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13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 


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13. And may the God, etc. He now concludes the passage, as before, with prayer; in which he desires the Lord to give them whatever he had commanded. It hence appears, that the Lord does in no degree measure his precepts according to our strength or the power of free-will; and that he does not command what we ought to do, that we, relying on our own power, may gird up ourselves to render obedience; but that he commands those things which require the aid of his grace, that he may stimulate us in our attention to prayer.

In saying the God of hope, he had in view the last verse; as though he said, — “May then the God in whom we all hope fill you with joy, that is, with cheerfulness of heart, and also with unity and concord, and this by believing:” 449449     The God of hope may mean one of two things, — the giver or author of hope, as in 1 Peter 1:3, — or the object of hope, he in whom hope is placed, as in 1 Timothy 6:17.
   Why does he mention joy before peace? It is in accordance with his usual manner, — the most visible, the stream first, then the most hidden, the spring. — Ed.
for in order that our peace may be approved by God, we must be bound together by real and genuine faith. If any one prefers taking in believing, for, in order to believe, 450450     That is εἰς τὸ, instead of ἐν τῷ. — Ed. the sense will be, — that they were to cultivate peace for the purpose of believing; for then only are we rightly prepared to believe, when we, being peaceable and unanimous, do willingly embrace what is taught us. It is however preferable, that faith should be connected with peace and joy; for it is the bond of holy and legitimate concord, and the support of godly joy. And though the peace which one has within with God may also be understood, yet the context leads us rather to the former explanation. 451451     This is the view approved by Theophylact, Beza, Grotius, Mede, and Hammond: but Doddridge, Scott, Stuart, and Chalmers consider “peace” here to be that with God, and “joy” as its accompaniment; while Pareus and Hodge view both as included, especially the latter. If we consider the subject in hand, that the Apostle was attempting to produce union and concord between the Jews and the Gentiles, we shall see reason to accede to Calvin’s explanations. This joy and peace seem to be the same as in Romans 14:17. Concord, union, and mutual enjoyment, are graces which come by believing, or by faith, as well as concord or peace with God, and its accompanying joy; and these graces have no doubt an influence on hope, so as to make it brighter and stronger, when they are produced by the Holy Spirit. There are three things which distinguish these graces from such as are fictitious, — they proceed from faith, — they increase hope, — they are produced by the Spirit. — Ed.

He further adds, that ye may abound in hope; for in this way also is hope confirmed and increased in us. The words, through the power of the Holy Spirit, intimate that all things are the gifts of the divine bounty: and the word power is intended emphatically to set forth that wonderful energy, by which the Spirit works in us faith, hope, joy, and peace.




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