|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 8. - For now we live. Not to be referred to the eternal and future life (Chrysostom); or to be weakened as if it merely signified, "We relish and enjoy life notwithstanding our affliction and distress" (Pelt); but the meaning is the good tidings which Timothy has brought have imparted new life unto us; "we are in the full strength and freshness of life, we do not feel the sorrows and tribulations which the outer world prepares for us" (Lunemann). The apostle considers his condition of affliction and distress as a kind of death: so, elsewhere he says, "I die daily" (1 Corinthians 15:31); and from which death he was now again raised to life. If; provided - a hypothetical assumption. Ye stand fast; continue firm in the faith of the gospel. In the Lord; the element of true life.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For now we live,.... Before they were dead men, lifeless, disconsolate, dispirited, carrying about with them the dying of the Lord Jesus, and death working in them, and they, as it were, under the sentence of that, being killed all the day long for Christ's sake; but now, upon this news, in the midst of all their sore trials and troubles, their spirits revived, and they became alive and cheerful; see Psalm 22:26, it was like life from the dead unto them:
if ye stand fast in the Lord: or "our Lord", as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions read; that is, "in the faith of the Lord", as the Arabic version renders it: they were in the Lord secretly by electing grace, and openly by regenerating grace, and they abode in him; and by persevering grace, they were rooted and built up in Christ, and established in the faith of him, of his person, office, and grace; they were steady in the exercise of grace upon him, and stood fast in the liberty wherewith he had made them free, and continued steadfastly in the doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel; for the "if" here is not expressive of doubting, but of reasoning, "seeing ye stand fast in the Lord"; of which they were assured by Timothy: and this gave them fresh spirit and life amidst the deaths in which they often were.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. now—as the case is; seeing ye stand fast.
we live—we flourish. It revives us in our affliction to hear of your steadfastness (Ps 22:26; 2Jo 3:4).
if—implying that the vivid joy which the missionaries "now" feel, will continue if the Thessalonians continue steadfast. They still needed exhortation, 1Th 3:10; therefore he subjoins the conditional clause, "if ye," &c. (Php 4:1).
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