1:1-5 As all good comes from God, so no good can be hoped for by sinners, but from God in Christ. And the best good may be expected from God, as our Father, for the sake of Christ. We should pray, not only for ourselves, but for others also; remembering them without ceasing. Wherever there is a true faith, it will work; it will affect both the heart and life. Faith works by love; it shows itself in love to God, and love to our neighbour. And wherever there is a well-grounded hope of eternal life, this will appear by the exercise of patience; and it is a sign of sincerity, when in all we do, we seek to approve ourselves to God. By this we may know our election, if we not only speak of the things of God with out lips, but feel their power in our hearts, mortifying our lusts, weaning us from the world, and raising us up to heavenly things. Unless the Spirit of God comes with the word of God, it will be to us a dead letter. Thus they entertained it by the power of the Holy Ghost. They were fully convinced of the truth of it, so as not to be shaken in mind by objections and doubts; and they were willing to leave all for Christ, and to venture their souls and everlasting condition upon the truth of the gospel revelation.
3. work of faith—the working reality of your faith; its alacrity in receiving the truth, and in evincing itself by its fruits. Not an otiose assent; but a realizing, working faith; not "in word only," but in one continuous chain of "work" (singular, not plural, works), 1Th 1:5-10; Jas 2:22. So "the work of faith" in 2Th 1:11 implies its perfect development (compare Jas 1:4). The other governing substantives similarly mark respectively the characteristic manifestation of the grace which follows each in the genitive. Faith, love, and hope, are the three great Christian graces (1Th 5:8; 1Co 13:13).
labour of love—The Greek implies toil, or troublesome labor, which we are stimulated by love to bear (1Th 2:9; Re 2:2). For instances of self-denying labors of love, see Ac 20:35; Ro 16:12. Not here ministerial labors. Those who shun trouble for others, love little (compare Heb 6:10).
patience—Translate, "endurance of hope"; the persevering endurance of trials which flows from "hope." Ro 15:4 shows that "patience" also nourishes "hope."
hope in our Lord Jesus—literally, "hope of our Lord Jesus," namely, of His coming (1Th 1:10): a hope that looked forward beyond all present things for the manifestation of Christ.
in the sight of God and our Father—Your "faith, hope, and love" were not merely such as would pass for genuine before men, but "in the sight of God," the Searcher of hearts [Gomarus]. Things are really what they are before God. Bengel takes this clause with "remembering." Whenever we pray, we remember before God your faith, hope, and love. But its separation from "remembering" in the order, and its connection with "your … faith," &c., make me to prefer the former view.
and, &c.—The Greek implies, "in the sight of Him who is [at once] God and our Father."