Now I beseech you, brothers, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit…
I. THE IMPORT OF THE EXPRESSION HERE USED. It may mean either the love, of which the Spirit is the author in the heart of the believer; or the love of which the Spirit is Himself the object; or most probably, the love which the Spirit bears to them that believe.
II. "THE LOVE OF THE SPIRIT" AS A MOTIVE TO CHRISTIAN OBEDIENCE. The Spirit shows love, as much as the Father or the Son; and the love of the Spirit is as much a motive to duty as the grace of Christ itself. As the love of Christ is displayed chiefly in an external work, so the love of the Spirit is exhibited in His internal operation on the soul. In order to illustrate this love; consider —
1. The absence of anything on our part fitted to attract that Holy Agent. "Not of works, but of His mercy, He saves us by the renewing of the Holy Spirit." That the Spirit of God should dwell in a holy mind may be well believed; but what manner of love was this which impelled the Spirit to inhabit such a mind as that of the natural man!
2. The fruits of the Spirit; "love, joy, peace," etc., of what high value are these!
3. The happiness imparted by the Spirit. The word of promise has no power to comfort until it is applied by the Spirit of promise. If we abound in hope, it is through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is emphatically the Comforter; no true joy without His influence; and He is the grand and only preparation for eternal happiness.
4. This love is displayed in His continual operation on the heart, amidst so much opposition, and so much ingratitude.
III. IMPROVEMENT. Surely we should —
1. Show returns of love to this Spirit of love.
2. Show ourselves meek and docile to such a Teacher and Guide, and prize His influence.
3. Vindicate His character from all low notions of His person, dignity, power and importance.
4. Pray in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, war after the Spirit.
(R. Hall, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;