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Verse 10. That ye may approve things. Marg., "Or, try." The word used here denotes the kind of trial to which metals are exposed in order to test their nature; and the sense here is, that the apostle wished them so to try the things that were of real value, as to discern that which was true and genuine.

That are excellent. Marg., "or, differ." The margin here more correctly expresses the sense of the Greek word. The idea is, that he wished them to be able to distinguish between things that differed from each other; to have an intelligent apprehension of what was right and wrong—of what was good and evil. He would not have them love and approve all things indiscriminately. They should be esteemed according to their real value. It is remarkable here how anxious the apostle was, not only that they should be Christians, but that they should be intelligent Christians, and should understand the real worth and value of objects.

That ye may be sincere. See Barnes "Eph 6:24".

The word here used—eilikrinhv nowhere else in the New Testament, except in 2 Pe 3:1, where it is rendered pure. The noun eilikrineia, however, occurs in 1 Co 5:8; 2 Co 1:12; 2:17; in all which places it is rendered sincerity. The word properly means, that which is judged of in sunshine, eilh krinw; and then that which is clear and manifest. It is that over which there are no clouds; which is not doubtful and dark; which is pure and bright. The word sincere means literally without wax (sine cera;) that is, honey which is pure and transparent. Applied to Christian character, it means that which is not deceitful, ambiguous, hypocritical; that which is not mingled with error, worldliness, and sin; that which does not proceed from selfish and interested motives, and where there is nothing disguised. There is no more desirable appellation that can be given to a man than to say that he is sincere—a sincere friend, benefactor, Christian; and there is nothing more lovely in the character of a Christian than sincerity. It implies,

(1.) that he is truly converted—that he has not assumed Christianity as a mask;

(2.) that his motives axe disinterested and pure;

(3.) that his conduct is free from double-dealing, trick, and cunning;

(4.) that his words express the real sentiments of his heart;

(5.) that he is true to his word, and faithful to his promises;

(6.) that he is always what he professes to be. A sincere Christian would bear to have the light let in upon him always; to have the emotions of his heart seen; to be scanned everywhere, and at all times, by men, by angels, and by God.

And without offence. Inoffensive to others. Not injuring them in property, feelings, or reputation. This is a negative virtue, and is often despised by the world. But it is much to say of a man that he injures no one; that neither by example, nor opinions, nor conversation, he leads them astray; that he never does injustice to their motives, and never impedes their influence; that he never wounds their feelings, or gives occasion for hard thoughts; and that he so lives that all may see that his is a blameless life.

Till the day of Christ. See Barnes "Php 1:6"


{a} "ye may" Ro 2:18 {1} "approve" "try" {2} "are excellent" "differ" {b} "sincere" Eph 5:27

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