1 Thessalonians 2:20
For ye are our glory and joy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2:17-20 This world is not a place where we are to be always, or long together. In heaven holy souls shall meet, and never part more. And though the apostle could not come to them yet, and thought he might never be able to come, yet our Lord Jesus Christ will come; nothing shall hinder that. May God give faithful ministers to all who serve him with their spirit in the gospel of his Son, and send them to all who are in darknessFor ye are our glory and joy - The meaning is, that the source of happiness to a minister of the gospel in the day of judgment will be the conversion and salvation of souls. The object of the apostle in dwelling on this in a manner so tender and affectionate is, to show them that his leaving them, and his long absence from them, were not caused by any want of affection for them.

Remarks On 1 Thessalonians 2

(1) Ministers of the gospel should be entirely sincere, and without guile. They should attempt to carry no measure - not even the conversion of sinners - by trick or management; 1 Thessalonians 2:3-5.

(2) they should not make it a point to please people; 1 Thessalonians 2:4, they do please men; or if their ministry is acceptable to people, they should not regard it, indeed, as proof that they are unfaithful, for they "should have a good report of them that are without;" nor should they make it a point to displease people, or consider it a proof that because people are offended, therefore they are faithful; but it should not be their leading aim or purpose to gratify people. They should preach the truth; and if they do this, God will take care of their reputation, and give them just as much as they ought to have. The same principle should operate with all Christians. They should do right, and leave their reputation with God.

(3) ministers of the gospel should be gentle, tender, and affectionate. They should be kind in feeling, and courteous in manner - like a father or a mother; 1 Thessalonians 2:7, 1 Thessalonians 2:11. Nothing is ever gained by a sour, harsh, crabby, dissatisfied manner. Sinners are never scolded either into duty or into heaven. "Flies are not caught with vinegar." No man is a better or more faithful preacher because he is rough in manner, coarse or harsh in his expressions, or sour in his contact with mankind. Not thus was the Master or Paul. There is no crime in being polite and courteous; none in observing the rules of good breeding, and paying respect to the sensibilities of others; and there is no piety in outraging all the laws which society has found necessary to adopt to promote happy conversation. What is wrong we should indeed oppose - but it should be in the kindest manner toward the persons of those who do wrong; what is true, and right we should maintain and defend - and we shall always do it more effectually if we do it kindly.

(4) ministers should be willing to labor in any proper calling, if it is necessary for their own support or to do good; 1 Thessalonians 2:9. It is, indeed, the duty of a people to support the gospel, but there may be situations where they are not able to do it, and a minister should be able to earn something, in some other way, and should be willing to do it. Paul made tents; and if he was willing to do that, a minister should not feel himself degraded if he is obliged to make shoes, or to hoe corn, or to plow, or to keep cattle. He had better not do it, if he can avoid it well - for he needs his time for his more important work; but he should feel it no dishonor if he is obliged to do it - and should feel that it is a privilege to preach the gospel even if he is obliged to support himself by making either tents or shoes. It is no dishonor for a minister to work hard; and it is not well for a man to enter the ministry wholly unacquainted with every other way of procuring an honest living.

(5) every minister should be able to appeal to the people among whom he has labored in proof that he is an honest man, and lives consistently with his profession; 1 Thessalonians 2:1, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-11. The same remark applies to all other Christians. They should so live that they may at once refer to their neighbors in proof of the uprightness of their lives, and their consistent walk, But to be enabled to do this, a man should live as he ought - for the world generally forms a very correct estimate of character.

(6) the joy of a minister in the day of judgment will be measured by the amount of good which he has done, and the number of souls which he has been the means of converting and saving; 1 Thessalonians 2:19. It will not be the honor which he has received from people; the titles which they have conferred on him; the commendation which he has received for eloquence or talent, or the learning which he has acquired, but it will be found in the number of those who have been converted from the error of their ways, and in the evidence of the good which he did on the earth. And will not the same thing be substantily true of all others who bear the Christian name? Will it then be a source of joy to them that they were richer than their neighbors; or that they were advanced to higher honors; or that they had a more splendid mansion, or were able to fare more "sumptuously?" The good that we do will be remembered certainly with pleasure in the day of judgment: of how many other things which now interest us so much can the same thing be said?

(7). Paul expected evidently to recognize the Thessalonian Christians at the day of judgment, for he said that they would be then his "joy and crown of rejoicin;" 1 Thessalonians 2:19. But this could not be, unless he should be able to know those who had been converted by his instrumentality. If he expected then to recognize them, and to rejoice with them, then we also may hope to know our pious friends in that happy world. Nothing in the Bible forbids this hope, and we can hardly believe that God has created the strong ties which bind us to each other, to endure for the present life only. If Paul hoped to meet those who had been converted by his instrumentality, and to rejoice with them there, then the parent may hope to meet the child over whose loss he mourned; the husband and wife will meet again; the pious children of a family will be re-assembled; and the pastor and his flock will be permitted to rejoice together before the Lord. This hope, which nothing in the Bible forbids us to entertain, should do much to alleviate the sorrow of the parting pang, and may be an important and powerful inducement to draw our own thoughts to a brighter and a better world. Of many of the living it is true that the best and dearest friends which they have are already in heaven - and how should their own hearts pant that they may meet them there!

20. Emphatical repetition with increased force. Who but ye and our other converts are our hope, &c., hereafter, at Christ's coming? For it is ye who ARE now our glory and joy. He redoubles the expression, to show his great affection, and complacency of heart in them; or to show that they more than others were this occasion of rejoicing to him. And he mentions glory as well as joy, for the great success of his ministry among them would redound to his glory in the day of Christ; as Daniel 12:3: They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever. Or, they were his glory at present, a glory to his ministry, and a seal to his apostleship.

For ye are our glory and joy. Or "our joy", as the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read; this is a repetition, and a confirmation of what is before said; and signifies that these saints were then the glory of the apostles, being the seals of their ministry; and whom they gloried of and rejoiced in, and hoped and believed they would be such, as would be their joy and crown in time to come, and for ever. For ye are our glory and joy.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Thessalonians 2:20. An impassioned answer to the question in 1 Thessalonians 2:19. Thus γάρ is not causal, but confirmatory, you or truly ye are (ὑμεῖς ἐστέ, emphatic) our glory and our joy. Comp. Winer, p. 396 [E. T. 558]; Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 473. Flatt and Hofmann refer 1 Thessalonians 2:19 to the future, to the παρουσίᾳ Χριστοῦ, and 1 Thessalonians 2:20 to the present: “Ye are now our glory and our joy, therefore I hope that ye will be yet more,” etc. Without justification, as this distinction of time would have been marked by Paul.

20. For ye are our glory and joy] Or: Yea, verily, you are our glory and joy (Ellicott). Emphasis rests both on “ye” and “are.” This delight was not matter of hope alone (1 Thessalonians 2:19), but of present fact. See ch. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4, and 1 Thessalonians 3:9 : “The joy wherewith we rejoice on your account before our God”; and 2 Thessalonians 1:4 : “We glory in you in the Churches of God.” Glory is praise and honour from others; joy is one’s own delight.

Verse 20. - For ye are our glory and joy. Some refer this verse to the present, and the former verse to the future; not merely at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but even now ye are our glory and joy. But there is no reason for this distinction; the words are merely confirmatory, and added from the fullness of the apostle's emotions.



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