|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-6 The apostle had no wordly design in his preaching. Suffering in a good cause should sharpen holy resolution. The gospel of Christ at first met with much opposition; and it was preached with contention, with striving in preaching, and against opposition. And as the matter of the apostle's exhortation was true and pure, the manner of his speaking was without guile. The gospel of Christ is designed for mortifying corrupt affections, and that men may be brought under the power of faith. This is the great motive to sincerity, to consider that God not only sees all we do, but knows our thoughts afar off, and searches the heart. And it is from this God who trieth our hearts, that we must receive our reward. The evidences of the apostle's sincerity were, that he avoided flattery and covetousness. He avoided ambition and vain-glory.
Verse 1. - For yourselves, brethren; in contrast to other persons. Not only do strangers report the power and efficacy of our preaching among you, but you yourselves arc experimentally acquainted with it. Know our entrance in unto you; referring, not merely to the mere preaching of the gospel to the Thessalonians, but to the entrance which the gospel found into their hearts - to its coming, not in word only, but also in power (1 Thessalonians 1:5). That it was not in vain; not empty, useless, to no purpose, - descriptive of the character of the apostolic entrance among them. Our entrance among you was not powerless, unreal; on the contrary, it was mighty, energetic, powerful. The reference is chiefly to the manner or mode in which Paul and his companions preached the gospel, though not entirely excluding the success of the gospel among the Thessalonians (comp. l Corinthians 15:14, "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you,.... The apostle having observed in 1 Thessalonians 1:9 that those persons to whom the report of the Gospel being preached at Thessalonica, and the success of it there was made, showed everywhere both what manner of entrance he and his fellow ministers had in that place, and the conversion of many souls there; he enlarges upon the latter, and here reassumes the former, and appeals to the Thessalonians themselves, who must know full well, and better than others, what an entrance it was; and which is to be understood not merely of a corporeal entrance into their city and synagogue, but of their coming among them, by the preaching of the Gospel, as the ministers of the word and ambassadors of Christ:
that it was not in vain; it was not a vain show with outward pomp and splendour, as the public entrances of ambassadors into cities usually are; but with great meanness, poverty, reproach, and persecution, having been lately beaten and ill used at Philippi; nor was it with great swelling words of vanity, with the enticing words of man's wisdom, to tickle the ear, please the fancy, and work upon the passions of natural men, in which manner the false teachers came: but the apostle came not with deceit and guile, with flattering words or a cloak of covetousness, or with a view to vain glory and worldly advantage; nor was the message they came with, from the King of kings, a vain, light, empty, and trifling one; but solid and substantial, and of the greatest importance; the doctrine they taught was not comparable to chaff and wind; it was not corrupt philosophy and vain deceit, the traditions and commandments of men, but sound doctrine, the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ: nor was it fruitless and without effect; the word did not return void and empty; but was powerful and efficacious to the conversion of many souls. Christ was with them both to assist them in their ministry, and to bless it to the salvation of men; nor was their coming to Thessalonica an human scheme, a rash enterprise, engaged in on their own heads, on a slight and empty foundation; but upon good and solid grounds, by divine direction and counsel; see Acts 16:9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1Th 2:1-20. His Manner of Preaching, and Theirs of Receiving, the Gospel; His Desire to Have Revisited Them Frustrated by Satan.
1. For—confirming 1Th 1:9. He discusses the manner of his fellow missionaries' preaching among them (1Th 1:5, and former part of 1Th 2:9) at 1Th 2:1-12; and the Thessalonians' reception of the word (compare 1Th 1:6, 7, and latter part of 1Th 2:9) at 1Th 2:13-16.
yourselves—Not only do strangers report it, but you know it to be true [Alford] "yourselves."
not in vain—Greek, "not vain," that is, it was full of "power" (1Th 1:5). The Greek for "was," expresses rather "hath been and is," implying the permanent and continuing character of his preaching.
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