UNLEAVENED BREAD FEAST STUDY


VICTORY  OVER  THE  FLESH


FROM  THE  ALBERT  BARNES  BIBLE  COMMENTARY


GALATIANS  5


13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not…..



13. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty….. The meaning here is, that Paul wished the false teachers removed because true Christians had been called unto liberty, and they were abridging and destroying that liberty….. They were free; free from the servitude of sin, and free from subjection to expensive and burdensome rites and customs. They were to remember this as a great and settled principle; and so vital a truth was this, and so important that it should be maintained, and so great the evil of forgetting it, that Paul says he earnestly wishes (ver. 12) that all who would reduce them to that state of servitude were cut off from the Christian church. Only use not liberty, etc. The word use here introduced by our translators, obscures the sense. The idea is, "You are called to liberty, but it is not liberty for an occasion to the flesh. It is not freedom from virtuous restraints, and from the laws of God. It is liberty from the servitude of sin, and religious rites and ceremonies, not freedom from the necessary restraints of virtue." It was necessary to give this caution, because, (1.) There was a strong tendency in all converts from heathenism to relapse again into their former habits. Licentiousness abounded, and where they had been addicted to it before their conversion, and where they were surrounded by it on every hand, they were in constant danger of falling into it again. A bare and naked declaration, therefore, that they had been called to liberty, to freedom from restraint, might have been misunderstood, and some might have supposed that they were free from all restraints. (2.) It is needful to guard the doctrine from abuse at all times. There has been a strong tendency, as the history of the church has shown, to abuse the doctrine of grace. The doctrine that Christians are "free;" that there is liberty to them from restraint, has been perverted always by Antinomians, and been made the occasion of their indulging freely in sin. And the result has shown that nothing was more important than to guard the doctrine of Christian liberty, and to show exactly what Christians are freed from, and what laws are still binding on them. Paul is, therefore, at great pains to show that the doctrines which he had maintained did not lead to licentiousness, and did not allow the indulgence of sinful and corrupt passions, An occasion. As allowing indulgence to the flesh, or as a furtherance or help to corrupt passions; see the word explained in the Notes on Rom. vii. 8. To the flesh. The word flesh is often used in the writings of Paul to denote corrupt and gross passions and affections; see Notes on Rom. vii. 18; viii. 1. But by love serve one another. By the proper manifestation of love one to another strive to promote each other's welfare. To do this will not be inconsistent with the freedom of the gospel. When there is love there is no servitude. Duty is pleasant, and offices of kindness agreeable. Paul does not consider them as freed from all law and all restraint; but they are to be governed by the law of love. They were not to feel that they were so free that they might lawfully give indulgence to the desires of the flesh, but they were to regard themselves as under the law to love one another; and thus they would fulfil the law of Christian freedom. For all the law is fulfilled, That is, this expresses the substance of the whole law; it embraces and comprises all. The apostle of course here alludes to the law in regard to our duty to our fellow-men, since that was the point which he particularly enforces. He is saying that this law would counteract all the evil workings of the flesh, and if this were fulfilled, all our duty to others would be discharged. A similar sentiment he has expressed in Rom. xiii. 8—10; see Notes on that passage. 


The turn here in the discussion is worthy of particular notice. With great skill he changes the subject from a doctrinal argument to a strain of practical remark, and furnishes most important lessons for the right mode of overcoming our corrupt and sensual passions, and discharging our duty to others, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, see this explained in the Note on Mat. xix. 19.


But if ye bite. The word here used means, properly, to bite, to sting; and here seems to be used in the sense of contending and striving—a metaphor not improbably taken from dogs and wild leasts.  And devour one another. As wild beasts do. The sense is, "if you contend with, each other;" and the reference is, probably, to the strifes which would arise between the two parties in the churches—the Jewish and the Gentile converts. Take heed that ye be not consumed, As wild beasts contend sometimes   until both are slain. Thus, the idea is, in their contentions they would destroy the spirituality and happiness of each other; their characters would be ruined; and the church be overthrown. The readiest way to destroy the spirituality of a church, and to annihilate the influence of religion, is to excite a spirit of contention.


16. This I say then. This is the true rule about overcoming the propensities of your carnal natures, and of avoiding the evils of strife and contention. Walk. The Christian life is often represented as a journey, and the word walk, in the scripture, is often equivalent to live; Mark vii. 5 ; Notes, Rom. iv. 12 ; vi. 4 ; viii. 1. In the Spirit. Live under the influences of the Holy Spirit; admit those influences fully into your hearts. Do not resist him, but yield to all his suggestions; see Note, Rom. viii. 1. What the Holy Spirit would produce, Paul states in ver. 22, 23. If a man would yield his heart to those influences, he would be able to overcome all his carnal propensities; and it is because he resists that Spirit, that he is ever overcome by the corrupt passions of his nature. Never was a better, a safer, or a more easy rule given to overcome our corrupt and sensual desires than that here furnished; comp. Notes, Rom. viii. 1—13. And ye shall not fulfil, etc. Marg. Fulfil not—as if it were a command. So Tindal renders it. But the more common interpretation, as it is the more significant, is that adopted by our translators. Thus it is not merely a command, it is the statement of an important and deeply interesting truth—that the only way to overcome the corrupt desires and propensities of our nature, is by submitting to the influences of the Holy Spirit. It is not by philosophy; it is not by mere resolutions to resist them; it is not by the force of education and laws; it is only by admitting into our souls the influence of religion, and yielding ourselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God. If we live under the influences of that Spirit, we need not fear the power of the sensual and corrupt propensities of our nature.


17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit. The inclinations and desires of the flesh are contrary to those of the Spirit. They draw us away in an opposite direction, and while the Spirit of God would lead us one way, our carnal nature would lead us another, and thus produce the painful controversy which exists in our minds. The word " Spirit" here refers to the Spirit of God, and to his influences on the heart. And these are contrary, etc. They are opposite in their nature. They never can harmonize; see Rom. viii. 6, 7; comp. below ver. 19—23. The contrariety Paul has illustrated by showing what each produces; and they are as opposite as adultery, wrath, strife, murders, drunkenness, etc, are to love, joy, goodness, gentleness, and temperance. So that ye cannot do the things that ye would; see this sentiment illustrated in the Notes on Rom. vii. 15—19. The expression "cannot do" is stronger by far than the original, and it is doubted whether the original will bear this interpretation. The literal translation would be, "Lest what ye will, those things ye should do." It is rendered by Doddridge, "So that ye do not the things that ye would." By Locke, "You do not the things that you propose to yourselves;" and Locke remarks on the passage, "Ours is the only translation that I know which renders it cannot." The Vulgate and the Syriac give a literal translation of the Greek, "So that you do not what you would." This is undoubtedly the true rendering; and, in the original, there is no declaration  about the possibility or the impossibility, the ability or the inability to do these things. It is simply a statement of a fact, as it is in Rom. vii. 15, 19. That statement is, that in the mind of a renewed man there is a contrariety in the two influences which bear on his soul—the Spirit of God inclining him in one direction, and the lusts of the flesh in another; that one of these influences is so great as in fact to restrain and control the mind, and prevent its doing what it would otherwise do; that when there is an inclination in one direction, there is a controlling and overpowering influence in another, producing a conflict, which prevents it, and which finally checks and restrains the mind. There is no reason for interpreting this, moreover, as seems always to be the case, of the overpowering tendency in the mind to evil, as if it taught that the Christian was desirous of doing good, but could not, on account of his indwelling corruption. So far as the language of Paul or the fact is concerned, it may be understood of just the opposite, and may mean, that such are the restraints and influences of the Holy Spirit on the heart, that the Christian does not the evil which he otherwise would, and to which his corrupt nature inclines him. He (Paul) is exhorting them (ver. 16) to walk in the Spirit, and assures them that thus they would not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. To encourage them to this, he reminds them that there were contrary principles in their minds, the influences of the Spirit of God, and a carnal and downward tendency of the flesh. These are contrary one to the other ; and such are, in fact, the influences of the Spirit on the mind, that the Christian does not do the things which he otherwise would. So understood, or understood in any fair interpretation of the original, it makes no assertion about the ability or inability of man to do right or wrong. It affirms as a fact, that where these opposite principles exist, a man does not do the things which otherwise he would do. If a man could not do otherwise than he actually does, he would not be to blame. "Whether a Christian could not resist the influences of the Holy Spirit, and yield to the corrupt desires of the flesh; or whether he could not overcome these evil propensities and do right always, are points on which the apostle here makes no affirmation. His is the statement of a mere fact, that where these counteracting propensities exist in the mind, there is a conflict, and that the man does not do what he otherwise would do.


18. But if ye be led of the Spirit. If you submit to the teachings and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Ye are not under the law. You are under a different dispensation—the dispensation of the Spirit….. and are under the control of the Spirit of God.


THE  LAW  CANNOT  CLAIM  YOU  AS  SINNERS  AND  ENCASE  YOU  IN  WAGES  OF  SIN  -  DEATH [Romans 6:23].  YOU  ARE  UNDER  GRACE.  HAVING  THE  ATTITUDE  OF  WANTING,  DESIRING,  TO  SERVE  AND  LIVE  GOD'S  WAY,  BEING  IN  A  HUMBLE  REPENTANT  STATE  OF  MIND,  KEEPS  YOU  CONNECTED  TO  GOD,  WHEREBY  YOU  ARE  UNDER  HIS  GRACE.  ALL  EXPLAINED  FULLY  IN  MY  STUDY  CALLED  "SAVED  BY  GRACE"  -  Keith Hunt


19. Now the works of the flesh. What the flesh, or what corrupt and unrenewed human nature produces. Are manifest. Plain, well-known. The world is full of illustrations of what corrupt human nature produces, and as to the existence and nature of those works, no one can be ignorant. It is evident here that the word flesh, is used to denote corrupt human nature, and not merely the body; since many of the vices here enumerated are the passions of the mind or the soul, rather than of the body. Such are "wrath," "strife," "heresies," "envyings," etc, which cannot be said to have their seat in the body. If the word, therefore, is used to denote human nature, the passage furnishes a sad commentary on its tendency, and on the character of man. It is closely parallel to the declaration of the Saviour in Matt. xv. 19. Of the nature of most of these sins, or works of the flesh, it is unnecessary to offer any comment. They are not so rare as not to be well known, and the meaning of the words requires little exposition. In regard to the existence of these vices as the result of human nature, the Notes on Rom. i. may be examined; or a single glance at the history of the past, or at the present condition of the heathen and a large part of the Christian world, would furnish an ample and a painful demonstration.


20. Witchcraft, Pretending to witchcraft. The apostle does not vouch for the actual existence of witchcraft; but he says that what was known as such was a proof of the corrupt nature of man, and was one of the fruits of it. No one can doubt it. It was a system of imposture and falsehood throughout; and nothing is a better demonstration of the depravity of the human heart than an extended and systematized attempt to impose on mankind. The word which is here used, whence our word pharmacy, from a medicine, poison, magic potion) means, properly, the preparing and giving of medicine. Then it means also poisoning, and also magic art, or enchantment; because in savage nations pharmacy or medicine consisted much in magical incantations. Thence it means sorcery or enchantment, and it is so used uniformly in the New Testament. It is used only in Gal. v. 20; Rev. ix. 21; xviii. 23 ; xxi. 8. Some have supposed that it means here poisoning, a crime often practised; but the more correct interpretation is, to refer it to the black art, or to pretensions to witchcraft, and the numerous delusions which have grown out of it, as a striking illustration of the corrupt and depraved nature of man. Hatred, Gr. Hatreds, in the plural. Antipathies, and want of love, producing contentions and strifes. Variance, Contentions; see Note, Rom. i. 29. Emulations In a bad sense, meaning heart-burning, or jealousy, or perhaps inordinate ambition. The sense is ardour or zeal in a bad cause, leading to strife, Wrath. This also is plural in the Greek, meaning passions, bursts of anger; Note, 2 Cor. xii. 20. Strife. Also plural in the Greek; see Note, 2 Cor. xii. 20 Seditions; see Note, Rom. xvi. 17. Heresies; see Note, Acts v. 17; 1 Cor. xi. 19.


21. Envyings; Note, 2 Cor. xii. 20. Revellings; Notes, 2 Cor. xii. 20; Rom. xiii. 13. And such like. This class of evils, without attempting to specify all. Of which I tell you before. In regard to which I forewarn you. As I have also told you in time past. When he was with them. Shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Cannot possibly be saved; see Notes on 1 Cor. vi. 9—11. 


In regard to this passage, we may remark; (1.) That it furnishes the most striking and unanswerable proof of human depravity. Paul represents these things as "the works of the flesh," the works of the unrenewed nature of man. They are such as human nature, when left to itself, everywhere produces. The world shows that such is the fact; and we cannot but ask, is a nature producing this to be regarded as pure? Is man an unfallen being? Can he save himself? Does he need no Saviour? (2.) This passage is full of fearful admonition to those who indulge in any or all of these vices. Paul, inspired of God, has solemnly declared, that such cannot be saved. They cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven as they are. Nor is it desirable that they should. What would heaven be if filled up with adulterers, and fornicators, and idolaters, with the proud and envious, and with murderers, and drunkards? To call such a place heaven, would be an abuse of the word. No one could wish to dwell there; and such men cannot enter into heaven. (3.) The human heart must be changed, or man cannot be saved. This follows of course. If such is its tendency, then there is a necessity for such a change as that in regeneration, in order that man may be happy and be saved. (4.) We should rejoice that such men cannot, with their present characters, be admitted to heaven. We should rejoice that there is one world where these vices are unknown, a world of perfect and eternal purity. When we look at the earth; when we see how these vices prevail; when we reflect that every land is polluted, and that we cannot traverse a continent or an island, visit a nook or corner of the earth, dwell in any city or town, where these vices do not exist, O how refreshing and invigorating is it to look forward to a pure heaven! How cheering the thought that there is one world where these vices are unknown; one world, all whose ample plains may be traversed, and the note of blasphemy shall never fall on the ear; one world, where virtue shall be safe from the arts of the seducer; one world where we may for ever dwell, and not one reeling and staggering drunkard shall ever be seen; where there shall be not one family in want and tears from the vice of its unfaithful head! With what joy should we look forward to that world! With what ardour should we pant that it may be our own!


ONE  MAY  WANT  TO  READ  THIS  SECTION  IN  A  MODERN  TRANSLATION,  THEN  IN  A  DICTIONARY  LOOK  UP  EACH  WORD  PAUL  USES  TO  DESCRIBE  THE  VICES  OF  THE   HEART  AND  MIND,  NOT  LED  AND  GUIDED  BY  THE  SPIRIT  OF  GOD.  THE  HUMAN  HEART  IS  A  MIXTURE  OF  GOOD  AND  EVIL.  THERE  ARE  MANY  THINGS  THAT  CAN  INFLUENCE  THE  MIND  AND  HEART  OF  MAN.  BAD  INFLUENCES  CAN  LEAD  TO  THE  MOST  EVIL  RESULTS  AS  WE  SEE  ON  NEWS  BROADCASTS  EACH  DAY.  BETTER  INFLUENCES  CAN  LEAD  PEOPLE  TO  BE,  AS  THE  WORLD  WOULD  SAY,  "GOOD  PEOPLE"  WHO  LIVE  DECENTLY  WITH  OTHERS,  DO  GOOD  DEEDS,  SERVE  AND  HELP  OTHERS.  YET  THE  BOTTOM  LINE  IS,  IN  ONE  WAY  OR  ANOTHER,  WE ARE  ALL  SINNERS,  NEEDING  TO  BE  RENEWED  IN  OUR  MINDS  BY  THE  SPIRIT  OF  GOD;  NEEDING  TO  BE  LED  AND  GUIDED  BY  THE  SPIRIT  OF  GOD  -  Keith Hunt


22. But the fruit of the Spirit. That which the Holy Spirit produces. It is not without design, evidently, that the apostle uses the word ''Spirit'' here, as denoting that these things do not flow from our own nature. The vices above enumerated are the proper  "works" or result of the operations of the human heart; the virtues which he enumerates are produced by a foreign influence—the agency of the Holy Spirit. Hence Paul does not trace them to our own hearts, even when renewed. He says that they are to be regarded as the proper result of the Spirit's operations on the soul. 


WELL  CERTAINLY  IN  ITS  FULL  FORM,  ITS  DEEP  ACTIONS,  ITS  FORM  AS  LED  BY  THE  HOLY  SPIRIT,  TO  NOT  ONLY  UNDERSTAND  THE  WORDS  PAUL  NOW  CHOOSES,  BUT  TO  SEE  THEM  IN  THE  LIGHT  OF  GOD'S  AMPLIFICATIONS  IN  HIS  HOLY  BIBLE.  WORDS  ARE  JUST  WORDS  THAT  CAN  BE  UNDERSTOOD  DIFFERENTLY  BY  DIFFERENT  PEOPLE,  BUT  IN  THE  BIBLE  WE  SEE  THE  TRUE  DEEP  MEANING,  BY  EXAMPLES  AND  BY  THE  EXPOUNDING  OF  THOSE  WORDS,  AS  GIVEN  BY  JESUS  AND  ALL  THE  PEOPLE  INSPIRED  TO  WRITE  THE  BIBLE  AND  ALL  THEREIN.  BY  READING  THE  BIBLE  WE  SEE  THE  NITTY-GRITTY,  THE  DOWN-TO-EARTH  EXPLAINING  OF  WHAT  SUCH WORDS  AS  PAUL  NOW  GIVES  AS  THE  FRUITS  OF  THE  SPIRIT  -  Keith Hunt


Is love. To God and to men. Probably the latter here is particularly intended, as the fruits of the Spirit are placed in contradistinction from those vices which lead to strife among men. On the meaning of the word love, see Notes on 1 Cor. xiii.1; and for an illustration of its operations and effects, see the Notes on that whole chapter, Joy. In the love of God; in the evidences of pardon; in communion with the Redeemer, and in his service; in the duties of religion, in trial, and in the hope of heaven; see Notes, Rom. v. 2; comp. 1 Pet. i. 8. Peace. As the result of reconciliation with God; see Notes, Rom. v. 1. Long-suffering. In affliction and trial, and when injured by others; see Note, 1 Cor, xiii. 4. Gentleness. The same word which is translated kindness in 2 Cor. vi. 6; see Note on that place. The word means goodness, kindness, benignity; and is opposed to a harsh, crabbed, crooked temper. It is a disposition to be pleased; it is mildness of temper, calmness of spirit, an un ruffled disposition, and a disposition to treat all with urbanity and politeness. This is one of the regular effects of the Spirit's operations on the heart. Religion makes no one crabbed, and morose, and sour. It sweetens the temper; corrects an irritable disposition; makes the heart kind; disposes us to make all around us as happy as possible. This is true politeness; a kind of politeness which can far better be learned in the school of Christ  Goodness; see Note on Rom. xv. 14. Here the word seems to be used in the sense of beneficence, or a disposition to do good to others. The sense is, that a Christian must be a good man. Faith. On the meaning of the word faith, see Note on Mark xvi. 16. The word here may be used in the sense of fidelity, and may denote that the Christian will be a faithful man, a man faithful to his word and promises; a man who can be trusted or confided in. It is probable that the word is used in this sense because the object of the apostle is not to speak of the feelings which we have towards God so much as to illustrate the influences of the Spirit in directing and controlling our feelings towards men. True religion makes a man faithful. The Christian is faithful as a man; faithful as a neighbour, friend, father, husband, son. He is faithful to his contracts; faithful to his promises. No man can be a Christian who is not thus faithful, and all pretensions to being under the influences of the Spirit when such fidelity does not exist, are deceitful and vain.


23. Meekness; see Note, Mat. v. 5. Temperance. The word here used, means properly self-control, continence. It is derived from strength, and has reference to the power or ascendancy which we have over exciting and evil passions of all kinds. It denotes the self-rule which a man has over the evil propensities of his nature. Our word temperance we use now in a much more limited sense, as referring mainly to abstinence from intoxicating drinks. But the word here used is employed in a much more extended signification. It includes the dominion over all evil propensities, and may denote continence, chastity, self-government, moderation in regard to all indulgences as well as abstinence from intoxicating drinks. See the word explained in the Notes on Acts xxiv. 25. The sense here is, that the influences of the Holy Spirit on the heart make a man moderate in all indulgences; teach him to restrain his passions, and to govern himself; to control his evil propensities, and to subdue all inordinate affection. The Christian will not only abstain from intoxicating drinks, but from all exciting passions; he will be temperate in his manner of living, and in the government of his temper. This may be applied to temperance properly so called with us; but it should not be limited to that.  A Christian must be a temperate man; and if the effect of his religion is not to produce this, it is false and vain. Abstinence from intoxicating drinks, as well as from all improper excitement, is demanded by the very genius of his religion, and on this subject there is no danger of drawing the cords too close. No man was ever injured by the strictest temperance, by total abstinence from ardent spirits, and from wine as a beverage; no man is certainly safe who does not abstain; no man, it is believed, can be in a proper frame of mind for religious duties who indulges in the habitual use of intoxicating drinks. Nothing does more scandal to religion than such indulgences; and, other things being equal, he is the most under the influence of the Spirit of God who is the most thoroughly a man of temperance,.


BARNES  IS  WAY  OFF  THE  PATH  IN  HIS  COMMENTS  ON  WINE  AND  ALCOHOLIC  DRINKS.  THE  BIBLE  IS  NOT  AGAINST  THE  USE  OF  WINE  AND  ALCOHOL  IN  MODERATION!!  OF  COURSE  ALL  THAT  IS  ALLOWED  A  CHRISTIAN  MUST  BE  IN  BALANCE  AND  MODERATION.  I  HAVE  IN-DEPTH  STUDIES  ON  THIS  WEBSITE  REGARDING  THE  CHRISTIAN  AND  ALCOHOL.  I  LIKE  WINE  AND  "STRONG  DRINK" [AS IT IS CALLED  IN  THE  BOOKS  OF  MOSES]  NOW  AND  AGAIN.  I  HAVE  NEVER  BEEN  DRUNK  ONCE  IN  MY  NOW  NEARLY  74  YEARS  OF  LIFE.  ALCOHOL  HAS  NEVER  BLURRED  MY  SPIRITUAL  VISION  OR  MY  STUDY  OF  GOD'S  WORD,  AND  ITS  EXPOUNDING.  IT  HAS  NOW  BEEN  SCIENTIFICALLY  PROVED  THAT  A  GLASS  OF  RED  WINE,  EVEN  EVERY  DAY,  IS  GOOD  FOR  YOUR  HEALTH.  I  PERSONALLY  DO  NOT  HAVE  A  GLASS  OF  WINE  EVERY  DAY [IF  ANYONE  IS  WONDERING]  BUT  I  DO  DRINK  WINE  NOW  AND  AGAIN  -  Keith Hunt


Against such there is no law. That is, there is no law to condemn such persons. These are not the things which the law denounces. These, therefore, are the true freemen; free from the condemning sentence of the law, and free in the service of God. Law condemns sin; and they who evince the spirit here referred to are free from its denunciations.


24. And they that are Christ's. All who are true Christians, Have crucified the flesh. The corrupt passions of the soul have been put to death; i. e., destroyed. They are as though they were dead, and have no power over us; see Note, chap. ii. 20. With the affections. Marg. Passions. All corrupt desires. And lusts; see Note, Rom. i. 24.


25. If we live in the Spirit. Note, ver. 16. The sense of this verse probably is, "We who are Christians profess to be under the influences of the Holy Spirit. By his influences and agency is our spiritual life. We profess not to be under the dominion of the flesh; not to be controlled by its appetites and desires. Let us then act in this manner, and as if we beieved this. Let us yield ourselves to His influences, and show that we are controlled by that Spirit." It is an earnest exhortation to Christians to yield wholly to the agency of the Holy Spirit on their hearts, and to submit to his guidance; see Notes, Rom. viii. 5, 9.


26. Let us not be desirous of vainglory. The word here used means proud or vain of empty advantages, as of birth, property, eloquence, or learning. The reference here is probably to the paltry competitions which arose on account of these supposed advantages. It is possible that this might have been one cause of the difficulties existing in the churches of Galatia, and the apostle is anxious wholly to check and remove it. The Jews prided themselves on their birth, and men are everywhere prone to overvalue the supposed advantages of birth and blood. The doctrines of Paul are, that on great and most vital respects men are on a level; that these things contribute nothing to salvation (Notes, chap. iii. 28); and that Christians should esteem them of little importance, and that they should not be suffered to interfere with their fellowship, or to mar their harmony and peace. Provoking one another. The sense is, that they who are desirous of vainglory, do provoke one another. They provoke those whom they regard as inferiors by a haughty carriage and a contemptuous manner towards them. They look upon them often with contempt; pass them by with disdain; treat them as beneath their notice; and this provokes on the other hand hard feeling, and hatred, and a disposition to take revenge. When men regard themselves as equal in their great and vital interests; when they feel that they are fellow-heirs of the grace of life; when they feel that they belong to one great family, and are in their great interests on a level; deriving no advantage from birth and blood; on a level as descendants of the same apostate father; as being themselves sinners; on a level at the foot of the cross, at the communion table, on beds of sickness, in the grave, and at the bar of God; when they feel this, then the consequences here referred to will be avoided. There will be no haughty carriage such as to provoke opposition; and on the other hand there will be no envy on account of the superior rank of others. Envying one another. On account of their superior wealth, rank, talent, learning. The true way to cure envy is to make men feel that in their great and important interests they are on a level. Their great interests are beyond the grave. The distinctions of this life are temporary, and are comparative trifles. Soon all will be on a level in the grave, and at the bar of God and in heaven. Wealth, and honour, and rank do not avail there. The poorest man will wear as bright a crown as the rich; the man of most humble birth will be admitted as near the throne as he who can boast the longest line of illustrious ancestors. Why should a man who is soon to wear a "crown incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away" envy him who has a ducal coronet here, or a royal diadem—baubles that are soon to be laid aside for ever? Why should he, though poor here, who is soon to inherit the treasures of heaven where "moth and rust do not corrupt,'' envy him who can walk over a few acres as his own, or who has accumulated a glittering pile of dust, soon to be left for ever? Why should he who is soon to wear the robes of salvation, made "white in the blood of the Lamb," envy him who is "clothed in purple and fine linen," or who can adorn himself and his family in the most gorgeous attire which art and skill can make, soon to give place to the winding-sheet; soon to be succeeded by the simple garb which the most humble wears in the grave. If men feel that their great interests are beyond the tomb; that in the important matter of salvation they are on a level; that soon they are to be undistinguished beneath the clods of the valley…..The rich and the great would cease to look down with contempt on those of a more humble rank, and the poor would cease to envy those above them, for they are soon to be their equals in the grave; their equals, perhaps their superiors in heaven!

……….


WE  SHALL  ALL  BE  REWARDED  ACCORDING  TO  OUR  WORK,  WITH  WHAT  WE  HAVE  DONE  WITH  WHAT  WE  HAVE  BEEN  GIVEN.  AND  INDEED  SOMEONE  LOWLY  IN  THIS  LIFE [WITH  NO  FAME,  NOT  MUCH  PHYSICAL  RICHES,  NO  HIGH  POSITION  IN  THE  WORLD  OF  MEN/WOMEN]  MAY  BE  GREATER  IN  POSITION  IN  GOD'S  KINGDOM,  THAN  SOMEONE  FAMOUS,  RICH,  AND  WITH  A  HIGH  SECULAR  POSITION  IN  THIS  PHYSICAL  LIKE.

THERE  WILL  BE  NO  JEALOUSY,  NO  ENVY,  IN  GOD'S  ETERNAL  FAMILY,  FOR  ALL  THERE  WILL  BE  PERFECT,  SINLESS,  AND  RIGHTEOUS,  AS  THE  FATHER  AND  OUR  ELDER  BROTHER  CHRIST  JESUS  ARE  -  Keith  Hunt