So that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
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4. So that you come behind in no gift. A great question here arises. They who had been enriched in all utterance, so as in no respect to come behind in any gift, are they carnal? For if they were such at the beginning, much more now. How then does he call them carnal? For, says he, 1 Corinthians 3:1 I was not able to speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal. What must we say then? That having in the beginning believed, and obtained all gifts, (for indeed they sought them earnestly,) they became remiss afterwards. Or, if not so, that not unto all are either these things said or those; but the one to such as were amenable to his censures, the other to such as were adorned with his praises. For as to the fact that they still had gifts; 1 Corinthians 14:26-29 Each one, says he, has a psalm, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation; let all things be done unto edifying. And, Let the prophets speak two or three. Or we may state it somewhat differently; that as it is usual with us to call the greater part the whole, so also he has spoken in this place. Withal, I think he hints at his own proceedings; for he too had shown forth signs; even as also he says in the second Epistle to them, 2 Corinthians 12:12-13 Truly the signs of an Apostle were wrought among you in all patience: and again, For what is there wherein you were inferior to other churches?
Or, as I was saying, he both reminds them of his own miracles and speaks thus with an eye to those who were still approved. For many holy men were there who had set themselves to minister unto the saints, and had become the first fruits of Achaia; as he declares 1 Corinthians 16:15 towards the end.
5. In any case, although the praises be not very close to the truth, still however they are inserted by way of precaution, (οἰκονομικῶς) preparing the way beforehand for his discourse. For whoever at the very outset speaks things unpleasant, excludes his words from a hearing among the weaker: since if the hearers be his equals in degree they feel angry; if vastly inferior they will be vexed. To avoid this, he begins with what seem to be praises. I say, seem; for not even did this praise belong to them, but to the grace of God. For that they had remission of sins, and were justified, this was of the Gift from above. Wherefore also he dwells upon these points, which show the loving-kindness of God, in order that he may the more fully purge out their malady.
6. Waiting for the revelation (ἀποκάλυψιν.) of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why do you make much ado, says he, why are you troubled that Christ is not come? Nay, he has come; and the Day is henceforth at the doors. And consider his wisdom; how withdrawing them from human considerations he terrifies them by mention of the fearful judgment-seat, and thus implying that not only the beginnings must be good, but the end also. For with all these gifts, and with all else that is good, we must be mindful of that Day: and there is need of many labors to be able to come unto the end. Revelation is his word; implying that although He be not seen, yet He is, and is present even now, and then shall appear. Therefore there is need of patience: for to this end did you receive the wonders, that you may remain firm.