As if the apostle had said, "Though we have a ministerial power, yet we have not a magisterial dominion over you, to treat as we please the professors of the gospel, or to punish those that walk not according thereunto."
Learn hence, That though Christ has invested the officers of the church with a ministerial power, yet they have not thereby any dominion over the faith of believers; Not that we have dominion over your faith; he adds, But are helpers of your joy. He doth not say, We are helpers of your grace, helpers of your faith, helpers of your holiness, though this is necessarily implied; but helpers of your joy and comfort.
Note thence, That a special part of the minister's work consists in administering to the comfort and consolation of such as stand in need of it, and are qualified for it. Our first work is to help the graces, our next to help the comforts, of our people. The Spirit of God is a sanctifier, and then a comforter: joy is not the first stone in God's building; grace and holiness are first, comfort and consolation next.
For by faith ye stand; ye have stood and do stand, steadfast in the faith; that is, the generality and body of you; though some among you deny the resurrection, yet the best and greatest part of you are sound in the faith, and stedfast in the faith. Our apostle doth not unchurch them, because of some disorders among them, nor because of some heretical doctrines found with them, but endeavors to reform their disorders, that so when he came unto them he might not come with his rod, but in the spirit of meekness.