1 Thessalonians 3* The apostle sent Timothy to establish and comfort theThessalonians (1-5) He rejoiced at the good tidings of theirfaith and love. (6-10) And for their increase in grace. (11-13)1-5 The more we find pleasure in the ways of God, the more weshall desire to persevere therein. The apostle's design was toestablish and comfort the Thessalonians as to the object oftheir faith, that Jesus Christ was the Saviour of the world; andas to the recompence of faith, which was more than enough tomake up all their losses, and to reward all their labours. Buthe feared his labours would be in vain. If the devil cannothinder ministers from labouring in the word and doctrine, hewill, if possible, hinder the success of their labours. No onewould willingly labour in vain. It is the will and purpose ofGod, that we enter into his kingdom through many afflictions.And the apostles, far from flattering people with theexpectation of worldly prosperity in religion, told them plainlythey must count upon trouble in the flesh. Herein they followedthe example of their great Master, the Author of our faith.Christians were in danger, and they should be forewarned; theywill thus be kept from being improved by any devices of thetempter. 6-10 Thankfulness to God is very imperfect in the presentstate; but one great end of the ministry of the word is to helpfaith forward. That which was the instrument to obtain faith, isalso the means of increasing and confirming it, namely, theordinances of God; and as faith cometh by hearing, so it isconfirmed by hearing also. 11-13 Prayer is religious worship, and all religious worship isdue 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, butoffered up to Christ himself, as our Lord and our Saviour. Letus acknowledge God in all our ways, and he will direct ourpaths. Mutual love is required of all Christians. And love is ofGod, and is fulfilling the gospel as well as the law. We needthe Spirit's influences in order to our growth in grace; and theway to obtain them, is prayer. Holiness is required of all whowould go to heaven; and we must act so that we do not contradictthe profession we make of holiness. The Lord Jesus willcertainly come in his glory; his saints will come with him. Thenthe excellence as well as the necessity of holiness will appear;and without this no hearts shall be established at that day, norshall any avoid condemnation.
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