For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.
I. WHEN MAY WE BE SAID TO SEEK OUR OWN THINGS AND NOT THOSE OF CHRIST.
1. When we seek them in opposition or disservice to the things of Christ (John 11:47-53; Acts 19:27-29).
(1) This spirit has acted under the Christian name; it still works in the Papal tyranny, and in those Protestants whose persecuting spirit substitutes a kingdom of this world in the room of Christ's.
(2) Where ever this spirit prevails it eats out the power of godliness or suppresses it in others (Luke 22:24-26).
2. When we seek our own to the neglect of Christ's (Acts 18:17; Matthew 22:5; John 5:44).
3. When we seek our own more than Christ's (Matthew 13:20-22). Some seek them only in such ways and at such times as will cost them little expense or trouble.
4. When we seek our own so as to hinder our seeking Christ's. (i) We sometimes seek our own with such eagerness of spirit as puts us out of tune for spiritual things, and when we have been employed in spiritual work, a too hasty return to the world, and a too eager application to the things of it defaces promising impressions (Matthew 13:22).
(2) At other times we are unreasonably employed in our own things where we ought to be engaged in the worship of God (Luke 10:40-42).
5. When there is too much of self secretly twisting itself into what we do for Christ (Zechariah 7:5-6; Philippians 1:15-16).
(1) Some seek the things of Christ only for their own worldly interests, from secular views, to make a livelihood or to conciliate favour (Ezekiel 33:31).
(2) Others seek their own honour, and the gratification of their own pride, to recommend their learning, piety, or zeal (2 Kings 10:16; Matthew 23:5-7).
(3) The like sin we are guilty of when we are zealous for notions of our own, because they are our own and exalt our reason, or because they suit the general taste (Galatians 1:9-10; Galatians 6:12-14).
(4) When we set up our own righteousness instead of Christ's to recommend us to God's acceptance (Romans 9:30-32), or lean on our own strength and not on Christ's for spiritual performances (1 Corinthians 1:29-31; Isaiah 45:24-25).
(5) Others seek an indulgence in their own passions and pleasures, seeking the things of Christ as a cloak for them, or as a salve to conscience.
6. When we put no respect to Christ on our own things (Colossians 3:23-24).
(1) All our abilities should have a reference to Him that He may be glorified (1 Corinthians 6:20).
(2) We should seek His love and favour that we may taste them with a sweeter relish as the purchase of His blood and branches of new covenant mercies.
II. THE GREAT EVIL OF THIS.
1. Consider the excellence of Christ's things above all our own.
(1) They have a substantial worth and real goodness in them as derived from His glorious Person (Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
(2) There is all-comprehensive goodness to fill up our vastest capacities with complete satisfaction (Proverbs 8:20-21), and to ennoble them.
(3) What are our own in comparison? They are empty, perishing, some debasing, will not profit in the clay of wrath.
(4) What folly then to prefer broken cisterns (Jeremiah 2:13).
2. Consider how unsuitable this is to our character as Christians.
(1) We are disciples of Christ, and profess to make of Him our all.
(2) We are strangers and pilgrims, and profess to have our portion above.
3. Consider the abundant care and grace with which Christ has sought our things — our everlasting peace and salvation (2 Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2:6-8; Philippians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 John 4:19).
4. Consider the danger of seeking our own in preference to Christ's.
(1) The more distance there will be between Christ and us.
(2) The more open we shall be to temptation.
(3) The less fitness we shall have for heaven.
(4) The more sure will be our rejection by God and the loss of the soul (Matthew 16:26).
(J. Guyse, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.