1 Thessalonians 1:3-4
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ…
I. A LIVELY INTEREST IN THEIR WELFARE. A person less connected with them than he could not but have admired such excellences; but he was their father; he had begotten them in the gospel, and therefore might well boast of them as his "glory and joy." Accordingly we find that whenever he came into the presence of his God and Father, he both gave thanks for them, and prayed for their still greater advancement in everything that was good. Most exalted was the joy which he felt on their account. When he saw the transcendent eminence of their attainments, he quite forgot all his own afflictions; the sight inspired new life and vigour into him; and he felt in himself a recompense which richly repaid all that he had done and suffered for their sake. This shows what are the feelings and views of every faithful minister when he sees his people thus adorning the gospel of Christ. That so great an honour should be conferred on themselves — that such advantages should be imparted to their perishing fellow creatures, and that such glory should be brought to God by their means, is to them a subject of almost stupefying amazement and overwhelming gratitude. And, while they render thanks to God for these things, they pour out their heart before Him in prayers and supplications on their behalf. In a word, these things form a bond of union between a minister and his people, such as does not exist in the whole world beside.
II. AN ASSURED CONFIDENCE IN THEIR STATE. When the apostle beheld these fruits produced by his Thessalonian converts, he had no doubt of their "election of God;" the graces they exercised were manifestly wrought in them by the power of God, who had wrought thus upon them in consequence of His own purpose, which from all eternity He had purposed in Himself. The same blessed assurance may now be entertained wherever the same ground for it exists. Assurance, so founded, can never be productive of any bad effect. When such fruits as those which the Thessalonian converts produced are visible in any, then may we indulge the pleasing thought respecting them, as they also may respecting themselves, that "God loved them with an everlasting love," and therefore with loving kindness hath He drawn them. Only we may observe — that this assurance is no farther justifiable than it is warranted by the graces which exist in the soul; with the increase of those graces it may justly rise, and with their diminution it must proportionably fall. Any other assurance than this is unscriptural and vain; but this not only may be entertained, but is the privilege and comfort of all who believe in Christ.
(C. Simeon, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;