If any man speak - As a preacher, referring here particularly to the office of the ministry.
Let him speak as the oracles of God - As the oracles of God speak; to wit, in accordance with the truth which God has revealed, and with an impressive sense of the responsibility of delivering a message from him. The word rendered “oracles” (λόγια logia) means, properly, something “spoken” or “uttered”; then anything uttered by God - a divine communication - a revelation. See the Romans 3:2 note; Hebrews 5:12 note. See the general duty here inculcated illustrated at length in the notes at Romans 12:6-8. The passage here has a strong resemblance to the one in Romans.
If any man minister - διακονεῖ diakonei. This may refer either, so far as the word is concerned, to the office of a deacon, or to any service which one renders to another. See 1 Peter 4:10. The word commonly refers to service in general; to attendance on another, or to aid rendered to another; to the distribution of alms, etc. It seems probable that the word here does not refer to the office of a deacon as such, because the speciality of that office was to take charge of the poor of the church, and of the funds provided for them, (see Acts 6:2-3;) but the apostle here says that they to whom he referred should “minister as of the ability which God giveth,” which seems to imply that it was rather to distribute what was their own, than what was committed to them by the church. The word may refer to any aid which we render to others in the church, as distributing alms, attending on the sick, etc. Compare the notes at Romans 12:7-8.
As of the ability which God giveth - In regard to property, talent, strength, influence, etc. This is the limit of all obligation. No one is bound to go beyond his ability; everyone is required to come up to it. Compare Mark 14:8; Luke 17:10.
That God in all things may be glorified - That he may be honored; to wit, by our doing all the good we can to others, and thus showing the power of his religion. See the notes at 1 Corinthians 10:31.
Through Jesus Christ - That is, as the medium through whom all those holy influences come by which God is honored.
To whom - That is, to God; for he is the main subject of the sentence. The apostle says that in all things he is to be glorified by us, and then adds in this doxology that he is worthy to be thus honored. Compare Revelation 1:6; See the notes at 2 Timothy 4:18. Many, however, suppose that the reference here is to the Son of God. That it would be true of him, and appropriate, see the notes at Romans 9:5.
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