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.
8. Or he that exhorteth—Since all preaching, whether by apostles, prophets, or teachers, was followed up by exhortation (Ac 11:23; 14:22; 15:32, &c.), many think that no specific class is here in view. But if liberty was given to others to exercise themselves occasionally in exhorting the brethren, generally, or small parties of the less instructed, the reference may be to them.
he that giveth—in the exercise of private benevolence probably, rather than in the discharge of diaconal duty.
with simplicity—so the word probably means. But as simplicity seems enjoined in the next clause but one of this same verse, perhaps the meaning here is, "with liberality," as the same word is rendered in 2Co 8:2; 9:11.
he that ruleth—whether in the Church or his own household. See 1Ti 3:4, 5, where the same word is applied to both.
with diligence—with earnest purpose.
he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness—not only without grudging either trouble or pecuniary relief, but feeling it to be "more blessed to give than to receive," and to help than be helped.