|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 6. - But now when Timotheus came from you unto us. Timothy, as we learn from the Acts, in company with Silas, joined Paul at Corinth (Acts 18:15), and brought him information concerning the state of the Thessalonian Church. And brought us good tidings; the same word which is elsewhere employed for preaching the gospel. The information which Timothy brought to the apostle was as it were a gospel to him (comp. Luke 2:10, "Behold I bring you good tidings"). Of your faith and charity. The good tidings which Timothy brought referred to the spiritual condition of the Thessalonians - their faith had not been shaken and their love had not waxed cold under the persecutions to which they were exposed; and along with their faith and love was the affection which they bore to the apostle, and their earnest desire to see him. And that ye have constant remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you. The affection between the Thessalonians and the apostle was mutual.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But now when Timotheus came from you unto us,.... At Corinth, as appears from Acts 18:5 which shows that this epistle was not written from Athens, as the subscription to it asserts, but from Corinth; for as soon as ever Timothy came from Thessalonica, to the apostle at Corinth, and made the report to him, he immediately sent them this epistle which is here suggested: "but, now", &c. just now; "lately", as the Syriac version renders it, a very little while ago, Timothy was just come:
and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity; of their faith, the grace of faith, that it was of the right kind; as far as could be judged, it was the faith of God's elect, like precious faith with theirs; an unfeigned one, strong and lively, operative and growing: or of the doctrine of faith, as received and embraced by them; as that they were greatly led, and had much light into it, and had, for the time, made considerable proficiency in it; that they held it fast, and stood fast in it, and contended for it, notwithstanding all the afflictions, reproaches, and persecutions which they either saw in the apostles, or endured themselves for the sake of it; and likewise of the profession of both the grace and doctrine of faith, which they held fast, and without wavering, and that in a pure conscience, which was good news indeed. Timothy also brought an account of their "charity", or love, which faith works by; these two graces are always found together; they are wrought in the soul by one, and the same hand, and at the same time; where the one is, the other is; and as the one flourishes and increases, so does the other. And by this grace is meant love to God, to Christ, to his truths, ordinances, ways, and worship, and to one another, and even to all men; and which was without dissimulation, in sincerity, in deed, and in truth, and was constant and fervent: and this was not the whole of the report, for it follows,
and that ye have a remembrance of us always they bore in memory the persons of the apostles; and when they made mention of their names, it was with the greatest respect and reverence; nor were they forgetful hearers of the word, but remembered with great affection and pleasure the truths, the doctrines, and exhortations they delivered to them, so as to put them in practice, and longed for another visit from them, to have their memories refreshed by them:
desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you, they had an equal desire to see their spiritual fathers, as they had to see their spiritual children. Now such a report as this concerning their steady faith in Christ, their fervent love to one another, and their affectionate regard to the ministers of the word, was a sort of a Gospel, as the word used signifies; or it was good news and glad tidings to the apostle, and those that were with him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. Join "now" with "come"; "But Timotheus having just now come from you unto us" [Alford]. Thus it appears (compare Ac 18:5) Paul is writing from Corinth.
your faith and charity—(1Th 1:3; compare 2Th 1:3, whence it seems their faith subsequently increased still more). Faith was the solid foundation: charity the cement which held together the superstructure of their practice on that foundation. In that charity was included their "good (kindly) remembrance" of their teachers.
desiring greatly—Greek, "having a yearning desire for."
we also—The desires of loving friends for one another's presence are reciprocal.
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