Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come to you.…
I. THE OBJECT WHICH WE ALL SHOULD HAVE IN VIEW — "that we may be established."
1. In knowledge. This kind of knowledge Paul terms "the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God," etc. When we attain this, comprehend the gospel of Christ so completely that we see its adaptation to all our wants, it becomes its own evidence; doubt vanishes, the heart and the mind are both at rest.
2. In holiness (1 Thessalonians 3:12, 13) So that we get a fixed abhorrence of evil, and love good for its own sake, and be like God and those holy beings who minister to Him perpetually.
3. In all those external habits which flow from holiness. The holiness of the Christian's heart must be manifest in his daily habits and conduct, "in every good word and work."
II. THE MEANS WHICH MAY BE EMPLOYED TO FURTHER THAT OBJECT. God Himself is the source of the establishment of His people, but the Word of God is explicit as to the part which men should take in the same. While, therefore, it is frequently a prayer of the apostle that the Churches might be "established in the faith," this is no less the subject of exhortation (1 Corinthians 15:58). While we are using the prescribed means, we may look to Him for His needful blessing; the grace of God cooperates with the energy to which He brings His people. And among these means which God has provided are —
1. The ministry of the gospel. This is perhaps a less important means than it once was, because of the accessibility of the Word of God to all; and now each parent, each master, may become a minister of Christ in his own household. Yet still ministers have been appointed by Christ as instruments in the building up of their fellow Christians.
2. The summoning into activity all the individual powers. If you have any earnestness, decision, promptitude, courage, in prosecuting any common business, try the sincerity of your spirits by seeking whether they are manifest in seeking your spiritual progress daily.
(Baptist Noel, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.