1 Thessalonians 3:6
But just now, Timothy has returned from his visit with the good news about your faith, your love, and the fond memories you have preserved, longing to see us just as we long to see you.
Faith and Charity1 Thessalonians 3:6
News that GladdensG. Barlow.1 Thessalonians 3:6
Great Desire to See the ThessaloniansR. Finlayson 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13
The Happy Issue of Timothy's Visit to ThessalonicaT. Croskery 1 Thessalonians 3:6-8
The Return of TimotheusB.C. Caffin 1 Thessalonians 3:6-10

This Epistle was written immediately after Timothy's return as expressive of the apostle's hearty relief at his tidings.

I. THE GOOD TIDINGS. "Your faith and charity, and that ye have remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you."

1. Their faith. He was gratified to hear of the steadfastness and soundness of their faith. They abounded in the

(1) grace of faith, which was unfeigned, growing, and lively;

(2) in the doctrine of faith, which had much light in it;

(3) in the profession of faith, which they held fast without wavering, out of a pure conscience.

2. Their love. This, which was the fruit of their faith, had not waxed cold on account of abounding iniquity. Their faith worked by love. The two graces are always found together. Christian love must be without dissimulation, in deed and in truth, fervent and constant.

3. Their constant and kindly remembrance of the apostle. "Ye have a good remembrance of us always." They thought much of their spiritual teachers, bore their persons in memory, thought of them with gratitude and respect, and, no doubt, remembered them in their prayers.

4. Their desire to see the apostle. They desired to have their memories refreshed by a personal visit from him. If they had begun to fall away, they would not have been so anxious to see him. There was a tender attachment on both sides, for there was a longing on both sides for further fellowship.

II. THE EFFECTS OF THESE GOOD TIDINGS ON THE APOSTLE. "Therefore we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith."

1. They enabled him, if not to forget, at least to bear up, under a weighty burden of trial. He was now at Corinth, in peril and persecution from the Jews, who "opposed themselves and blasphemed" (Acts 18:5-17; 1 Corinthians 2:3). He was disconsolate and dispirited, almost like a dead man, carrying about with him the dying of the Lord Jesus; but now the news of Timothy revived him, like life from the dead, infusing into him new life and vigor. It was their faith especially which comforted him. There is no comfort to a minister comparable to that which springs from the stability and perseverance of his people.

2. The very continuance of his life seemed to be dependent upon their steadfastness. "For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord." The language is almost painfully strong. It suggested to them:

(1) The necessity of continued watchfulness and faith.

(2) The true secret of steadfastness - being "in the Lord." Thus only would "they build themselves up in their most holy faith," "continuing steadfastly in the Church's prayers and instructions."

(3) How much they could affect, not the comfort only, but the life of their teachers, by their vigilance and perseverance! - T.C.

But now when Timotheus came from you unto us
With what anxiety a father entrusts his son with a commission to visit an estate in a distant land and to investigate its affairs, which are threatened for the time being. He is in suspense until he receives intelligence of the safe arrival of his loved messenger, and of the prosperity of the estate. But when his son returns and assures him that everything is prosperous, the father's satisfaction is complete. "As cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Such, in a higher sense, was the experience of Paul here.


1. Their faith in the great truths of the gospel was maintained. The revelation of Divine truth is the basis of all faith. This truth as it affected their salvation had been successfully declared to them. They comprehended its meaning, felt its force, embraced it, were transformed by it. Amid the shock of persecution, and the insidious whisperings of false teachers, they held fast to "the form of sound words."

2. Their faith as a principle of active spiritual life was maintained. True faith is not simply a belief, but a life: not merely an assent of the mind to truth, but the impartation of a spiritual force. It forms a new era in the experience and history of the soul. It unites us to the Living God, and expands to our view, however dimly, the vast outline of the life of God as the pattern of our own.

II. THE APOSTLE WAS GLADDENED WITH GOOD TIDINGS OF LOVE MANIFESTED. "Brought us good tidings of your charity." Love is the fruit of faith, both in its inward experience and outward manifestation. Faith and love are indissolubly combined (1 John 3:23). The first exercise of love is towards God; and then towards all whom God loves. Such love is impartial and universal — manifested towards all in whom we discern the image of God, whatever their country or condition. Where faith and love reign there is a living, healthy, and prosperous Church.


1. The apostle was fondly remembered. "Ye have good remembrance of us always." There are some scenes of nature which, beheld but for a moment, never fade from the memory; there are some faces we can never forget; and there are some individuals whose influence remains with us through life. The Thessalonians had good reason to remember Paul. The minister who first led us to the Cross, will ever have the preeminence in our affection, and the choicest spot in our memory. A high appreciation of the Christian minister is one of the evidences of possessing genuine faith and love.

2. They were as solicitous as the apostle for a renewal of Christian fellowship. "Desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you." There is no bond so tender, and strong, as that existing between the preacher and his converts. He must needs love the souls he has been instrumental in saving, and who are his glory and his joy. The intercourse between such is of the purest and highest kind. Never was there a more loving heart than that of the Apostle Paul. The Thessalonians warmly reciprocated that love; and longed to renew the fellowship by which they had so richly profited.Lessons:

1. That church has the best reputation where faith is maintained and love manifested.

2. The Christian minister is cheered by the affection and stability of his converts.

(G. Barlow.)

Your faith is the guide, but your love is the way that leads to God.

( Ignatius.)

Paul, Thessalonians, Timotheus, Timothy
Athens, Thessalonica
Affectionate, Always, Charity, Cherish, Constant, Declared, Desiring, Faith, Glad, Greatly, Happy, Kindly, Longing, Love, Memories, News, Pleasant, Recently, Recollection, Remember, Remembrance, Reported, Tidings, Timotheus, Timothy
1. Paul testifies his great love to the Thessalonians,
5. partly by sending Timothy unto them to strengthen and comfort them;
7. partly by rejoicing in their well-doing;
10. and partly by praying for them, and desiring a safe coming unto them.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Thessalonians 3:6

     8021   faith, nature of

1 Thessalonians 3:6-10

     5426   news

Whether the Movement of the Saints Will be Instantaneous?
Objection 1: It would seem that movement of the saints will be instantaneous. For Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xxii, 30) that "wherever the spirit listeth there will the body be." Now the movement of the will, whereby the spirit wishes to be anywhere, is instantaneous. Therefore the body's movement will be instantaneous. Objection 2: Further, the Philosopher (Phys. iv, 8) proves that there is no movement through a vacuum, because it would follow that something moves instantaneously, since a vacuum
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Calvin -- Enduring Persecution for Christ
John Calvin was born in 1509, at Noyon, France. He has been called the greatest of Protestant commentators and theologians, and the inspirer of the Puritan exodus. He often preached every day for weeks in succession. He possest two of the greatest elements in successful pulpit oratory, self-reliance and authority. It was said of him, as it was afterward said of Webster, that "every word weighed a pound." His style was simple, direct, and convincing. He made men think. His splendid contributions to
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Volume I

Literature. I. Sources. The works of the Greek and Roman Classics from Homer to Virgil and the age of the Antonines. The monuments of Antiquity. The writings of the early Christian Apologists, especially Justin Martyr: Apologia I. and II.; Tertullian: Apologeticus; Minucius Felix: Octavius; Eusebius: Praeparatio Evangelica; and Augustine (d. 430): De Civitate Dei (the first ten books). II. Later Works. Is. Vossius: De theologia gentili et physiolog. Christ. Frcf. 1675, 2 vols. Creuzer (d. 1858):
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

The Beginning of the New Testament
[Illustration: (drop cap T) Coin of Thessalonica] Turn to the list of books given in the beginning of your New Testament. You will see that first come the four Gospels, or glimpses of the Saviour's life given by four different writers. Then follows the Acts of the Apostles, and, lastly, after the twenty-one epistles, the volume ends with the Revelation. Now this is not the order in which the books were written--they are only arranged like this for our convenience. The first words of the New Testament
Mildred Duff—The Bible in its Making

Paul at Corinth
'After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 2. And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. 3. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tent-makers. 4. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. 5. And when Silas and Timotheus
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The Protevangelium.
As the mission of Christ was rendered necessary by the fall of man, so the first dark intimation of Him was given immediately after the fall. It is found in the sentence of punishment which was passed upon the tempter. Gen. iii. 14, 15. A correct understanding of it, however, can be obtained only after we have ascertained who the tempter was. It is, in the first place, unquestionable that a real serpent was engaged in the temptation; so that the opinion of those who maintain that the serpent is only
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Growth in Grace
'But grow in grace.' 2 Pet 3:38. True grace is progressive, of a spreading and growing nature. It is with grace as with light; first, there is the crepusculum, or daybreak; then it shines brighter to the full meridian. A good Christian is like the crocodile. Quamdiu vivet crescit; he has never done growing. The saints are not only compared to stars for their light, but to trees for their growth. Isa 61:1, and Hos 14:4. A good Christian is not like Hezekiah's sun that went backwards, nor Joshua's
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Concerning Persecution
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 We are now come to the last beatitude: Blessed are they which are persecuted . . '. Our Lord Christ would have us reckon the cost. Which of you intending to build a tower sitteth not down first and counteth the cost, whether he have enough to finish it?' (Luke 14:28). Religion will cost us the tears of repentance and the blood of persecution. But we see here a great encouragement that may
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

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