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Volume 16 - Page 97 of 151 Index | Zoom | |
The word translated "sincerity" is aptharsia = incorruptibility. Are we to understand
that our love to the Lord is "incorruptible", and that this benediction rests upon those
only whose love will never change, but is incorruptible? This is the opinion of many.
Dr. Bloomfield, however, cites the interpretation of Beza to show that the words
en aphtharsia are to be read with the word "grace" and not with "love". It is the grace of
the Lord that is imperishable, incorruptible, immortal. It is a point that perhaps we
cannot settle. True love is as strong as death. The grace of the Lord is beyond the touch
of corruption. Let us seek to love with all sincerity, and rest upon a grace that reaches
out beyond the grave. Here is the last word of the epistle--"incorruptibility".
Resurrection is stamped on the whole unfolding of the epistle. In chapter 1: it is "the
power to usward that believe", in chapter 2: it is the sphere of our blessings, in
chapter 4: it is seen in the new man, in chapter 5: it forms the exhortation to awake
from sleep, and in chapter 6: it constitutes the strength of the good soldier.
What shall we say unto these things? Who is sufficient for these things? What shall
we render for these things? As we ask these questions in the presence of the Lord there
can be but one answer:--
"I follow after, if that I may laid hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by
Christ Jesus . . . . . but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and
reaching forth unto those things which are before, according to a mark I press toward the
goal, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3: 12-14).
So concludes a long but happy, and we trust profitable, study. Though we pass from
the definite study of this epistle to other parts of Scripture, this one epistle more clearly
indicates our peculiar testimony than does any other single book of Scripture. We shall
from time to time revert to this epistle to consider from some fresh angle truth already
reviewed. We shall, if spared to continue this witness, be obliged to remember new
readers and the need for a re-statement of fundamentals. To all who have this precious
truth at heart, who value the "good deposits", and realize both its privilege and
responsibility, we would humbly but most sincerely repeat the apostle's prayer:--
"And for me, that utterance may be given."