1 Thessalonians 2:3-6
For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:…
I. WHAT DOES THE WORD "ALLOWED" MEAN? The Greek word means —
1. To try.
2. To approve.
3. To see fit.As in Romans 1:25, the heathen, it is said, did not like to retain God in their knowledge, i.e., they did not see fit to do it. Allowed does not mean to judge fit, in the sense that Paul was made a minister on account of his own merits, nor on the ground of the foresight of what he would be, but it was an act of God's sovereign grace. So in the account of his conversion (1 Timothy 2:13) he gives thanks to Christ. In 1 Corinthians 7:25, he says he had obtained mercy to be found faithful. He regarded his being put in the ministry as a great and undeserved mercy.
II. WHAT IS THE GOSPEL? The glad news of salvation revealed in the Scriptures. It is not a code of morals, nor a cultus, nor a life; it is the system of doctrines concerning God and man and Christ. It is called the wisdom of God, so contrasted with the wisdom of men, i.e., what God has revealed as opposed to what reason teaches. Hence to be put in trust with the gospel means to be a steward of the mysteries, i.e., the truths revealed by God. Two things are included in the gospel: the truth and its proclamation. The gospel is a report — something heard.
III. IN WHAT SENSE IS THE GOSPEL A TRUST. Two things are included in a trust or two duties of a trustee.
1. The safe custody of what is committed to his care.
2. Right administration. As to the first, it must he preserved in safety and preserved from deterioration. If gold is committed to a man, he must not deposit it in an insecure place; he must defend and preserve it. He can't substitute worthless paper for it. The gospel is the most precious treasure, far more so than gold or power. The minister is bound to preserve it, and not substitute the worthless products of his own brain for it. He must use it, not keep it hid in a napkin. He must use it for the purpose for which it is designed, not for his own advantage. Paul says of himself, that he acted —
(1) Not as pleasing men, but God.
(2) Not using flattery.
(3) Not covetously.
(4) Not seeking glory of men.The guilt of an unfaithful trustee is great. His doom dreadful. The reward and blessedness of a faithful minister the greatest conceivable.
(C. Hodge, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: