|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:11-13 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.
Verse 13. - To the end (in order that) he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God. In the sight of God, in his judgment who searcheth the hearts. The words, "before God," are to be conjoined neither with "holiness" nor with "unblamable," but with the whole phrase, "unblamable in holiness." Even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; at the second advent. With all his saints. By "saints" or "holy ones" are by some understood the angels who shall accompany Christ to judgment; but although the term "saints" is used of the angels in the Old Testament, it is never so employed in the New. The word seems to denote those holy men who have died in the Lord and who shall be raised at the advent, and accompany Christ to the judgment.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
To the end he may stablish your hearts,.... Which are very unstable and inconstant in their frames, and in the exercise of grace, and have need to be established in the love of God, against the fears of men, the frowns of the world, the temptations of Satan, and in, and with the doctrines of grace; See Gill on 1 Thessalonians 3:2,
unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father. There is no holiness in men naturally; what is in them without the grace of God is only a show; true holiness is from the Spirit of God; and this is a stable thing in itself, and can never be removed or taken away; but the acts of it, through the prevalence of corruption, the force of Satan's temptations, and the snares of the world, are fickle and inconstant; and the saints need to be established in the discharge of duty, as well as in the exercise of grace: and whereas the apostle prays, that they might be "unblamable in holiness", the Alexandrian copy reads, "in righteousness" so one of Stephens's; it must be observed, that no man is perfectly holy in this life; no man is without sin in himself, or lives without the commission of it; holiness in the best is imperfect; no man, as yet, is in himself sanctified wholly; there is no unblamable holiness but in Christ; and in him the saints are without spot and blemish, who is their sanctification and their righteousness; but in themselves they are full of spots and stains; yet through the grace of God their hearts may be so established with principles of holiness, and they may be so assisted in the acts of it daily, as to give no just cause of blame to men, and so to behave as to approve themselves "before God", who sees the heart, and knows from what principles all actions flow: and this the apostle desires may be at the coming of our Lord Jesus; or unto the coming of him, as in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Either at death, when he comes into his garden, and gathers his lilies, and takes his to himself to be for ever with him; or at the day of judgment, when he comes to judge the quick and dead; and which coming of his is certain, and will be quickly and suddenly, and with great glory and power: and, as it is here added,
with all his saints; meaning either his holy angels, or rather the souls of his people, whom he will bring with him, and will raise their dead bodies, and reunite them to their souls, when they shall be for ever with him; and then shall they be unblamable in holiness, both in soul and body, and shall be presented by him, first to himself, and then to his Father, faultless, and without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. The Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions add, "Amen"; and so does Beza's ancient copy, and the Alexandrian manuscript.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. your hearts—which are naturally the spring and seat of unholiness.
before God, even our Father—rather, "before Him who is at once God and our Father." Before not merely men, but Him who will not be deceived by the mere show of holiness, that is, may your holiness be such as will stand His searching scrutiny.
coming—Greek, "presence," or "arrival."
with all his saints—including both the holy angels and the holy elect of men (1Th 4:14; Da 7:10; Zec 14:5; Mt 25:31; 2Th 1:7). The saints are "His" (Ac 9:13). We must have "holiness" if we are to be numbered with His holy ones or "saints." On "unblameable," compare Re 14:5. This verse (compare 1Th 3:12) shows that "love" is the spring of true "holiness" (Mt 5:44-48; Ro 13:10; Col 3:14). God is He who really "stablishes"; Timothy and other ministers are but instruments (1Th 3:2) in "stablishing."
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