collection for the poor at Jerusalem. (1-9) Timothy and
Apollos commended. (10-12) Exhortation to watchfulness in faith
and love. (13-18) Christian salutations. (19-24)
Verses 1-9: The good examples of other Christians and churches should
rouse us. It is good to lay up in store for good uses. Those who
are rich in this world, should be rich in good works, (1Ti
6:17,18). The diligent hand will not make rich, without the
Divine blessing, (Pr 10:4,22). And what more proper to stir us
up to charity to the people and children of God, than to look at
all we have as his gift? Works of mercy are real fruits of true
love 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 minister
must be towards the people among whom he has laboured long, and
with success. All our purposes must be made with submission to
the Divine providence, (Jam 4:15). Adversaries and opposition do
not break the spirits of faithful and successful ministers, but
warm their zeal, and inspire them with fresh courage. A faithful
minister is more discouraged by the hardness of his hearers'
hearts, and the backslidings of professors, than by the enemies'
Verses 10-12: Timothy came to do the work of the Lord. Therefore to vex
his spirit, would be to grieve the Holy Spirit; to despise him,
would be to despise Him that sent him. Those who work the work
of the Lord, should be treated with tenderness and respect.
Faithful ministers will not be jealous of each other. It becomes
the ministers of the gospel to show concern for each other's
reputation and usefulness.
Verses 13-18: A Christian is always in danger, therefore should ever be
on the watch. He should be fixed in the faith of the gospel, and
never desert or give it up. By this faith alone he will be able
to keep his ground in an hour of temptation. Christians should
be careful that charity not only reigns in their hearts, but
shines in their lives. There is a great difference between
Christian firmness and feverish warmth and transport. The
apostle gave particular directions as to some who served the
cause of Christ among them. Those who serve the saints, those
who desire the honour of the churches, and to remove reproaches
from them, are to be thought much of, and loved. They should
willingly acknowledge the worth of such, and all who laboured
with or helped the apostle.
Verses 19-24: Christianity by no means destroys civility. Religion
should promote a courteous and obliging temper towards all.
Those give a false idea of religion, and reproach it, who would
take encouragement from it to be sour and morose. And Christian
salutations are not mere empty compliments; but are real
expressions of good-will to others, and commend them to the
Divine grace and blessing. Every Christian family should be as a
Christian church. Wherever two or three are gathered together in
the name of Christ, and he is among them, there is a church.
Here is a solemn warning. Many who have Christ's name much in
their mouths, have no true love to him in their hearts. None
love him in truth, who do not love his laws, and keep his
commandments. Many are Christians in name, who do not love
Christ Jesus the Lord in sincerity. Such are separated from the
people of God, and the favour of God. Those who love not the
Lord Jesus Christ, must perish without remedy. Let us not rest
in any religious profession where there is not the love of
Christ, earnest desires for his salvation, gratitude for his
mercies, and obedience to his commandments. The grace of our
Lord Jesus Christ has in it all that is good, for time and for
eternity. To wish that our friends may have this grace with
them, is wishing them the utmost good. And this we should wish
all our friends and brethren in Christ. We can wish them nothing
greater, and we should wish them nothing less. True Christianity
makes 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 told
them of their faults with just severity; but he parts in love,
and with a solemn profession of his love to them for Christ's
sake. May our love be with all who are in Christ Jesus. Let us
try whether all things appear worthless to us, when compared
with Christ and his righteousness. Do we allow ourselves in any
known sin, or in the neglect of any known duty? By such
inquiries, faithfully made, we may judge of the state of our