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I like the commentary of Matthew Henry (!700's) on the treasties of 2 Corinthians 5:9-11, as he notes on our duties; " He proceeds to deduce an inference to excite and quicken himself and others to duty, v. 9-11. So it is that well-grounded hopes of heaven will be far from giving the least encouragement to sloth and sinful security; on the contrary, they should stir us up to use the greatest care and diligence in religion: Wherefore, or because we hope to be present with the Lord, we labour and take pains, v. 9. Philotimoumetha—We are ambitious, and labour as industriously as the most ambitious men do to obtain what they aim at. Here observe, 1. What it was that the apostle was thus ambitious of—acceptance with God. We labour that, living and dying, whether present in the body or absent from the body, we may be accepted of him, the Lord (v. 9), that we may please him who hath chosen us, that our great Lord may say to us, Well done. This they coveted as the greatest favour and the highest honour: it was the summit of their ambition. 2. What further quickening motives they had to excite their diligence, from the consideration of the judgment to come, v. 10, 11. There are many things relating to this great matter that should awe the best of men into the utmost care and diligence in religion; for example, the certainty of this judgment, for we must appear; the universality of it, for we must all appear; the great Judge before whose judgment-seat we must appear, the Lord Jesus Christ, who himself will appear in flaming fire; the recompence to be then received, for things done in the body, which will be very particular (unto every one), and very just, according to what we have done, whether good or bad. The apostle calls this awful judgment the terror of the Lord (v. 11), and, by the consideration thereof, was excited to persuade men to repent, and live a holy life, that, when Christ shall appear 'terribly', they may appear before him 'comfortably'." Excellence has no place for laziness!
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