That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)That the name . . .—This verse gathers up what has been said in 2Thessalonians 1:8-10. Seeing the favours bestowed upon the Christians in the last day, all, the lost as well as the saved, will be forced to acknowledge the glory (i.e., the divine perfection) of the Jesus whose Christship had been rejected, and the glory (i.e., the true dignity) of the Christians who had been despised for their allegiance to Him. It stands to reason that Christians must share Christ’s “glory” (i.e., full recognition; comp. Note on 1Thessalonians 2:6) in that day, for when the lost recognise what He is, it is ipso facto a recognition that they were right and wise to follow Him. The words “according to the grace” belong only to “and ye in Him:” it is the gracious will (for “grace” here has hardly its strict theological sense) of God, in which Christ concurs, that we should be thus “glorified in Him.”
And ye in him - That you may be regarded and treated as his friends when he shall come to judge the world.
According to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ - That is, that you may experience all the honor which his grace is fitted to impart.
In view of the exposition given of this chapter, we may remark:
(1) That the wicked will certainly be punished when the Lord Jesus shall come to judgment. Words cannot reveal this truth more plainly than is done in this chapter, and if it is not to be so, then language has no meaning.
(2) the punishment of the wicked will be eternal. It is impossible for language to teach that doctrine more clearly than is done in this chapter. If it were admitted to have been the intention of God to teach the doctrine of eternal punishment, it is impossible to conceive that he could have chosen more plain and positive language to express the doctrine than has been done here. Can it be, then, that he means to trifle with people on so solemn a subject, by using words which have no meaning?
(3) it will greatly aggravate the punishment of the wicked that it will be "a righteous thing" for God thus to punish them. If they were to suffer as martyrs; if in their sufferings they could feel that they were oppressed and crushed beneath mere power; if they could feel that they were right and that God was wrong; if they could get up a party in the universe against God, sympathizing with them as if they were wronged, the case would be changed. A man can endure suffering much more easily when he has a good conscience, and feels that he is right, than he can when he feels that what he endures is deserved. But the sinner in hell can never have this consolation. He will forever feel that God is right and that he is wrong, and that every pang which he endures is deserved.
(4) if it be a "righteous thing" that the wicked shall be punished, then they never can be saved by mere justice. No one will go to heaven because he deserves or merits it. All dependence on human merit, therefore, is taken away in the matter of salvation, and if the sinner is ever saved, it will be by grace, and not by justice.
(5) if it is a "righteous thing" that the sinner should perish, he will perish. God will do right to all.
(6) it is amazing that the mass of men have so little concern about their future condition. God has plainly revealed that he will destroy the wicked forever, and that it will be a righteous thing for him to do it; and yet the mass of mankind are wholly unconcerned, and disregard all the solemn declarations of the Bible on this subject as if they were idle tales. One would suppose that the very possibility of eternal suffering would rouse all the sensibilities of the soul, and lead to the earnest inquiry whether it is not possible to avoid it. Yet the mass of people feel no concern in this inquiry. It is impossible to ever get them to think of it. We cannot get them even to ask the question, seriously, whether they themselves are to be happy or miserable for all eternity. This stupidity and indifference is the most unaccountable fact on earth, and probably distinguishes this world from all others.
(7) it is rational to think of religion; to reflect on eternity; to be serious; to be anxious about the future state. If there is even a possibility that we may be miserable forever, it is proper to be serious about it. And if there is a solemn declaration of God that it will be a "righteous thing" for him to punish the wicked, and that he will "punish them with everlasting destruction," assuredly the mind should be concerned. Is there anything more worthy the calm and sober attention of the human soul than such solemn declarations of the infinite God?
in you, and ye in him—reciprocal glorification; compare Isa 28:5, "The Lord of hosts shall be … a crown of glory and … a diadem of beauty unto … His people," with Isa 62:3, "Thou (Zion) shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem," &c. (Joh 21:10; Ga 1:24; 1Pe 4:14). The believer's graces redound to Christ's glory, and His glory, as their Head, reflects glory on them as the members.
the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ—There is but one Greek article to both, implying the inseparable unity of God and the Lord Jesus.That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him; opwv. All expositors agree that these words contain in them a final cause, as the Greek word imports; and so understand them as the ultimate end of the apostle’s prayer for them; he had prayed for things that did concern their salvation, but he looked further, which was, that thereby the name of the Lord Jesus may be glorified in them. The glory of Christ and the saints’ salvation are wrapt up together; and though they are to look immediately to the latter, yet ultimately to the former. But whether the apostle means the glorifying Christ in this life, or the life to come, is a question. I rather think the words refer to the life to come, when the name of Christ shall be for ever glorified in the salvation of his people, when all the good pleasure of God’s goodness shall be fulfilled upon them, they having been kept in the faith by the power of God unto the end, through Jesus Christ; and then also they shall be glorified not only by him, as we may read the text, but in him, in being received into a participation of the same glory with Jesus Christ, and by their union with him are glorified in him, John 17:22 Colossians 3:4 1Jo 3:2. And when this is done, then have they received the prize of their calling, then is the whole good pleasure of God’s goodness fulfilled, then is the work of faith accomplished; which things the apostle saith he prayed for in their behalf.
According to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ: what the apostle before called the good pleasure of God’s goodness, he here calls his grace, and he adds the grace of Christ, because the grace or favour of both are so eminently manifested in these things, whereby not only the name of God, but of Christ also, shall be glorified, as he said before; and that it may be glorified in them according to his grace, that is, greatly glorified; and they glorified in him according to the grace of God and Jesus Christ, that is, greatly glorified, as we may further understand the words; the grace of God being exceeding great towards them in Jesus Christ. And hereby the apostle would exclude all thoughts about their own merit, 2 Thessalonians 1:11.
and ye in him; that is, that ye may be glorified; the saints are now glorified in him as their head and representative, being raised together and made to sit together in heavenly places in him; and when the work of grace is finished upon their souls, they will be glorified together with him and by him; and in the resurrection morn shall appear in glory with him both in soul and body, and shall be made like him, and everlastingly enjoy him and see him as he is; the Alexandrian copy reads and us "in him"; and all this will be as it is wished for, "according to the grace of our God, and the Lord Jesus Christ"; according to the grace and free favour of God in election, and of Jesus Christ in, redemption, and of the blessed Spirit in sanctification; for election, redemption, calling, justification, pardon, adoption, and the whole of salvation from first to last are of grace and not of works; and according to this, all these things must be prayed for the application of, and must be expected only on such a foot; and to this must all be ascribed, the glory of which is the ultimate end of God, in all he has done, does, or will do for his people.That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2 Thessalonians 1:12. Τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ κυρίου ἡμ. Ἰησοῦ] The name of our Lord Jesus, i.e. so far as He is the κύριος, the Lord; comp. Php 2:9 ff. Arbitrarily, de Wette: Christ, so far as He is recognised and known. Still more arbitrarily Turretin, Moldenhauer, Koppe, and others: ὄνομα κυρίου is a mere circumlocution for κύριος.
ἐν αὐτῷ] refers not to Ἰησοῦ (so Alford), but to τὸ ὄνομα; and the giving prominence to the mutual reciprocity, ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν αὐτῷ, is an exhaustive representation. Comp. Galatians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 6:13.
κατὰ τὴν χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ] according to the grace of our God and of the (see Winer, p. 113 [E. T. 154]) Lord Jesus. According to Hofmann and Riggenbach, Christ is here named both our God and our Lord,—an interpretation which, indeed, grammatically is no less allowable than the interpretation of the doxology, ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, Romans 9:5, as an apposition to ὁ Χριστός, but is equally inadmissible, as it would contain an un-Pauline thought; on account of which also Hilgenfeld, Ztschr. f. d. wiss. Theol., Halle 1862, p. 264, in the interest of the supposed spuriousness of the Epistle, has forthwith appropriated to himself this discovery of Hofmann.2 Thessalonians 1:12. Here at any rate it is impossible to take χάριν in a universalistic sense (so Robinson, Ephesians, pp. 225 f.), as though it implied that Christians were put on the same level as O.T. saints. The idea is the merciful favour of God, to the exclusion of human merit. The main topic of the letter is now brought forward; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 gives the occasion for the λόγος παρακλήσεως (2 Thessalonians 1:3-12) which follows.12. that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you] Once more read Lord Jesus (R. V.), not Lord Jesus Christ.
For this end, “to be glorified in His saints,” we were told in 2 Thessalonians 1:10, Christ is coming; the call by which God summoned the Thessalonians in the Gospel has this in view; with the same purpose, therefore, the Apostle prays for the fulfilment of the work of grace in them. There is nothing he desires in his own case so much as “that Christ may be magnified” (Php 1:20); nor anything that he covets more eagerly for his friends.
But now it is the Saviour’s name that is to be glorified; for their salvation, when complete, will set forth with astonishing lustre the Divine-human name of our Lord Jesus. This “name” is “glorified,” when its full import is recognized, and the worship which it requires is paid to Him who bears it. So in Php 2:9-10, we read how the work and sufferings of Christ will have their consummation when “in the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!”
and ye in him] This glorification will be mutual. It will be the honour of the Head to have such members, and of the members to have such a Head; of the “Firstborn” to have such and so many younger brethren (Romans 8:29), and theirs to have such an Elder Brother. This is the perfection of love, that each should see its own joy and pride in the other. Comp. 2 Corinthians 1:14, “we are your glorying, as you are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.” For the glorification of the saints in Christ, its nature and conditions, see farther, Romans 8:17-23; Romans 8:28-30; Colossians 3:1-4; Php 3:20; 2 Timothy 2:10-13.
And this joyous and triumphant issue of the faith of the persecuted Thessalonians is according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus christ. “Our God” is the fountain, “the Lord Jesus Christ” the channel of this grace.
The “grace of God and of Christ”—now named from one, now from another of its Divine Bestowers, seldom, as here, from both—had from the first this issue of its working in view. And the glorious result is only what we might expect from such grace. It is “the grace of our God,” as it shows Him to be ours and makes Him ours in experience. Our God is a rare expression with St Paul, occurring twice here (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12), twice in 1Th (2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:9), and only once elsewhere, 1 Corinthians 6:11; more frequent is God our Father, or occasionally our God and Father. It is found often in St John’s Apocalypse.
For the meaning of Grace, and its place in St Paul’s vocabulary, see note on 1 Thessalonians 1:1, adding the following observations.—There is no word in the N.T. more original and characteristic than this. Its usage springs from the nature of the Gospel of Christ, as that expresses the character of God and His relationship towards men. (1) The radical sense of Grace (charis) in common Greek is pleasingness. From the artistic feeling of the Greek mind, this came to be synonymous with loveliness (gracefulness), which was idolized in the three Graces (Charites), embodiments of all that is charming in person and in social life. Such was the connection of this word with religion in classical Greek. (2) It further signified pleasingness of disposition, favour—both in the active sense (a) of obligingness, graciousness; and in the passive sense (b) of acceptableness. In the Greek of the O.T., Psalm 45:2, “Grace is poured into thy lips,” supplies an example of (a), similarly Colossians 4:6; while (b) is exemplified in the familiar phrase, to “find grace in the eyes of” so and so (comp. Luke 2:52). On 2a is based the specific N.T. signification of Grace, so conspicuous in St Paul. It denotes, therefore, (3) the favour of God towards mankind, revealed in Jesus Christ. Hence, on the one hand, it stands in contrast with human sin and ill-desert (“where sin multiplied, grace superabounded,” Romans 5:20); and is the moving cause of man’s salvation, embodied and acting in Jesus Christ, above all in His death upon the Cross (John 1:17; Titus 2:11; Galatians 2:21; &c.): God’s grace is His redeeming love to sinners. On the other hand, it is the attribute of God’s Fatherhood: “Grace to you … from God the Father” (2 Thessalonians 1:2, &c.; comp. ch. 2 Thessalonians 2:16; John 1:14). The revelation of the Grace and the Fatherhood of God go together. Grace acts in the way of forgiveness (St Paul’s “forgive” in Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 2:13; Colossians 3:13, is derived from charis, and signifies to “show grace”), and in the free gift of the blessings of salvation (Romans 3:24; Romans 5:17, &c.). Hence, in the Apostle’s teaching, Grace is opposed not only to sin which it conquers and destroys, but to human merit which it sets aside—to “works of law” regarded as means of our salvation, and to everything that would make God’s benefits conferred on us in Christ matters of “debt” on His part: see Romans 3:19-21; Romans 4:4-15; Galatians 2:15-21; Ephesians 2:1-10, for the establishment of this leading principle of St Paul’s doctrine. It is the idea of mercy (not grace) that in the O.T. brings us nearest to this N.T. conception. But while the former expresses God’s pitiful disposition as the Almighty toward man who is weak and wretched, this denotes His loving, forgiving disposition as our Father in Christ toward sinful and lost men.—Two further uses of the word, arising out of this principal use, should be noted. Grace signifies (4) sometimes an act, or bestowment of God’s grace—this or that manifestation of grace (Romans 1:5; Ephesians 3:8). (5) Sometimes, again, it denotes a state of grace in man,—God’s grace realized and operative in the Christian: “this grace in which we stand,” Romans 5:2 (comp. 2 Timothy 2:1; 2 Peter 3:18; &c.).—(6) Lastly, charis bears in the N.T. and in common Greek the sense of thanks, gratefulness.
The course of the Apostle’s Thanksgiving has carried his readers far away from their present troubles into a region of heavenly rest and triumph; while for a moment, by the way, it lifts the curtain to reveal the judgement hanging over their tormentors. The “vengeance” that awaits the latter, and the “relief” that awaits the former, are in each case a just and inevitable recompense.2 Thessalonians 1:12. Τὸ ὄνομα, the name) We confer nothing on the Lord, whereas the Lord really confers upon us salvation; and hence His name is glorified in us; and we ourselves moreover in Him.—χάριν, grace) with this grace in view, he mentioned ἀγαθωσύνης, of goodness, 2 Thessalonians 1:11.
—————Verse 12. - That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; or simply, of our Lord Jesus, "Christ" not being in the original. The "name of our Lord Jesus" is not a mere periphrasis for the Lord Jesus himself, but the name denotes his nature and character. The second petition of our Lord's prayer is "Hallowed be thy Name," and this the apostle applies to Christ; he prays that his Name may be hallowed among the Thessalonians - an incidental proof of his divinity. May be glorified in you, and you in him; a twofold glorification: Christ is glorified in believers, when by their holiness they promote his cause and reflect his glory; and believers are glorified in Christ, when they receive out of his infinite fulness. According to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Some suppose that the epithet "God" also belongs to Jesus Christ, but the construction hardly bears this meaning.
In no case where it is joined with Jesus, or Christ, or Lord Jesus, does it mean the title or dignity. Paul follows O.T. usage, according to which the name of the Lord is often used for all that the name covers; so that the name of the Lord equals the Lord himself.
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