I thank my God on every remembrance of you,…
I. THE RETROSPECT.
1. Its subject — "fellowship of the gospel."(1) Their mutual delight in all that the gospel brings. The grace that saved the apostle was that which saved his converts. Having a common faith they had a bond of union.
(2) Their cooperation in all attempts for the furtherance of the gospel.
2. The emotions it awakened.
(1) A grateful recognition of its unbroken character. Never had a single jar arisen between them. This experience was exceptional with Paul as it is with ourselves. In looking over ten years of work we can see more than enough to prevent our review from being one of unmixed pleasure. This is essential to check pride.
(2) Thankfulness to God, the source and sustainer of it. This also is exceptional. We thank God for good and earnest men, but can they thank God for our cooperation?
II. THE FORECAST. It is founded on the same cooperation.
1. The apostle's confident hope in regard to their future. Confidence in character is of tardy growth, and is often disappointed. Paul's was based on two grounds.
(1) Their character had not failed when it was severely tested. They had braved the ridicule and persecution of their heathen neighbours for ten years.
(2) God, being who and what He is, would not fail. He would bring the work He had begun to completion; not, however, that men are passive instruments in His hands.
2. The staple of His prayer. It is a prayer for the growth of that which already exists in them; and one which implies their active cooperation in fulfilling the subject of His petitions; that their love may grow in knowledge and perception.
3. The remaining portion of the forecast refers to the fruits of which love, knowledge, and a powerful moral sense are the roots.
(1) There is a quick choice of the best among good things (ver. 10). Not mental and spiritual epicurianism.
(2) Frankness and transparency, and therefore purity.
(3) Blamelessness, not causing offence to men; so living as to be acceptable to God.
(4) Abundant and uninterrupted fruitfulness.
(J. J. Goadby.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,