|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-7 Spiritual privileges do not make void or weaken, but confirm civil duties. Mere good words and good meanings are not enough without good works. They were not to be quarrelsome, but to show meekness on all occasions, not toward friends only, but to all men, though with wisdom, Jas 3:13. And let this text teach us how wrong it is for a Christian to be churlish to the worst, weakest, and most abject. The servants of sin have many masters, their lusts hurry them different ways; pride commands one thing, covetousness another. Thus they are hateful, deserving to be hated. It is the misery of sinners, that they hate one another; and it is the duty and happiness of saints to love one another. And we are delivered out of our miserable condition, only by the mercy and free grace of God, the merit and sufferings of Christ, and the working of his Spirit. God the Father is God our Saviour. He is the fountain from which the Holy Spirit flows, to teach, regenerate, and save his fallen creatures; and this blessing comes to mankind through Christ. The spring and rise of it, is the kindness and love of God to man. Love and grace have, through the Spirit, great power to change and turn the heart to God. Works must be in the saved, but are not among the causes of their salvation. A new principle of grace and holiness is wrought, which sways, and governs, and makes the man a new creature. Most pretend they would have heaven at last, yet they care not for holiness now; they would have the end without the beginning. Here is the outward sign and seal thereof in baptism, called therefore the washing of regeneration. The work is inward and spiritual; this is outwardly signified and sealed in this ordinance. Slight not this outward sign and seal; yet rest not in the outward washing, but look to the answer of a good conscience, without which the outward washing will avail nothing. The worker therein is the Spirit of God; it is the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Through him we mortify sin, perform duty, walk in God's ways; all the working of the Divine life in us, and the fruits of righteousness without, are through this blessed and holy Spirit. The Spirit and his saving gifts and graces, come through Christ, as a Saviour, whose undertaking and work are to bring to grace and glory. Justification, in the gospel sense, is the free forgiveness of a sinner; accepting him as righteous through the righteousness of Christ received by faith. God, in justifying a sinner in the way of the gospel, is gracious to him, yet just to himself and his law. As forgiveness is through a perfect righteousness, and satisfaction is made to justice by Christ, it cannot be merited by the sinner himself. Eternal life is set before us in the promise; the Spirit works faith in us, and hope of that life; faith and hope bring it near, and fill with joy in expectation of it.
Verse 6. - Poured out upon us richly for shed on us abundantly, A.V. Which (οϋ); viz. the Holy Ghost. It is in the genitive (instead of the accusative ὁ, which is another reading), by what [he grammarians call attraction. Poured out (ἐξέχεεν); the same word as is applied to the Holy Ghost in Acts 2:17, 18, 33, and in the LXX. of Joel 2:28, 29. Richly (πλουσίως); as 1 Timothy 6:17; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:11 (compare the use of πλοῦτος in Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:7). Through Jesus Christ. It is our baptism into Christ which entitles us to receive the Holy Spirit, which we have only in virtue of our union with him. The Spirit flows from the Head to the members. In Acts 2:33, 34 Christ is said to have received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, and to have poured it forth upon the Church.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Which he shed on us abundantly,.... "Or richly"; either which love he shed abroad in the hearts of those whom he regenerated and renewed by his Spirit; or which water of regeneration, that is, grace, comparable to water, he plentifully shed, and caused to abound where sin had done; or rather whom, or which Holy Spirit, with his gifts and graces, such as faith, hope, and love, and every other, he poured forth in great abundance on them; see Isaiah 44:3
through Jesus Christ our Saviour; the love and kindness of God the Father our Saviour, comes through him; the mercy of God streams through him; the salvation itself is by, and through him; the grace communicated in regeneration and renovation is out of his fulness; the Spirit himself is given forth from him; and every supply of grace, by which the work is carried on, comes out of his hands; and everything wrought in us, that is well pleasing in the sight of God, is through him; and even the gift of God, eternal life itself.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. Which—the Holy Ghost.
he shed—Greek, "poured out"; not only on the Church in general at Pentecost, but also "on us" individually. This pouring out of the Spirit comprehends the grace received before, in, and subsequently to, baptism.
abundantly—Greek, "richly" (Col 3:16).
through Jesus Christ—the channel and Mediator of the gift of the Holy Ghost.
our Saviour—immediately; as the Father is mediately "our Saviour." The Father is the author of our salvation and saves us by Jesus Christ.
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