|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:6-10 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.
Verse 10. - Night and day (comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:9) praying exceedingly. Denoting the intense earnestness and anxiety of the apostle for the spiritual welfare of the Thessalonians, that found vent to itself in incessant prayer for them. Now follows the subject-matter of his prayer. That we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith. The faith of the Thessalonians was not perfect; it was "lacking" in several respects. It was defective in extent; they were ignorant of many of the doctrines of the gospel, and had formed erroneous views of other doctrines, such as the second advent. It was defective in application; they had not yet renounced all the corrupt practices of their former heathen life, nor had they embodied all the precepts of the gospel into their actual life. The Thessalonians were as yet but novices. So also the reason which impelled Paul to wish to come to Rome was to supply that which was lacking in the faith of the Roman converts (Romans 1:11). Confirmation was a work in which the apostle delighted, being both important and desirable. In general, faith at first is weak and defective; it is only developed by degrees. Especially is it increased by every increase of spiritual knowledge. "Add to your faith knowledge" (2 Peter 1:5, 6). The remark of Calvin is worthy of attention: "Paul is desirous of having the opportunity given him of supplying what is wanting in the faith of the Thessalonians, or, which is the same thing, completing in all its parts their faith which was as yet imperfect. Yet this is the faith which he had previously extolled marvelously. From this we infer that those who far surpass others are still far distant from the goal. Hence, whatever progress we may have made, let us keep in view our deficiencies, that we may not be reluctant to aim at something further."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Night and day praying exceedingly,.... This good news, not only comforted their hearts, and revived their spirits, and filled them with joy and thankfulness, but also sent them to the throne of grace to pray without ceasing, continually, night and day, and as often as they went thither, and that with great fervency and earnestness, in a multitude of petitions; or, as the Arabic version renders it, "with prayers exceeding a multitude"; with innumerable requests:
that we might see your face: once more, and converse face to face:
and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? in the grace of faith; for though they remembered their work of faith with pleasure, and had had good tidings of it very lately, and were thankful that it grew exceedingly as it did, yet they knew it was not perfect, there was unbelief attending them: and though it is God's work to increase faith, as well as to produce it, yet, as the ministry of the word is the means of the first planting of it, so it also is of the increase of it. This may likewise be understood of the doctrine of faith, which though they had received in the love of it, and had made considerable progress in their knowledge of it; yet they knew but in part, and needed to be taught the way of God, and truths of the Gospel more perfectly; and the ministry of the word is for the perfecting of the saints in the knowledge of the Son of God, and of other truths; wherefore the apostle desired greatly to see them, that he might be an instrument of instructing them, more perfectly in the knowledge of divine things; and in this, and in the following epistle, he does particularly instruct them about the rise and fall of antichrist, the coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead, articles of faith in which they seemed to have been deficient: but now, though these saints had deficiencies in their faith, yet they were not what the Jews call (o) , "such as are deficient in faith", or want faith entirely, a phrase somewhat like this which is here used.
(o) Maimon. Hilch. Mechira, c. 7. sect. 8, 9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. Night and day—(See on 1Th 2:9). Night is the season for the saint's holiest meditations and prayers (2Ti 1:3).
praying—connected with, "we joy"; we joy while we pray; or else as Alford, What thanks can we render to God while we pray? The Greek implies a beseeching request.
exceedingly—literally, "more than exceeding abundantly" (compare Eph 3:20).
that which is lacking—Even the Thessalonians had points in which they needed improvement [Bengel], (Lu 17:5). Their doctrinal views as to the nearness of Christ's coming, and as to the state of those who had fallen asleep, and their practice in some points, needed correction (1Th 4:1-9). Paul's method was to begin by commending what was praiseworthy, and then to correct what was amiss; a good pattern to all admonishers of others.
1 Thessalonians 3:10 Parallel Commentaries
1 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV
1 Thessalonians 3:10 NLT
1 Thessalonians 3:10 ESV
1 Thessalonians 3:10 NASB
1 Thessalonians 3:10 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible