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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 4 - Verse 10
Verse 10. Always bearing about in the body. The expression here used is designed to show the great perils to which Paul was exposed. And the idea is, that he had on his body the marks, the stripes and marks of punishment and persecution, which showed that he was exposed to the same violent death which the Lord Jesus himself endured. Comp. Ga 6:17: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." It is a strong energetic mode of expression, to denote the severity of the trials to which he was exposed; and the meaning is, that his body bore the marks of his being exposed to the same treatment as the Lord Jesus was; and evidence that he was probably yet to die in a similar manner under the hands of persecutors. Comp. Col 1:24.
The dying of the Lord Jesus. The death; the violent death. A death similar to that of the Lord Jesus. The idea is, that he was always exposed to death, and always suffering, in a manner that was equivalent to dying. The expression is parallel to what he says in 1 Co 15:31, "I die daily;" and in 2 Co 11:23, where he says, "in deaths oft." It does not mean that he bore about literally the dying of the Lord Jesus, but that he was exposed to a similar death, and had marks on his person which showed that he was always exposed to the same violent death. This did not occur once only, or at distant intervals, but it occurred constantly; and wherever he was, it was still true that he was exposed to violence, and liable to suffer in the same manner that the Lord Jesus did.
That the life also of Jesus, etc. This passage has received, a considerable variety of interpretation. Grotius renders it, "Such a life as was that of Christ, immortal, blessed, heavenly." Locke, "That also the life of Jesus, risen from the dead, may be made manifest by the energy that accompanies my preaching in this frail body." Clarke supposes that it means, that he might be able in this manner to show that Christ was risen from the dead. But perhaps Paul does not refer to one single thing in the life of the Lord Jesus, but means that he did this in order that in all things the same life, the same kind of living which characterized the Lord Jesus, might be manifested in him or that he resembled him in his sufferings and trials, in order that in all things he might have the same life in his body. Perhaps, therefore, it may include the following things as objects at which the apostle aimed:
(1.) A desire that his life might resemble that of the Lord Jesus. That there might be the same self-denial; the same readiness to suffer; the same patience in trials; the same meekness, gentleness, zeal, ardour, love to God, and love to men evinced in his body, which was in that of the Lord Jesus. Thus understood, it means that he placed the Lord Jesus before him as the model of his life; and deemed it an object to be attained, even by great self-denial and sufferings, to be conformed to him.
(2.) A desire to attain to the same life in the resurrection which the Lord Jesus had attained to. A desire to be made like him; and that in his body, which bore about the dying of the Lord Jesus, he might again live after death as the Lord Jesus did. Thus understood, it implies an earnest wish to attain to the resurrection of the dead, and accords with what he says in Php 3:8-11, which may perhaps be considered as Paul's own commentary on this passage, which has been so variously and so little understood by expositors: "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." Comp. Col 1:24. It intimates Paul's earnest desire and longing to be made like Christ in the resurrection, (comp. Php 3:21;) his longing to rise again in the last day, (comp. Ac 26:7;) his sense of the importance of the doctrine of the resurrection, and his readiness to suffer anything if he might at last attain to the resurrection of the just, and be ready to enter with the Redeemer into a world of glory. The attainment of this is the high object before the Christian, and to be made like the Redeemer in heaven, to have a body like his, is the grand purpose for which they should live; and sustained by this hope they should be willing to endure any trials, and meet any sufferings, if they may come to that same "life" and blessedness above.
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