St. Paul's Ministry -- Described
1 Thessalonians 2:3-6
For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:…


1. No of deceit. The word thus translated, as distinguished from "guile," denotes mental error without respect to any bad design (see Proverbs 14:8). It was no false theory, wild vagary, empty speculation, that Paul preached.

2. Not of uncleanness. To understand by this fraud or imposture would not only introduce needless tautology, but would interfere with the acknowledged ethical sense of the word, which is bad morals, especially sensuality. The Apostle affirms that he and his associates did not preach a doctrine which warranted or connived at vice, and did not seek, by preaching, to gratify any sensual passions of their own. The contrary character is exemplified in Jezebel (Revelation 2:20), and in the persons described in 2 Peter 2; Judges 4:10-13, 16-19.

3. Not in guile. They had not acted the part of imposters or hypocrites.


1. Paul and Silas were —

(1) "Allowed of God" — a term denoting a much stronger idea than that of bare per mission, viz., distinct choice or positive approbation.

(2) "To be put in trust with the gospel," a phrase which not only represents their actual admission to the ministerial office, but sets forth their responsibility as ministers.

2. They spoke in a manner corresponding to the twofold fact of their vocation by God and their responsibility to Him, "Not as pleasing men," etc.

(1) They neither acknowledged nor applied what was pleasing to men as a safe and satisfactory standard by which to regulate their ministerial conduct.

(2) They recognized such a standard in what was pleasing to God. They saw cause for special vigilance, and for habitual reference to Him in the fact that "He searcheth the heart and trieth the reins," and was intimately acquainted with their secret thoughts and feelings.

(3) Prompted by such considerations they asked of Him, "What wilt Thou have me to do."

(A. S. Patterson, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:

WEB: For our exhortation is not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in deception.

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