John Calvin Complete Commentary - Philippians 4:18 - 4:18

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - Philippians 4:18 - 4:18


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

18I have received all things, and abound He declares in more explicit terms, that he has what is sufficient, and honors their liberality with a remarkable testimony, by saying, that he has been filled. It was undoubtedly a moderate sum that they had sent, but he says, that by means of that moderate sum he is filled to satiety. It is, however, a more distinguished commendation that he bestows upon the gift in what follows, when he calls it a sacrifice acceptable, and presented as the odour of a good fragrance For what better thing can be desired than that our acts of kindness should be sacred offerings, which God receives from our hands, and takes pleasure in their sweet odour? For the same reason Christ says, Whatsoever ye shall have done unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.

The similitude of sacrifices, however, adds much emphasis, by which we are taught, that the exercise of love which God enjoins upon us, is not merely a benefit conferred upon man, but is also a spiritual and sacred service which is performed to God, as we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews, that he is well pleased with such sacrifices. (Heb_13:16.) Alas for our indolence! (255) — which appears in this, that while God invites us with so much kindness to the honor of priesthood, and even puts sacrifices in our hands, we nevertheless do not sacrifice to him, and those things which were set apart for sacred oblations we not only lay out for profane uses, but squander them wickedly upon the most polluted contaminations. (256) For the altars, on which sacrifices from our resources ought to be presented, are the poor, and the servants of Christ. To the neglect of these some squander their resources on every kind of luxury, others upon the palate, others upon immodest attire, others upon magnificent dwellings. (257)



(255) “Or maudite soit nostre paresse;” — “ accursed be our indolence.”

(256) “Les consumons prodigalement et meschamment en choses infames et abominables;” — “ lay them out lavishly and wickedly on things infamous and abominable.”

(257) “Les vns dependent tout leur bien en toutes de dissolutions, les autres en gouermandise et yurognerie, les autres en brauetes excessiues, les autres a bastir des palais somptueux;” — “ lay out all their wealth on all kinds of luxuries, others on eating and drinking, others superfluous elegance of dress, others in building sumptuous palaces.”