4:7-11 The destruction of the Jewish church and nation, foretold by our Saviour, was very near. And the speedy approach of death and judgment concerns all, to which these words naturally lead our minds. Our approaching end, is a powerful argument to make us sober in all worldly matters, and earnest in religion. There are so many things amiss in all, that unless love covers, excuses, and forgives in others, the mistakes and faults for which every one needs the forbearance of others, Satan will prevail to stir up divisions and discords. But we are not to suppose that charity will cover or make amends for the sins of those who exercise it, so as to induce God to forgive them. The nature of a Christian's work, which is high work and hard work, the goodness of the Master, and the excellence of the reward, all require that our endeavours should be serious and earnest. And in all the duties and services of life, we should aim at the glory of God as our chief end. He is a miserable, unsettled wretch, who cleaves to himself, and forgets God; is only perplexed about his credit, and gain, and base ends, which are often broken, and which, when he attains, both he and they must shortly perish together. But he who has given up himself and his all to God, may say confidently that the Lord is his portion; and nothing but glory through Christ Jesus, is solid and lasting; that abideth for ever.
11. If any … speak—namely, as a prophet, or divinely taught teacher in the Church assembly.
as the, &c.—The Greek has no article: "as oracles of God." This may be due to Greek: "God," having no article, it being a principle when a governed noun omits the Greek article that the governing noun should omit it, too. In Ac 7:38 also, the Greek article is wanting; thus English Version, "as the oracles of God," namely, the Old Testament, would be "right," and the precept be similar to Ro 12:6, "prophesy according to the analogy of the faith." But the context suits better thus, "Let him speak as (becomes one speaking) oracles OF God." His divinely inspired words are not his own, but God's, and as a steward (1Pe 4:10) having them committed to him, he ought so to speak them. Jesus was the pattern in this respect (Mt 7:29; Joh 12:49; 14:10; compare Paul, 2Co 2:17). Note, the very same term as is applied in the only other passages where it occurs (Ac 7:38; Ro 3:2; Heb 5:12), to the Old Testament inspired writings, is here predicated of the inspired words (the substance of which was afterwards committed to writing) of the New Testament prophets.
minister—in acts; the other sphere of spiritual activity besides speaking.
as of—"out of" the store of his "strength" (Greek, physical power in relation to outward service, rather than moral and intellectual "ability"; so in Mr 12:30).
giveth—Greek, "supplieth"; originally said of a choragus, who supplied the chorus with all necessaries for performing their several parts.
that God in all things may be glorified—the final end of all a Christian's acts.
through Jesus Christ—the mediator through whom all our blessings come down to us, and also through whom all our praises ascend to God. Through Christ alone can God be glorified in us and our sayings and doings.
for ever and ever—Greek, "unto the ages of the ages."