6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace which is given us
- Gifts are various: grace is one. Whether it be prophecy - This, considered
as an extraordinary gift, is that whereby heavenly mysteries are declared to
men, or things to come foretold. But it seems here to mean the ordinary gift
of expounding scripture. Let us prophesy according to the analogy of faith -
St. Peter expresses it, "as the oracles of God;" according to the general
tenor of them; according to that grand scheme of doctrine which is delivered
therein, touching original sin, justification by faith, and present, inward
salvation. There is a wonderful analogy between all these; and a close and
intimate connexion between the chief heads of that faith "which was once
delivered to the saints." Every article therefore concerning which there is
any question should be determined by this rule; every doubtful scripture
interpreted according to the grand truths which run through the whole.
7 Ministering - As deacons. He that teacheth - Catechumens; for
whom particular instructers were appointed. He that exhorteth - Whose peculiar
business it was to urge Christians to duty, and to comfort them in trials.
8 He that presideth - That hath the care of a flock. He that showeth
mercy - In any instance. With cheerfulness - Rejoicing that he hath such
9 Having spoken of faith and its fruit, Rom 12:3, &c., he
comes now to love. The ninth, tenth, and eleventh verses refer to chapter
the seventh; the twelfth verse to chapter the eighth; the thirteenth verse,
of communicating to the saints, whether Jews or gentiles, to chapter the
ninth, &c. Part of the sixteenth verse is repeated from Rom 11:25.
Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good - Both inwardly
and outwardly, whatever ill - will or danger may follow.
10 In honour preferring one another - Which you will do, if you
habitually consider what is good in others, and what is evil in yourselves.
11 Whatsoever ye do, do it with your might. In every business
diligently and fervently serving the Lord - Doing all to God, not to man.
12 Rejoicing in hope - Of perfect holiness and everlasting happiness.
Hitherto of faith and love; now of hope also, see the fifth and eighth
chapters; afterwards of duties toward others; saints, Ro 12:13 persecutors,
Ro 12:14 friends, strangers, enemies, Ro 12:15, &c.
13 Communicate to the necessities of the saints - Relieve all
Christians that are in want. It is remarkable, that the apostle, treating
expressly of the duties flowing from the communion of saints, yet never
says one word about the dead. Pursue hospitality - Not only embracing those
that offer, but seeking opportunities to exercise it.
14 Curse not - No, not in your heart.
15 Rejoice - The direct opposite to weeping is laughter; but this
does not so well suit a Christian.
16 Mind not high things - Desire not riches, honour, or the company
of the great.