2 Corinthians 13:7

Now I pray to God that you do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that you should do that which is honest, though we be as failures.
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AD 400
Paul is praying that he and his colleagues will be humbled, as it were, by seeing the Corinthians so well behaved that he will not dare rebuke them. If they are humbled in this way, they will appear to be false. It is when they judge sinners with the authority granted to them that they are seen to be approved as genuine by God. If then there are no people for them to judge, it looks as if they have been proved false through the lessening of their authority. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Now I pray to God that ye do no evil. S. Augustine from this lays down, in opposition to the Pelagians, that grace is required not only to do good works, but to abstain from evil, to resist temptations, to keep ourselves unspotted from the world and the flesh. To overcome the more grievous temptations is impossible for nature unassisted by the grace of God. Not that we should appear approved. I am not labouring to have my fame and power approved by you, and to manifest to you the power I have to effectually punish those among you who do wrong: for all this I care little. One thing I do care for, and that Isaiah , that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. Reprobates may mean, as Gagneius thinks, "esteemed wicked." Or better still, it means regarded as rejected, as abjects—deprived of power, inglorious, without authority to punish. If they were obedient, this authority would not be exercised, and so might, by those so disposed, be denied. It is clear, therefore...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
5. What can be equal to this soul? He was despised, he was spit upon, he was ridiculed, he was mocked, as mean, as contemptible, as a braggart, as boastful in his words but in his deeds unable to make even a little show; and although seeing so great a necessity for showing his own power, he not only puts off, not only shrinks back, but even prays that he may not fall into such a position. For he says, I pray that you do no evil, not that we may appear approved, but that you may do that which is honorable, though we be as reprobate. What is it he says? 'I entreat God. I beseech Him,' he says, 'that I may find no one unreformed, may find no one' that has not repented? Yea, rather, not this alone, but that none may have sinned at all. For,' he says, 'that you have done no [evil], but if you have perchance sinned, then that you may have changed your conduct, and been beforehand with me in reforming, and arresting all wrath. For this is not what I am eager about, that we should be approved ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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