by Thomas Manton
SERMONS UPON 2 THESSALONIANS 1
So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and faith in all the persecutions and tribulations which ye endure.—2 THES. 1:4.
WE still stick in the preface and introduction into this epistle, where in the apostle signifieth his singular love to the Thessalonians, manifested in two effects—first, that he had given thanks to God for them, ver. 3; secondly, gloried of them among other christians, in the text. So that in the words observe—(1.) The form and manner of the commendation; (2.) The matter of it.
First, In the manner—
1. The person commending, 'We ourselves.' In the former epistle he speaketh of their faith as praised by others: 1 Thes. 1:8, 'In every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad, so that we need not to speak anything.' Now he justifieth the common fame by his own testimony; he himself approved their constancy. (1.) Laudavi a laudato. It is easy to deceive the credulous multitude, but to deserve esteem of those who are best able to judge is a comfort to us. (2.) The fame of their receiving the faith was spread by others, but when they were in a confirmed estate of grace, Paul himself ventureth to give them his word and testimony, 'We ourselves,' &c. Where grace is eminent and notorious, it may be praised without suspicion of flattery. (3.) To keep up the value of our testimony, that it may add weight and credit to those that receive it. There was much in this, 'We ourselves.'
2. The act of praising, 'We glory in you,' καυχῶμεν. Glorying imports—(1.) Exultation or rejoicing of mind; (2.) The outward expression of it, by word of mouth or speech. The one cometh from the apprehension of some excellency, good, or the other from a desire that others may know how we are affected with it. But did this glorying become apostolical gravity? Yes; for—(1.) It was for the honour of God; for before he speaketh of the praising of them, he speaketh of his giving thanks to God, from whom they received these gifts and graces. He doth not challenge the glory as due to himself and his labours, but ascribeth all to God. (2.) For the encouragement of the Thessalonians. We ought to give a testimony to others that deserve it, not to curry favour with them, but to encourage them to perseverance in the way of God. (3.) For the example of others and the edification of the church; for he propounded them as a pattern of imitation. (4.) For his own comfort; he gloried in them as the seal and fruit of his ministry: 1 Thes. 2:20, 'For our joy and glory are ye in the Lord.' For these reasons, when the work did first speak for itself, did Paul add his testimony.
3. The persons before whom, 'In the churches of God.' Not in profane assemblies or common meetings, but where the people of God were met together to worship God and receive spiritual benefit. They are called 'churches of God'—(1.) Because God instituted and founded them: Acts 20:28, 'Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.' (2.) There God is worshipped and acknowledged: Ps. 22:3, 'He inhabiteth the praises of Israel.' (3.) There he manifests his power and presence: Eph. 2:22, 'Built up to be an habitation of God through the Spirit.'
Table of Contents
Sermon I. "So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and faith in all the persecutions and tribulations which ye endure,"
Sermon II. "Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer,"
Sermon III. "Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you that are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,"
Sermon IV. "Seeing it is a righteous thing with God," &c.,
Sermon V. "When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,"
Sermon VI. "In flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,"
Sermon VII. "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power,"
Sermon VIII. "When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day,"
Sermon IX. "When he shall come to be glorified," &c.,
Sermon X. "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power,"
Sermon XI. "Wherefore also we pray always," &c.,
Sermon XII. "Wherefore also we pray always," &c.,
Sermon XIII. "Wherefore also we pray always," &c.,
Sermon XIV. "That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ,"
Sermon XV. "That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," &c.,
Sermon XVI. "That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," &c.,