God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost…
The forementioned diversity of miracles and distribution of gifts, were ordered and disposed according to the will of God. This act of distributing is attributed to God (1 Corinthians 7:17); to His Son (Ephesians 4:7); and to His Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:11). And for kind, number, and measure of gifts, all are ordered by the will of this one God. according to His own will, not another's; the Greek word intends as much. The will of God is that rule whereby all things are ordered that He Himself doth, and whereby all things ought to be ordered that creatures do. Hereupon God's will is distinguished into His secret and revealed will (Deuteronomy 29:29). The secret will of God is called His counsel (Isaiah 46:10); the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11); His purpose (Romans 13:28): His pleasure (Isaiah 46:10); His good pleasure (Ephesians 1:9); the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1:5). The other is commonly called God's Word, and that after the manner of men, because the ordinary means whereby men make known their minds is the word of their mouth, therefore the revelation of God's will is called God's Word, whether it be by an audible voice from God Himself (Matthew 3:17), or by the ministry of angels (ver. 2), or by the ministry of men (Hosea 1:2). This is also called the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). This revealed will of God is that which is principally intended in the second petition of the Lord's prayer. Here God's secret will is meant. This is that supreme and absolute will of God, by which all things are, and without which nothing can be (Psalm 115:3; Ephesians 1:11; Romans 11:34). This is God's only rule; He hath nothing else to regulate any purpose or act of His but His own will. As therefore He disposeth all things, so in special the gifts of the Holy Ghost according to His will. The grounds following do demonstrate the equity hereof.
1. God is the fountain whence all gifts flow (James 1:17). All are His; hereupon He thus presseth His right against such as were not contented with that portion which He gave them (Matthew 20:15).
2. God is the most supreme Sovereign over all. He is the Lord and Master of all; He therefore hath power to order the places and duties and parts of all as He pleaseth, according to His own will (1 Chronicles 28:4, 5).
3. God is the wisest of all. He is wise in heart (Job 9:4); yea, mighty in wisdom (Job 36:5); His understanding is infinite (Psalm 147:5); He is only wise (Romans 16:27). He therefore best knoweth what is fittest for every one, and He is fittest to order it according to His will.
4. God's will is the rule of righteousness. Whatsoever is ordered thereby and agreeable thereto is righteous, and whatsoever cometh from it is altogether righteous. The Lord is righteous in all His ways, His ordering therefore of matters must needs be according to right and equity.
5. The Lord fitteth gifts and functions one to another. Such gifts as are needful for such a function and such a function as is fittest for such gifts (Matthew 25:15; Exodus 31:2, 8). This teacheth us every one to be content with our own measure which God hath proportioned to us, for we may be assured thereupon that it is the fittest and best Jot us. Hast thou a small measure? bear it patiently, that measure is fittest for thee. Hast thou a great measure? use it conscionably, that is fittest for thee. We are exhorted earnestly to covet the best gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31), and to seek to excel (1 Corinthians 14:12), and to grow up in all things (Ephesians 4:15). None of these, nor any such like exhortations are contrary to Christian contentedness.For —
1. Though a man covet a more excellent gift than God hath Ordained for him, yet when he seeth that God hath bestowed such and such a gift upon him less than his desire, he may quietly subject himself to God's wise disposition and rest contented therewith. For the will of God being nosy made known unto him, he may persuade himself that the gift he hath is b,-st for him.
2. Seeking to excel is not ambitiously to strive for the highest places and greatest offices in the Church (as Diotrephes did, 3 John 1:9), but every one to strive in his one place to do most god in God's Church. This, therefore, is the full exhortation: " Seek that you may excel to the edifying of the Church" (1 Corinthians 14:12). So as this teacheth us how to make the bent use of the place wherein God hath set us, and of the parts which He hath given us.
3. A continual growth in grace is no more opposite to Christian contentedness than the growth of the little tinge, is to the place wherein it is set. Growth and contentedness may well stand together, yea, they always go together. Growth in grace received showeth our good liking thereof, and that we think it the fittest for us; and are thereupon stirred up to nourish and cherish it, to keep it from decay, and to increase it more and more.
Parallel VersesKJV: God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?