Verse 30. "For the work of Christ" - Preaching the Gospel, and ministering to the distressed.
"He was nigh unto death" - Having laboured far beyond his strength.
"Not regarding his life" - Instead of parabouleusamenov th yuch, not regarding his life, paraboleusamenov, risking his life, is the reading of ABDEFG, and is received by Griesbach into the text. His frequent and intense preaching, and labouring to supply the apostle's wants, appear to have brought him nigh to the gates of death.
THE humiliation and exaltation of Christ are subjects which we cannot contemplate too frequently, and in which we cannot be too deeply instructed.
1. God destroys opposites by opposites: through pride and self-confidence man fell, and it required the humiliation of Christ to destroy that pride and self-confidence, and to raise him from his fall. There must be an indescribable malignity in sin, when it required the deepest abasement of the highest Being to remove and destroy it. The humiliation and passion of Christ were not accidental, they were absolutely necessary; and had they not been necessary, they had not taken place. Sinner, behold what it cost the Son of God to save thee! And wilt thou, after considering this, imagine that sin is a small thing? Without the humiliation and sacrifice of Christ, even thy soul could not be saved. Slight not, therefore, the mercies of thy God, by underrating the guilt of thy transgressions and the malignity of thy sin! 2. As we cannot contemplate the humiliation and death of Christ without considering it a sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and atonement for sin, and for the sin of the whole world; so we cannot contemplate his unlimited power and glory, in his state of exaltation, without being convinced that he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God through him. What can withstand the merit of his blood? What can resist the energy of his omnipotence? Can the power of sin?-its infection? -its malignity? No! He can as easily say to an impure heart, Be thou clean, and it shall be clean; as he could to the leper, Be thou clean, and immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Reader, have faith in Him; for all things are possible to him that believeth.
3. There are many ungodly men in the world who deny the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit, and affect to ridicule those who profess to have received what they know Christ has purchased and God has promised, and which, in virtue of this, they have claimed by faith; because, say these mockers, "If you had the Spirit of God, you could work miracles: show us a miracle, and we will believe you to be inspired." Will these persons assert that St. Paul had not God's Spirit when he could neither heal himself, nor restore his friends and fellow helpers from apparent death? What then doth their arguing prove? Silly men, of shallow minds!