Now I beseech you, brothers, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit…
I. THE OBJECT OF THE APOSTLE'S REQUEST — the prayers of the people. Observe the importunity of his spirit, and the fervency of his manner. Ministers need the prayers of their people, if we consider them —
1. As men. They are men of like passions with ourselves, and are surrounded by manifold temptations.
2. As Christians. They want refreshing with the same water, and stand in need of the same heavenly food as you do.
3. As officers of the Church — as stewards of the mysteries of God.
4. Their work — to negotiate matters with others on behalf of God.
5. Their danger. They are on a hill, and far more the objects of observation than others. A failure in an ordinary member is a serious matter, and is often attended with distress; but a failure in a minister is attended with more serious consequences.
6. Their responsibility.
II. THE PLEASING EMERGENCY ON WHICH HE FOUNDS IT.
1. "For the Lord Jesus Christ's sake." The honour of Christ is bound up with the success of the ministry of the gospel. So the apostle appealed for prayer, not for his own sake, though he might have put it upon that ground, but for his Master's.
2. "For the love of the Spirit."(1) The love which the Spirit has wrought in us. Love to God, to ministers, to souls, is but a feeling which has been wrought in us by the Holy Spirit.
(2) The love which the Spirit has to us. We are in the habit of underrating this love. We dwell on that of the Father, and the Son; but we seldom dwell on the love of the Spirit. And yet that love is most manifest. He strives with us, bears with us, checks us in our wanderings, and creates us anew.
III. THE SPECIFIC END WHICH HE HAD IN VIEW.
1. Mutual joy. Ministers sometimes come in fear and in sorrow.
2. Mutual improvement. "That I with you may be refreshed."
(J. Beaumont, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;