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Volume 33 - Page 139 of 253 Index | Zoom | |
Here we see the Apostle practicing what he preached, "providing things honest in the
sight of all men" (Rom. 12: 17).
"Provide for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of
men" (II Cor. 8: 21).
Oftentimes a curious mentality is displayed by believers in connection with Christian
financial matters. Some very much resent giving a receipt, others refuse an audit, but
what to such appears most officious, would to the Apostle appear to be nothing but what
is decent, and so it seems to us.
The Apostle not only refrained from officiousness in financial affairs, but even in
matters of faith and practice, where one might have expected the full exercise of
authority, even there we discern the true inward greatness of this man of God.
"Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy" (II Cor. 1: 24).
"Who then is Paul and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as
the Lord gave to every man" (I Cor. 3: 5).
The salutations of Paul at the close of his epistles reveal much as to the Apostle's
character. He forgets none: He mentions all by name. He gives wherever possible some
characteristic epithet; where he cannot praise he says nothing. Greetings are sent to
Priscilla and Aquila, with a warm recollection of their love for him that puts the whole
church in their debt (Rom. 16: 3, 4). Epænetus is called "well beloved" and is "firstfruits
of Achaia in Christ" (Rom. 16: 5). So, too, "Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on
The Apostle is always more reserved in his references to sisters in Christ. No
endearing term is used in this letter when he greets this sister in the Lord. This does not
indicate that she was not as "well beloved" as Epænetus, but in the case of sisters the
Apostle does not use such terms publicly. So we go down the list in this closing chapter.
Persis is a woman's name, and the Apostle has circumvented the difficulty by saying,
"Salute the beloved Persis", not "my beloved", so rendering the epithet less personal.
In Col. 4: the Apostle mentions a number of those who had helped him in the
ministry. Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus are named, with many an endearing remark.
Special consideration is given to Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas (Col. 4: 10), as though
the Apostle would remove the memory of the dissension that arose over him in the early
days of his ministry. Jesus, Justus, Epaphras and Luke (Col. 4: 11-14) all receive some
commendation. This only makes the words, "and Demas", stand out the more from the
rest. It is evident that Paul's delicacy of feeling, his sensitiveness to the slights made
upon him by others, would, had it been possible, have prevented any omission of
favourable remark in the case of Demas. Clearly the defection of Demas, which he
sorrowfully records as a fact in II Tim. 4: 10, already manifested itself to the Apostle's
discerning eye. He could say nothing good of Demas, but he would say nothing ill--all
he could say, and did say, was, "and Demas". In this he followed the Lord, who endured