|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:6-11 Most of mankind do not consider the things of another world at all, because they are asleep; or they do not consider them aright, because they sleep and dream. Our moderation as to all earthly things should be known to all men. Shall Christians, who have the light of the blessed gospel shining in their faces, be careless about their souls, and unmindful of another world? We need the spiritual armour, or the three Christian graces, faith, love, and hope. Faith; if we believe that the eye of God is always upon us, that there is another world to prepare for, we shall see reason to watch and be sober. True and fervent love to God, and the things of God, will keep us watchful and sober. If we have hope of salvation, let us take heed of any thing that would shake our trust in the Lord. We have ground on which to build unshaken hope, when we consider, that salvation is by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, to atone for our sins and to ransom our souls. We should join in prayer and praise one with another. We should set a good example one before another, and this is the best means to answer the end of society. Thus we shall learn how to live to Him, with whom we hope to live for ever.
Verse 9. - For. Not a new reason for watchfulness and sobriety, but referring to "the hope of salvation," why we may with confidence put on such a hope as a helmet. God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain - or, to the acquisition of - salvation by - or, through - our Lord Jesus Christ. Not through the doctrine of Christ, nor even through faith in Christ, but through the Lord Jesus Christ himself, through what he has done for us, and especially through his atoning death. The appointment of God's grace is here mentioned as the efficient cause of our salvation; and the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Mediator through whom salvation is bestowed.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For God hath not appointed us to wrath,.... To destruction and ruin, the effect of wrath; though there are some that are vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction, of old ordained to condemnation, and who are reserved for the day of evil; but there are others who are equally children of wrath, as deserving of the wrath of God in themselves as others, who are not appointed to it; which is an instance of wonderful and distinguishing grace to them:
but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ; salvation is alone by Christ, he alone has wrought it out; it is in him, and in no other; he was appointed to this work, was called and sent, and came to do it, and has done it; and God's elect, who were chosen in him, are appointed in the counsel and purpose of God, to obtain, possess, and enjoy this salvation; and which, as this appointment may be known, as it was by these Thessalonians; the Gospel having come to them, not in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as it is an encouragement to faith and hope, so it excites to sobriety and watchfulness, and the discharge of every duty. The doctrine of predestination does not lead to despair, but encourages the hope of salvation; and it is no licentious doctrine, for election to salvation by Christ is through sanctification of the Spirit, and unto holiness; and good works are the fruits of it, and are what God has foreordained his people should walk in.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. For—assigning the ground of our "hopes" (1Th 5:8).
appointed us—Translate, "set" (Ac 13:47), in His everlasting purpose of love (1Th 3:3; 2Ti 1:9). Contrast Ro 9:22; Jude 4.
to—that is, unto wrath.
to obtain—Greek, "to the acquisition of salvation"; said, according to Bengel, Of One saved out of a general wreck, when all things else have been lost: so of the elect saved out of the multitude of the lost (2Th 2:13, 14). The fact of God's "appointment" of His grace "through Jesus Christ" (Eph 1:5), takes away the notion of our being able to "acquire" salvation of ourselves. Christ "acquired (so the Greek for 'purchased') the Church (and its salvation) with His own blood" (Ac 20:28); each member is said to be appointed by God to the "acquiring of salvation." In the primary sense, God does the work; in the secondary sense, man does it.
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