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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 4 - Verse 13

Verse 13. We having the same spirit of faith. The same spirit that is expressed in the quotation which he is about to make; the same faith which the psalmist had. We have the Very spirit of faith which is expressed by David. The sense is, We have the same spirit of faith which he had who said, "I believed," etc. The phrase "spirit of faith" means substantially the same as faith itself—a believing sense or impression of the truth.

According as it is written. This passage is found in Ps 116:10. When the psalmist uttered the words, he was greatly afflicted. See 2 Co 4:3,6-8.

In these circumstances he prayed to God, and expressed confidence in him, and placed all his reliance on him. In his affliction he spoke to God; he spoke of his confidence in him; he proclaimed his reliance on him; and his having spoken in this manner was the result of his belief, or of his putting confidence in God. Paul, in quoting this, does not mean to say that the psalmist had any reference to the preaching of the gospel; nor does he mean to say that his circumstances were, in all respects, like those of the psalmist. The circumstances resembled each other only in these respects:

(1.) That Paul, like the psalmist, was in circumstances of trial and affliction; and

(2) that the language which both used was that which was prompted by faith—faith, which led them to give utterance to the sentiments of their hearts: the psalmist to utter his confidence in God, and the hopes by which he was sustained, and Paul to utter his belief in the glorious truths of the gospel, to speak of a risen Saviour, and to show forth the consolations which were thus set before men in the gospel. The sentiments of both were the language of faith. Both, in afflictions, uttered the language of faith; and Paul uses here, as he often does, the language of the Old Testament, as exactly expressing his feelings, and the principles by which he was actuated.

We also believe, etc. We believe in the truths of the gospel; we believe in God, in the Saviour, in the atonement, in the resurrection, etc. The sentiment is, that they had a firm confidence in these things, and that, as the result of that confidence, they boldly delivered their sentiments. It prompted them to give utterance to their feelings. "Out of the abundance of the heart," said the Saviour, "the mouth speaketh," Mt 12:34. No man should attempt to preach the gospel who has not a firm belief of its truths; and he who does believe its truths will be prompted to make them known to his fellow-men. All successful preaching is the result of a firm and settled conviction of the truth of the gospel; and when such a conviction exists, it is natural to give utterance to the belief, and such an expression will be attended with happy influences on the minds of other men. See Barnes "Ac 4:20".

 

{c} "same spirit" 2 Pe 1:1 {d} "I believed" Ps 116:10

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