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THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF JOHN - Chapter 3 - Verse 17

Verse 17. But whoso hath this world's good. Has property—called "this world's good," or a good pertaining to this world, because it is of value to us only as it meets our wants this side of the grave; and perhaps also because it is sought supremely by the men of the world. The general meaning of this verse, in connexion with the previous verse, is, that if we ought to be willing to lay down our lives for others, we ought to be willing to make those comparatively smaller sacrifices which are necessary to relieve them in their distresses; and that if we are unwilling to do this, we can have no evidence that the love of God dwells in us.

And seeth his brother have need. Need of food, of raiment, of shelter; or sick, and poor, and unable to provide for his own wants and those of his family.

And shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him. The bowels, or upper viscera, embracing the heart, and the region of the chest generally, are in the Scriptures represented as the seat of mercy, piety, compassion, because when the mind feels compassion it is that part which is affected. Comp. See Barnes "Isa 16:11".

 

How dwelleth the love of God in him? How can a man love God who does not love those who bear his image? See Barnes "1 Jo 4:20".

On the general sentiment here, See Barnes "Jas 2:14, seq. The meaning is plain, that we cannot have evidence of piety unless we are ready to do good to others, especially to our Christian brethren. See Barnes "Mt 25:45"; See Barnes "Gal 6:10".

 

{c} "whoso" De 15:7"

{d} "how dwelleth" 1 Jo 4:20

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