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him?3 But we have the instruct the spiritual man? But we mind of Christ.
apostles have the mind of Christ, and are able to instruct him.
del, hath been, or ever will be able to confute the gospel ; or to shew a better method of instructing, reforming, and saving mankind, than that which God hath chosen, and made known by revelation.
giving offence, chap. iv. 6. but who, in all probability, was the false teacher; that this teacher boasted of Peter, by whom he was converted and baptized, as an apostle superior to Paul ; that he and his followers being the disciples of Peter, pretended that they were much better instructed than the disciples of Paul; and that they claimed to themselves superior authority and respect on that account.—But in thus ascribing to one apostle more honour than to another, and in attaching themselves more to one than to another, the Corinthians were much to blame. For none of their teachers were masters. They were all but servants employed by Christ to convert men. And their success in the work depended, not on themselves, but on the gifts which Christ had bestowed on each of them, and the blessing with which he accompanied their labours, ver. 5.–Farther, he told them, that in converting the world, the ministers of Christ had different parts assigned them. He had planted, and Apollos had watered, but God made what they had planted and watered to grow, ver. 6.-So that the whole depended on the co-operation and blessing of God, ver 7.-—But though the ministers of Christ had different parts allotted to them, he assured them they were all one, in respect of the end for which they laboured ; and that each shall be rewarded according to the sincerity and diligence with which he hath laboured, ver. 8.—The apostles, therefore, and the other ministers of the word, were joint labourers employed by God; and the people were God's field, which they were to cultivate, and God's building, which they were to rear, ver. 9. The building of which the apostle speaks, is the Christian church, called, ver. * 16. and in other passages,
The temple of God; because the Christian church, consisting of all who profess to believe in Christ, was formed for preserving the knowledge and worship of God in the world, and to be an habitation of the Spirit of God, by the graces and virtues, which were to be exercised in it.
Having mentioned God: building or temple, the apostle told the Corinthians, that as a skilful architect, he hud laid the foundation of that temple in a proper manner at Corinth; and that the false teacher had only builded thereon. But he desired every one to take heed to the materials with which he builded, that they be suitable to the foundation, ver. 10.-Because other foundation of the temple of God, neither apostle nor inferior teacher could lay, than that which he had laid: namely that Jesus is the Christ, ver. 11.
If therefore, any teacher built on that foundation sincere converts, metaphorically represented by gold, silver, and valuable slones; or if he built hypocritical professors thereon, represented by wood, hay, stubble, he told them the fire of persecution, which was ready to fall on the temple or church of God, would discover the nature of every teacher's work, ver. 12, 13. If any teacher's converts remained steadfast in the day of persecution, through the pains he had taken in instructing them, he should be rewarded, ver. 14.—But if any teacher's converts apostatized, they should perish, but the teacher himself would be saved with difficulty ; provided in making such converts, he had preached the gospel sincerely, ver. 15.–And, that the Corinthians might understand what the building was, of which he spake, he told them, they themselves, as a church, were the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelt in them, as a church, ver. 16.-Iftherefore any teacher wilfully spoils the temple of God, by building wicked men into it, that is, if by knowingly misrepresenting the doctrines and precepts of the gospel, and by flattering wicked men in their sins, he
GREEK TEXT. CHAP. III. | And I, 1 Kai cyw, ade2001, OUX brethren, could not speak nouvnány haandai vulvos unto you as unto spiritual, oveVUATIXOLS, ada' ús oapxibut as unto carnal, even
Xots, WS VNTULOUS ev Xp15o. . as unto babes in Christ.
Ver. 1.-- 1. As to fleshly men. In the preceding chapter, ver, 14. the apostle had said, yugeiros ar Igremos, an animal man receiveth not the tbings of the Spirit of God; meaning by an animal man an infidel, who makes his own reason and imagination, the measure of truth. Here he calls the Corinthians after their conversion, capxixon, fleshly men, which, as different from animal men, means persons of a weak capacity. For notwithstanding they believed the gospel to be a revelation from God, they were so much under the infuence of their former principles and prejudices, that they were not yet capable of
allures them to enter into the Christian church, as the false teacher at Corinth had done, him will God destroy : for the temple of God ought to be composed of holy persons, yer. 17.–And although the teacher, who thus builds wicked men into the church, may think himself wise in so doing, he but deceives himself; and to become truly wise, it behoves him to follow the course which the world esteems foolish : He must preach the gospel sincerely, whatever inconveniences it may occasion to himself, or to others, ver. 18.–For the wisdom of the world is folly in the sight of God : according to what is written, He catcheth the wise, &c. ver. 19, 20.--The work of the false teacher, in building the temple of God at Corinth, being of the sort here described and condemned, this passage was a severe rebuke, both to him and to his adherents. Wherefore to lead them to apply it to themselves, the apostle exhorted them, not to boast in any teacher, as if he belonged to them in particular. All the teachers, and all the blessings of the gospel, belong to believers in general ; and believers belong all to Christ as his disciples; which is a real ground of boasting, because Christ belongs to God as his disciple or servant, ver. 21, 22, 23. Having therefore Christ for their common master who was commissioned and instructed by God, and being all equally entitled to the benefit of the labours of the ministers of Christ, and to the privileges of the gospel, it was wrong to contend with one another, either about their teachers, or their privileges.
COMMENTARY. CHAP. III. 1 (Kaie CHAP. III. I I am blamed for 204.) Now, I brethren, not instructing you completely becould not speak to you as fore my departure, especially as I to spiritual, but as (pagns- say I have the mind of Christ. But zols, 43.) to fleshly men, I brethren, could not speak to you as BVEN as to babes in Christ. to spiritual, but as to weak men, even (See Heb. v, 12, 13.) as to babes in Christian knowledge,
whose prejudices rendered them incapable of being completely instructed.
comprehending spiritual things properly; neither bad they conquered their evil passions, as appeared from their strifes and divisions.
Ver. 2.--1. Milk I gave you. In the original it is Milk I gave you to drink. But as the apostle adds, and not meat, the genius of the English language does not admit of a literal translation, unless the latter clause is supplied in this manner, and not meat to eat. To support the apostle's phraseology, Beza produces the otvov xal gimov efortes, of Homer. See also Luke i. 64. in the Greek, where Zacharias' tongue is said to have been opened as well as his mouth.
2. Ye were not then alle. Our signifies not then, John in. 24. vii. 30.
Ver. 3.-1. Walk after tbe manner of men. As the apostle in the follow. ing verse, mentions their strifes on account of their teachers, their envyings and strifes spoken of in this verse, must be those which arose on account of their spiritual gifts.
2 Milk' I gave you and 2 The first principles of Christ I not meat ; for ye were not gave you, and not the more difficult thenable to RECEIVE IT, ductrines which we speak among the (arra, 76.) nay, neither yet perfect, (chap. ii. 6.) For ye were now are ye able,
not then capable of understanding these doctrines, nay, I must tell you,
neither yet now are ye capable, 3 ('Ori, 254.) because 3 because ye are still weak men, ye are still fleshly. For, whom passion and prejudice render whereas, among you envy- incapable of complete instruction. ing, and strife, and divi. Por whereas envying, and strife, and sions SUBSIST, Are ye not divisions subsist among you, is it not fleshly, and walk after the a proof that ye are weak, and walk manner of men ?
after the manner of men ? 4 (rep, 91.) Besides, 4 Besides, while one saith, I am a while one saith, I, indeed, disciple of Paul, and another, I of am of Paul, and another, Apollos, and each claimeth submisI of Apollos, are ye not sion to his opinions, on account of fleshly? (See chap. i. 12. the dignity of the person who innote 2.)
structed him, are ye not puffed up
with vanity ? 5 (Ovv, 263.) For who is 5 For who is Paul, and who Paul, and who Apollos, but Apollos ? Not your masters in reliministers by whom ye have gion, but servants of Christ, by whose believed, even as the Lord labours ye hare believed, even as the hath given to each ? Lord hath given spiritual gifts and
success to each. 6 I have planted, Apol. 6 I have planted you in God's los hath watered, but God vineyard, others have watered you, hath made to grow. by giving you instruction, but God
hath made you to grow. 7 So that neither the 7 So that neither the planter has planter is any thing, nor any independent efficacy, nor the wathe waterer ; but God who terer ; but God, who maketh to grow maketh to grow.
by his blessing. In short, the ho
nour of the whole belongs to God. 8 (98, 100.) However, 8 However, the planter and the the planter and the waterer waterer are one, in respect of the end are one, and each shall re- which they have in view, and each
Ver. 7.-1. So that neither the planter is any thing. This is said after the manner of the easterns, who represent things comparatively small, as nothing. See Ess. iv. 26.