5:10-14 In conclusion, the apostle prays to God for them, as the God of all grace. Perfect implies their progress towards perfection. Stablish imports the curing of our natural lightness and inconstancy. Strengthen has respect to the growth of graces, especially where weakest and lowest. Settle signifies to fix upon a sure foundation, and may refer to Him who is the Foundation and Strength of believers. These expressions show that perseverance and progress in grace are first to be sought after by every Christian. The power of these doctrines on the hearts, and the fruits in the lives, showed who are partakers of the grace of God. The cherishing and increase of Christian love, and of affection one to another, is no matter of empty compliment, but the stamp and badge of Jesus Christ on his followers. Others may have a false peace for a time, and wicked men may wish for it to themselves and to one another; but theirs is a vain hope, and will come to nought. All solid peace is founded on Christ, and flows from him.
10. Comforting assurance that God will finally "perfect" His work of "grace" in them, after they have undergone the necessary previous suffering.
But—Only do you watch and resist the foe: God will perform the rest [Bengel].
of all grace—(Compare 1Pe 4:10). The God to whom as its source all grace is to be referred; who in grace completes what in grace He began. He from the first "called (so the oldest manuscripts read for "us") unto (with a view to) glory." He will not let His purpose fall short of completion. If He does so in punishing, much more in grace. The three are fitly conjoined: the call, the glory to which we are called, and the way (suffering); the fourth is the ground of the calling, namely, the grace of God in Christ.
by—Greek, "in." Christ is He in virtue of whom, and in union with whom, believers are called to glory. The opposite is "in the world" (1Pe 5:9; Joh 16:33).
after that ye have suffered—Join to "called you": suffering, as a necessary preliminary to glory, was contemplated in God's calling.
a while—short and inconsiderable, as compared with the glory.
perfect, &c.—The two oldest manuscripts, and Vulgate and Coptic versions, read, "shall perfect (so that there shall be nothing defective in you), stablish, strengthen," and omit "settle," literally, "ground," or "fix on a foundation." Alford reads it in spite of the oldest manuscripts The authority of the latter I prefer; moreover the climax seems to require rather a verb of completing the work of grace, than, as the Greek means, founding it. The Greek has, "shall HIMSELF perfect you": though you are called on to watch and resist the foe, God Himself must really do all in and through you. The same God who begins must Himself complete the work. The Greek for "stablish" (so as to be "steadfast in the faith," 1Pe 5:9) is the same as "strengthen," Lu 22:32. Peter has in mind Christ's charge, "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." His exhortation accords with his name Peter, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church." "Stablish," so as not to waver. "Strengthen" with might in the inner man by His Spirit, against the foe.