a lower function (Ac 13:1; 1Co 12:28, 29). Probably it consisted mainly in opening up the evangelical bearings of Old Testament Scripture; and it was in this department apparently that Apollos showed his power and eloquence (Ac 18:24).
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