Remarks On Second Epistle To The Corinthians 4:3,4. -- By: Samuel Da Vies

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 025:97 (Jan 1868)
Article: Remarks On Second Epistle To The Corinthians 4:3,4.
Author: Samuel Da Vies

Remarks On Second Epistle To The Corinthians 4:3,4.

Rev. Samuel Da Vies

Among the apostles of our Saviour a distinguished position was occupied by Paul as a minister of Christ to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:7–9). Not that the heathen world was exclusively the sphere of his labor; for while his profound acquaintance with the ritual of Sinai, and the gospel it foreshadowed, together with fervid love for Israel, eminently qualified him for labors among “his brethren according to the flesh,” his constant practice also appears to have been in every place, first to make known the glad tidings to them. In every city embraced in his missionary toils, from Antioch even to Rome, he acted on the principle stated Rom. 1:16: “To the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”1

Though so eminently fitted to discharge the functions of his ministry among his own people, he was a vessel specially chosen to bear the gospel to the heathen. “To me,” said he, with his characteristic humility, “who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8). And inasmuch as the Gentiles were to be admitted into the church of God as brethren on an equal footing with the Jews, without a previous proselytism to Judaism, or submission to the rite of circumcision, and to enter by another door, even by faith alone, it was indispensable that an apostle to them should be superior to the prejudices which enslaved by their power the great mass even of Jewish believers (Acts 21:20, etc.), that he should possess a clear insight into the import of both covenants, with the relation of each to the other, and be prepared, if by misguided teachers a Gentile convert was led’ with an observance of the institutions of Christ to join those of Moses, to denounce the latter as “beggarly and elementary” (Gal. 4:9).

Such was Paul. As having kindled his torch at the altar, on which, as a libation to heaven, the blood of the proto-martyr Stephen was poured; as having his lips touched with its living coal; as drinking in inspiration from the eloquence of that servant of Christ when standing on the verge of both worlds, his spirit already in the higher and better, with an angelic radiance on his countenance he declared the former things to have passed away and all things to have become new,—did Paul converse on divine themes, preach Christ, and write for the illumination of the churc...

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