The apostle having prayed that the Corinthians might be found doing no evil, in the former verse, and assuring them thereupon, that they would then be secure from his censures and chastisements, he assigns a reason here for that assurance given them; because, says he, We can do nothing against the truth; but for the truth: having our power given us only for edification, and not for destruction.
Considering the words, without respect to the coherence, observe, 1. A negative proposition, We can do nothing against the truth. Oh blessed impotency!
2. An affirmation, or positive assertion, but for the truth. Oh blessed ability? He was as strong as a giant for the truth, but as weak as an infant against it.
Learn, That sincere Christians in general, and the ministers of Christ in particular, cannot, dare not, will not do any thing against the truth, but for the truth:
They cannot, that is, they may not, they are restrained by an outward command from God, who is truth itself:
They cannot, that is, they will not, there is a restraint of an inward principle; neither the conviction of their understanding, the clearness of their judgments, nor the holiness of their hearts, will suffer them to oppose the truth.
Again, they cannot attempt it; or if they did, they can never effect it; they cannot do it safely, they cannot do it successfully. We can do nothing against the truth in a way of discouragement; nor nothing against it in a way of disparagement: But all our endeavours are for the truth; we embrace it in our judgment, we hide it in our hearts, and practise it in our lives. Whatever talent God entrusts any of his ministers with, whether of parts, power, or estate, it is an opportunity put into their hands of doing service for the truth, and, as such, to be accepted and improved.