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he apostle sent Timothy to establish and comfort the
Thessalonians (1-5) He rejoiced at the good tidings of their
faith and love. (6-10) And for their increase in grace. (11-13)
Verses 1-5: The more we find pleasure in the ways of God, the more we
shall desire to persevere therein. The apostle's design was to
establish and comfort the Thessalonians as to the object of
their faith, that Jesus Christ was the Saviour of the world; and
as to the recompence of faith, which was more than enough to
make up all their losses, and to reward all their labours. But
he feared his labours would be in vain. If the devil cannot
hinder ministers from labouring in the word and doctrine, he
will, if possible, hinder the success of their labours. No one
would willingly labour in vain. It is the will and purpose of
God, that we enter into his kingdom through many afflictions.
And the apostles, far from flattering people with the
expectation of worldly prosperity in religion, told them plainly
they must count upon trouble in the flesh. Herein they followed
the example of their great Master, the Author of our faith.
Christians were in danger, and they should be forewarned; they
will thus be kept from being improved by any devices of the
Verses 6-10: Thankfulness to God is very imperfect in the present
state; but one great end of the ministry of the word is to help
faith forward. That which was the instrument to obtain faith, is
also the means of increasing and confirming it, namely, the
ordinances of God; and as faith cometh by hearing, so it is
confirmed by hearing also.
Verses 11-13: Prayer is religious worship, and all religious worship is
due unto God only. Prayer is to be offered to God as our Father.
Prayer is not only to be offered in the name of Christ, but
offered up to Christ himself, as our Lord and our Saviour. Let
us acknowledge God in all our ways, and he will direct our
paths. Mutual love is required of all Christians. And love is of
God, and is fulfilling the gospel as well as the law. We need
the Spirit's influences in order to our growth in grace; and the
way to obtain them, is prayer. Holiness is required of all who
would go to heaven; and we must act so that we do not contradict
the profession we make of holiness. The Lord Jesus will
certainly come in his glory; his saints will come with him. Then
the excellence as well as the necessity of holiness will appear;
and without this no hearts shall be established at that day, nor
shall any avoid condemnation.