1 Corinthians 16* A collection for the poor at Jerusalem. (1-9) Timothy andApollos commended. (10-12) Exhortation to watchfulness in faithand love. (13-18) Christian salutations. (19-24)1-9 The good examples of other Christians and churches shouldrouse us. It is good to lay up in store for good uses. Those whoare rich in this world, should be rich in good works, #1Ti6:17,18|. The diligent hand will not make rich, without theDivine blessing, #Pr 10:4,22|. And what more proper to stir usup to charity to the people and children of God, than to look atall we have as his gift? Works of mercy are real fruits of truelove to God, and are therefore proper services on his own day.Ministers are doing their proper business, when putting forward,or helping works of charity. The heart of a Christian ministermust be towards the people among whom he has laboured long, andwith success. All our purposes must be made with submission tothe Divine providence, #Jas 4:15|. Adversaries and opposition donot break the spirits of faithful and successful ministers, butwarm their zeal, and inspire them with fresh courage. A faithfulminister is more discouraged by the hardness of his hearers'hearts, and the backslidings of professors, than by the enemies'attempts. 10-12 Timothy came to do the work of the Lord. Therefore to vexhis spirit, would be to grieve the Holy Spirit; to despise him,would be to despise Him that sent him. Those who work the workof the Lord, should be treated with tenderness and respect.Faithful ministers will not be jealous of each other. It becomesthe ministers of the gospel to show concern for each other'sreputation and usefulness. 13-18 A Christian is always in danger, therefore should ever beon the watch. He should be fixed in the faith of the gospel, andnever desert or give it up. By this faith alone he will be ableto keep his ground in an hour of temptation. Christians shouldbe careful that charity not only reigns in their hearts, butshines in their lives. There is a great difference betweenChristian firmness and feverish warmth and transport. Theapostle gave particular directions as to some who served thecause of Christ among them. Those who serve the saints, thosewho desire the honour of the churches, and to remove reproachesfrom them, are to be thought much of, and loved. They shouldwillingly acknowledge the worth of such, and all who labouredwith or helped the apostle. 19-24 Christianity by no means destroys civility. Religionshould promote a courteous and obliging temper towards all.Those give a false idea of religion, and reproach it, who wouldtake encouragement from it to be sour and morose. And Christiansalutations are not mere empty compliments; but are realexpressions of good-will to others, and commend them to theDivine grace and blessing. Every Christian family should be as aChristian church. Wherever two or three are gathered together inthe name of Christ, and he is among them, there is a church.Here is a solemn warning. Many who have Christ's name much intheir mouths, have no true love to him in their hearts. Nonelove him in truth, who do not love his laws, and keep hiscommandments. Many are Christians in name, who do not loveChrist Jesus the Lord in sincerity. Such are separated from thepeople of God, and the favour of God. Those who love not theLord Jesus Christ, must perish without remedy. Let us not restin any religious profession where there is not the love ofChrist, earnest desires for his salvation, gratitude for hismercies, and obedience to his commandments. The grace of ourLord Jesus Christ has in it all that is good, for time and foreternity. To wish that our friends may have this grace withthem, is wishing them the utmost good. And this we should wishall our friends and brethren in Christ. We can wish them nothinggreater, and we should wish them nothing less. True Christianitymakes us wish those whom we love, the blessings of both worlds;this is meant in wishing the grace of Christ to be with them.The apostle had dealt plainly with the Corinthians, and toldthem of their faults with just severity; but he parts in love,and with a solemn profession of his love to them for Christ'ssake. May our love be with all who are in Christ Jesus. Let ustry whether all things appear worthless to us, when comparedwith Christ and his righteousness. Do we allow ourselves in anyknown sin, or in the neglect of any known duty? By suchinquiries, faithfully made, we may judge of the state of oursouls.
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