|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:6-10 When careless, ignorant, and immoral persons are turned from their carnal pursuits and connexions, to believe in and obey the Lord Jesus, to live soberly, righteously, and godly, the matter speaks for itself. The believers under the Old Testament waited for the coming of the Messiah, and believers now wait for his second coming. He is yet to come. And God had raised him from the dead, which is a full assurance unto all men that he will come to judgment. He came to purchase salvation, and will, when he comes again, bring salvation with him, full and final deliverance from that wrath which is yet to come. Let all, without delay, flee from the wrath to come, and seek refuge in Christ and his salvation.
Verse 6. - Now follows the second reason assigned by Paul for his confidence in their election. And ye became followers (or, imitators) of us, and of the Lord; of Christ. By becoming imitators of the apostle, they became imitators of Christ. "Be ye followers of me," writes St. Paul to the Corinthians, "even as I also am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). The point of imitation did not consist in their cordial reception of the gospel, for that could not apply to Christ; but in their joyful endurance of suffering. Having received the word in much affliction. We learn from the Acts that the unbelieving Jews stirred up the heathen rabble, and raised a persecution against Paul and his associates, in consequence of which they had to depart from Thessalonica (Acts 17:4-10). It would appear that, after the apostle had left the city, the persecution, far from abating, rather increased, and the Gentile inhabitants united with the unbelieving Jews against the Christians; the Thessalonian converts suffered from their own countrymen as well as from the Jews (1 Thessalonians 2:14). With joy of the Holy Ghost; that is, not merely spiritual joy, or joy in the Holy Ghost, but joy which proceeds from the Holy Ghost - joy which is produced by him, of which he is the Author.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord,.... So far followers of them as they were of Christ, in embracing the Gospel, submitting to the ordinances of it, professing the name of Christ, and suffering for his sake; the Alexandrian copy reads, "of God", and others, "of Christ":
having received the word; the Gospel, the word of truth, peace, and righteousness, and of salvation by Christ; which they received not as the word of man, but of God; and that
in much affliction; referring to the uproar made by the baser sort of people, instigated by the unbelieving Jews, and the trouble they gave to Jason and other brethren, mentioned in Acts 17:1 and this is a considerable commendation of them, that at a time when others were offended and fell off from hearing the word, and a profession of the Gospel, they should receive it, and that
with much joy of the Holy Ghost; not with a carnal joy, or with a mere flash of natural affection, as in the stony ground hearers, and in the Jews, who rejoiced for a while in John's ministry, and in Herod, who sometimes heard him gladly; but with a spiritual joy of the Holy Ghost's producing in them, applying the word with power to them, giving them a spiritual gust of it, and pleasure in it, raising in their souls a joy upon the most solid foundation.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. And ye—answering to "For our Gospel," 1Th 1:5.
followers—Greek, "imitators." The Thessalonians in their turn became "ensamples" (1Th 1:7) for others to imitate.
of the Lord—who was the apostle of the Father, and taught the word, which He brought from heaven, under adversities [Bengel]. This was the point in which they imitated Him and His apostles, joyful witness for the word in much affliction: the second proof of their election of God (1Th 1:4); 1Th 1:5 is the first (see on 1Th 1:5).
received the word in much affliction—(1Th 2:14; 3:2-5; Ac 17:5-10).
joy of—that is, wrought by "the Holy Ghost." "The oil of gladness" wherewith the Son of God was "anointed above His fellows" (Ps 45:7), is the same oil with which He, by the Spirit, anoints His fellows too (Isa 61:1, 3; Ro 14:17; 1Jo 2:20, 27).
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