1 Thessalonians 3

* The 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)

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

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.
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.

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