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no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be
ample proof that the “testimony of and in every instance is translated Christ” was true, both from the out- reveal or revealed. The ordinary use ward manifestation of miraculous of the word, therefore, by no means power, and the inward operation of indicates a personal approach or comthe spirit. T Waiting for. Anxiously ing of an individual. It rather dedesiring; intensely longing; hopefully notes a revelation of what was before expecting. See note on Rom. viii. 19, unknown, or the manifestation of the where the same word occurs. T The power and presence of an invisible becoming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Com- ing by visible signs. And such is mentators have generally understood doubtless its meaning here. The powthis to refer to what is styled the er of Christ was about to be remarkably “ day of judgment.” Some, however, manifested in the establishment of the who firmly believed in such a day and gospel. And as the preservation of his in a judgment which should make a disciples from the terrible calamity final separation of mankind, have which overwhelmed his principal perdoubted or denied that such is the ref-secutors was a signal event connected erence in the text. “It is difficult to with that establishment, very probably say whether the apostle means the final there is a special reference to it in this judgment, or our Lord's coming to de- place. But to whatever revelation or stroy Jerusalem, and make an end of manifestation the apostle may refer, it Jewish polity. See 1 Thess. iii. 13. was near at hand, something which he As he does not explain himself partic- and his brethren were expecting and ularly, he must refer to a subject with waiting for. But the “final coming" which they were well acquainted. As of the Lord Jesus, at the “ general the Jews, in general, continued to con- judgment,” which some so confidently tradict and blaspheme, it is no wonder expect, has not yet occurred, though if the apostle should be directed to the Corinthian Christians departed this point out to the believing Gentiles that life eighteen centuries ago; and how the judgments of God were speedily to much longer it will be delayed, no fall upon this rebellious people, and man knoweth. scatter them over the face of the earth; 8. Who shall also confirm you. Shall which shortly afterward took place.” establish you in the faith of the gospel,
-Clarke. “So that now there is no need and make you firm in the midst of all of any addition to be made, but only trials and temptations. Who seems that you persevere in what you have, here to refer to God, ver. 4, rather than expecting this coming of Christ to the to Christ, ver. 7. Christ may properly deliverance of the faithful, and re- be said to strengthen and confirm the markable destruction of all other his faith of his disciples. But in this place enemies and crucifiers.” — Hammond. the apostle is speaking of what God It may not be useless to remark that had done, and would do. He thanks the word here translated coming, God, ver. 4, for imparting his grace, though it occurs eighteen times in the through Jesus Christ, to man, and givNew Testament, is nowhere else so ing them both outward and inward translated. It is twelve times rendered demonstration of the truth which had revelation; twice, revealed; once, man- been proclaimed to them, ver. 5, 6: and ifestation; once, appearing; once, light- appeals to God's faithfulness, ver. 8, as en; and in the text, coming. Open man- a pledge that the work, so happily beifestation, or revelation, is the evident gun, should be made perfect. It is natmeaning of the word, in all places. ural, therefore, to understand him here Indeed it is the first word of the last as declaring that God would confirm Book in the New Testament, and has and strengthen the faith of believers. been adopted as its title. The corre- 1 To the end. Either to the end of life, sponding verb occurs twenty-six times, or, perhaps more probably, to the time blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship
indicated by revelation or manifesta- is true, and constant, and will adhere tion of the Lord Jesus Christ, ver. 7, to his promises. He will not deceive. - a time of peculiar trial and danger. He will not promise, and then fail to Amidst the convulsions which should perform: he will not commence any. then occur, there was danger of discour thing which he will not perfect and agement and defection. Men's hearts finish. The object of Paul in introshould fail them for fear. Luke xxi. ducing the idea of the faithfulness of 26. But those who endured unto the God here, is to show the reason for beend should be saved. Matt. x. 22. Our lieving that the Christians at Corinth Lord forewarned his disciples of the would be kept unto everlasting life. same perils, while he was with them on The evidence that they will persevere the earth. The Corinthians were in depends on the fidelity of God; and less danger than those at Jerusalem; the argument of the apostle is, that as but they were not wholly exempt. The they had been called by him into the convulsion was wide-spread when chris- fellowship of his Son, his faithfulness tianity was established upon the ruins of character would render it certain of Judaism, and the divine mission of that they would be kept to eternal Christ and the truth of his gospel life. The same idea he has presented in were demonstrated to the world by the Phil. i. 6."-Barnes. This interpretamighty power of God. IT Blameless. tion is founded on a correct principle, “Without just cause of accusation.”- though it carries the argument beyond Macknight. Absolute freedom from sin- the point here embraced by the aposfulness is not attainable on earth. The tle, who speaks of certain favors to be inost devout Christian has daily occa- enjoyed in the present life, rather than sion to utter with fervency and deep salvation in the next.
The greater, humility the supplication, Forgive however, includes the less; and the us our sins.” Luke xi. 4. Some modern same faithfulness which secures the Christians have fancied themselves to final result equally secures all the inbe perfect, and have thanked God pub- termediate steps. Ye were called. licly that they had been able to live See note on Rom. i. 7. T Unto the for many years entirely free from sin. fellowship of his son Jesus Christ our But they did not learn this from their Lord. During his ministry on earth, great Master, nor from his apostles, who our Lord declared that he would dwelí taught that no man in the flesh becomes with his faithful disciples, by the inabsolutely sinless, and that those who fluences of his spirit." John xiv. 23. imagined the contrary deceived them- And he devoutly prayed to the Father selves. Rom. iii. 9, 10, 19, 20; vii. that this fellowship might be realized 14–25; James iii. 2; 2 John i. 8. by his disciples. John xvii. 20–26. What the apostlé means is that, by con- The beloved apostle John, who imbibed firming them unto the end, God would the spirit of his master in an extraorkeep the Corinthian brethren steadfast dinary degree, testifies concerning in the faith and enable them to walk the same fellowship as the fruit of a worthy of their vocation; so that when living faith in the gospel.
“* That the time of sharp trial should come, which we have seen and heard declare they would not be unduly alarmed, nor we to you, that ye also may have felbe liable as transgressors to be involved lowship with us; and truly our fellowin destruction. This much they might ship is with the Father, and with his confidently expect him to do, if they Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John i. 3. The remained faithful. In the day of our true Christian recognizes his relationLord Jesus Christ. In the day when ship both to the Father and to the Son. he should be manifestly revealed. See He does not regard God merely as the note on ver. 7.
Creator and Ruler of the universe; but 9. God is faithful. “That is, God be exercises a filial affection to him, as of his Son Jesus Christ our |ren, by the name of our Lord Lord.
Jesus Christ, that ye all speak 10 Now I beseech you, breth- the same thing, and that there
the Father of Spirits and the beneficent would convince them of his affectionate source of all good. He does not regard regard, so that they might accept his the Son as a stranger, sent to deliver a severe rebukes as an evidence of love, message to men, wholly unconcerned not as indicating hatred. Men subas to its character or results; but his missively accept rebukes and even heart is warmed by the love for human- chastisement, when clearly seen to be ity displayed by the Son, by his labors administered in love; while they inand sufferings, by his exertions to save stinctively rebel against either, when men from their sins, and by his assur- accompanied by a manifestation of ances that the same divine love which wrath and hatred. By the name. occasioned his mission would finally By the authority; or, more properly draw all men unto himself. His heart perhaps, by the spirit. The spirit of is attached by the bonds of love to the Jesus was loving and peaceful. Well great Giver of blessings, and to the might the apostle appeal to that spirit, blessed Mediator through whom they when beseeching his brethren to cease are bestowed; and thus he enjoys fel- from bitter contention, and to live in lowship with both.
peace with each other. If the exhorThus far the apostle has reminded tation had taken the form of a comhis Corinthian brethren of the blessings mand, it would be more natural to already bestowed upon them, and has suppose an appeal was made to the aucommended them for the degree of im- thority of Christ, which was acknowlprovement which they have made. Yet edged by all his professed disciples. they were far from perfection. Much Our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul does was lacking in their Christian charac- not exhort his brethren to heal their ter, in respect both to faith and works. divisions, merely from a regard to In what follows, he freely points out their own good; but he asks them to their errors, rebukes their faults, and consider the spirit of the Master, who strives to impart a more correct faith had earnestly besought the Father that and a more pure life.
his disciples might live in peace and 10. Now I beseech you, brethren. The be one in him. John xvii. 21. T That transition here, from what is merely in- ye all speak the same thing. It would troductory to the main purpose of the seem that, even in that early age, the Epistle, is very well expressed thus: brethren at Corinth not only acknowl“That therefore which I first exhort edged different leaders, but differed you to, and that with all earnestness from each other in opinion in regard possible, as the prime addition to those to some of the doctrines of the gosgifts and graces that are among you, pel. What those differences were, will is this, that ye all teach the same doc- more fully appear in the subsequent trine, and nourish charity and unity: part of the Epistle. This is substanthat there be no divisions in your tially an exhortation that all should churches, but that ye be compacted and hold fast the truth, and speak accordunited, as members of the same body, ing to the revelation which they had in the same belief and affections.” received from the apostles. But, from
Hammond. It is observable that, what follows, it would seem that the although Paul, as a divinely commis- evil which the apostle deprecated was sioned apostle, had full authority to not merely a difference of opinion, but rebuke, yet here he adopts the milder strife and contention in all things form of exhortation, ever beseeching spiritual, resulting in mutual crimin. his brethren to give heed to those things ation and ill-feeling. It is well obwhich were indispensable to their served by Barnes, that, “To speak the peace. Elsewhere he does rebuke them, same things stands opposed to speaking even with sharp severity; but first he different and conflicting things, or to be no divisions among you; but gether in the same mind and in that ye be perfectly joined to- the same judgment. controversy; and although perfect uni- refrain from strife and bitterness in reformity of opinion cannot be expected gard to their differences of opinion. among men on the subject of religion They can cherish a spirit of love any more than on other subjects, yet on towards those who entertain and the great and fundamental doctrines promulgate false doctrines; and their of Christianity, Christians may be efforts to convince others of their errors agreed: on all points in which they will be more effectual, when guided by differ, they may manifest a good spirit; this spirit, than when characterized and on all subjects they may express by enmity. Perfect union of feeling, their sentiments in the language of the manifested in love to God and love to Bible, and thus speak the same things.” man, may be a legitimate object of 1 And that there be no divisions among hope; but to hope for a perfect unity you. Literally, no schisms, or rending of belief on all religious doctrines, into parts. The same word occurs, while there is such a diversity in the Matt. ix. 16; Mark ii. 21; 1 Cor. xii
. human intellect, is truly hoping against 23. “ As heresy is a departing from the hope. The apostle must, therefore, be communion of the church, in respect of understood to exhort his brethren to doctrine, or some fundamental article come together in a spirit of love, which of religion, so schism is taken for a sep- is the spirit of the gospel, and thus, aration from the church for external with one mind and in one judgment, rethings. Thus the divisions among the solve to live in peace, rejoicing in the Corinthians were not about matters of revelation of the gospel. Agreement faith, but occasioned from their having in belief“can be no further the matter men's persons in admiration: every one of exhortation than it is in our power of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of to obey it; seeing, then, it is not in Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of any man's power to change his settled Christ.”—Cruden. Doubtless the Cor- judgment, or to think otherwise upon inthians differed in matters of faith; our entreaty, because our exhortation but the apostle here refers more partic- gives no conviction to the understandularly to their divisions into parties, ing, it follows that this exhortation as followers of different teachers. must only be to do what was in the | But that ye be perfectly joined together. power of the Corinthians, namely, (1) The original phrase, as well as its trans- to prevail with them to lay asido lation, denotes not so much the preser- their strife, envy, and divisions, 1 Cor. vation of unity already existing, as the iii. 3, and the sad consequences of them, reunion of parts which have been sep- debate, wrath, back-biting, whisperarated. To join together implies a pre- ing, swelling, tumult, 2 Cor. xii. 20; vious lack of union. The Corinthians and to this the reason of this exhorhad already been divided into parties. tation leads: Be of one mind and judgThe apostle exhorts them to heal their ment; for I hear that there be condivisions, and to become reunited in the tentions among you, ver. 11; and (2) spirit of love. | In the same mind and to engage them unanimously to own in the same judgment. “ Mind refers to the doctrine they had received, and he the view taken by the understanding; had preached to them, 1 Cor. xv. 1, judgment to the practical decision ar- which, if they were so minded, might rived at.”--Conybeare. There is such easily be done, since they so lately had an infinite variety in the constitution received it, the heads of it were so few, of the human mind, that identity of 1 Cor. xv. 3, and it was so easy for them opinion in regard to religious truths is to consult the apostle in their doubtabsolutely impossible among men. We ings of the sense of what he had deliv. cannot therefore suppose this to be the ered.”-Whitby. The lapse of time subject of the apostle's exhortation. It and the lack of present opportunity of is possible, however, that men should personal intercourse with the apostles, cherish a kind and tolerant spirit, and render unity of belief more difficult
11 For it hath been declared of Chloe, that there are contenunto me, of you, my brethren, tions among you. by them which are of the house 12 Now this I say, that
now than formerly. The only Christian uses the names of himself and others union we can now hope for, is a union merely as descriptive epithets, for the of feeling, a mutual forbearance and purpose of omitting to name the leadtoleration, a mutual kindness of heart, ers of the several factions. It is most and a mutual willingness to give a natural to understand him literally; hearty God-speed to each other in and the condition of the church at Corevery good word and work.
inth seems to justify a literal interpre11. For it hath been declared unto me tation. Paul was emphatically the of you. The church of Corinth had pre- apostle to the Gentiles; and as he had viously addressed a letter of inquiry to personally preached the gospel at Corthe apostle, ch. vii. 1; but it does not inth and most of his converts were Genappear that they mentioned the divis- tiles, it was natural that a large porions and contentions which existed tion of them, in the divisions which among them. The apostle derived his followed, should adhere to his doctrines information through another channel. and distinguish themselves by his | My brethren. Notwithstanding their name. He insisted on the freedom of errors, and their faults, which he was the Gentiles from the Jewish ceremoabout to rebuke, the apostle addresses nial law; and some of his converts them as brethren, thus manifesting the even despised and ridiculed the oppokind and generous spirit which he ex- site doctrine, for which he admonished horts them to cultivate and cherish. them in ch. viii. Like many in mod. 1 By them which are of the house of Chloe. ern days, embracing a right principle Of the family or household of Chloe. they pursued it to excess, and regarded This person is not mentioned elsewhere. it as more important than the great Whether she resided in Corinth, and doctrine itself in which the principle some of her household had visited was involved. They contended more Ephesus where this Epistle is supposed earnestly for what they regarded as to have been written, or whether she peculiar to Paul, than in regard to resided in Ephesus, and some of her the fundamental doctrines of the goshousehold had recently returned from a pel, which were alike preached by all visit to Corinth, does not appear. It the apostles. And I of Apollos. See was enough that Paul had received note on Acts xviii. 24. Apollos is decredible information; and upon this he scribed as an eloquent man, and is supacted. T That there are contentions posed to have charmed many by the among you. See note on ver. 10.
graces of oratory, which Paul had not 12.
Now this I say. This is what I exhibited in his preaching to them, have heard, and what I have reason to ch. ii. 4. The faction calling thembelieve. Upon sufficient evidence I say selves by his namo, regarded the manthat you are divided into contending ner more highly than the matter, and factions, calling yourselves by different prided themselves on their ability to names. 1 Every one of you saith. The imitate the rhetorical elegance of Apolwhole church appears to have been in- los, while they contemptuously refested with this spirit of division and garded the plainness of speech which contention. The allegation is not that characterized the discourses of Paul. some among you separated themselves "To trace the original of this schism, from the body of the church and called we may have recourse to the two-fold themselves by a distinctive name: but division of this church into converted the evil was general, and called for a Jews and Gentiles, which appears from general rebuke. TI am of Paul. It their story, Acts xviii. The Gentile has been questioned by some whether part, perhaps, boasted the name of the apostle designs to give a literal de- Paul and Apollos; the Jewish, that of scription of the parties, or whether he Cephas and Christ. But each of them