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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

2 Thessalonians 1

Verse 1

1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Ver. 1. In God our Father, and the Lord, &c. ] As God is in his people of a truth,1 Corinthians 14:25; 1 Corinthians 14:25 , so are they in God; and as Christ is at God’s right hand, so is the Church at Christ’s right hand, Psalms 45:9 . Yea, they are in him, and part of him, &c.

Verse 2

2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ver. 2. Grace be to you, &c. ] See Trapp on " 1Co 1:3 "

And the Lord Jesus Christ ] Who is both the fountain, John 1:16 , and the conduit, John 1:17 ; for of his fulness we have all received grace for grace. Grace, that is, God’s favour and reconciliation; for grace, that is, for the favour and love that God the Father bare unto his Son, Ephesians 1:6 .

Verse 3

3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

Ver. 3. We are bound to thank God ] Duty is a debt, and a good heart is not well till it have discharged it. As he that hath somewhat lying on his stomach cannot be at ease till he hath got it up, so neither must we, till disburdened in sounding forth God’s praises for the good he hath bestowed on us, or on others for our use. This, saith Luther, is sancta crapula; and it can be no hurt to have our hearts thus overcharged.

Because that your faith groweth exceedingly ] As corn or plants do after a binding drought. They were under persecution, 2 Thessalonians 1:4 , and gat by it. Storms of persecution beat God’s people into their harbour; make them look to their tackling, patience; to their anchor, hope; to their helm, faith; to their card, the word of God; to their captain, Christ; whereas security, like a calm, maketh us forget both our danger and deliverer; Adversity hath whipped many a soul to heaven, saith one, which otherwise prosperity had coached to hell. We are like to children’s tops, saith another, that will go but little longer than they are whipped. How often are we sitting down on earth, as if we were loth to go any further, till affliction call to us, as the angel to Elijah, "Up, thou hast a great way to go," and then we trigg.

Verse 4

4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

Ver. 4. For your patience and faith ] Faith patienteth the heart, by putting the head into heaven beforehand, and giving a man a glimpse of future glory. Faith drinks to a suffering saint in a cup of Nepenthes, and saith, "Be of good courage, and of good carriage under the cross." Flebile principium melior fortuna sequetur. The right hand of the Lord can mend all. Faith wraps itself in the promises, lays the soul upon Christ, and maketh it of weak to become strong, Hebrews 11:34 . Whatsoever cross cometh upon it, faith is either as a wreath between the shoulder and the burden, that it wring not, or else a remover of it from the soul to God, by virtue of that writ or warrant, Psalms 55:22 ; "Cast thy burden," &c.

Verse 5

5 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:

Ver. 5. Which is a manifest token ] ενδειγμα , indigitatio. The saints’ sufferings here are an ocular demonstration of a future judgment, wherein all their wrongs shall be righted, all their labour of love recompensed. This held Job’s head above water, when else he had been overwhelmed with the floods of affliction, Job 19:25 . So Daniel 12:1-2 . Though things be otherwise darkly delivered, yet when the Jews were to lose land and life, then plainly the general judgment is mentioned: soHebrews 11:35; Hebrews 11:35 .

Verse 6

6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

Ver. 6. To recompense tribulation ] To trouble these troublers of Israel, and that throughout all eternity, because they would be always troubling God’s people if they might; as it is said of the scorpion, that there is not one minute wherein it doth not put forth the sting. (Pliny.)

Verse 7

7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

Ver. 7. Rest with us ] As Noah’s ark, after much tossing, rested upon the mountains of Ararat; as the ark of the covenant, formerly transportative, was at length settled in Solomon’s temple. The word ανεσιν here used properly signifieth remission and relaxation from hard labour, Revelation 14:13 ; "they rest from their labours." And as the sleep of a labouring man is sweet, so here.

With his mighty angels ] Oh, what a glorious day must that needs be, when so many glorious suns shall shine at once; the Lord Christ outshining them all, velut inter ignes luna minores! he will not leave one angel in heaven behind him, Mark 8:38 .

Verse 8

8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Ver. 8. In flaming fire ] Natural fire, 2 Peter 3:6-7 , whereby the elements shall melt like scalding lead upon the wicked, while they give account with all the world on a flaming fire about their ears. Of this last dreadful fire the very heathen had some blind notions. Esse quoque in fatis meminit, &c. (Ovid, Metam. lib. i.) Lucretius and Cicero (De Nat. Deor.) say somewhat to it, but little to the purpose.

And that obey not the gospel ] This is the grand sin of this age,John 3:19; John 3:19 . No sin will gripe so in hell as this. This will be a bodkin at the heart one day, I might have been delivered, but I have wilfully cut the throat of my poor soul by refusing those rich offers of mercy made me in the gospel.

Verse 9

9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Ver. 9. Who shall be punished ] Here is the pain of sense, of eternity, of extremity.

From the presence ] Here is the pain of loss, which is of the two the greater.

And from the glory of his power ] God will set himself to inflict upon the damned such a measure of misery as his power can extend unto.

Verse 10

10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Ver. 10. To be glorified ] This is the chief end of his coming, like as he reprobateth some that his mercy in electing others may the more appear.

To be admired ] When they shall be seen to shine as the firmament, nay, as the stars, Daniel 12:3 , nay, as the sun,Matthew 13:43; Matthew 13:43 , nay, as Christ himself, that Sun of righteousness, to the great admiration of all men. Admiration is the overplus of expectation; Christ admired at his own work in the Centurion’s faith, in Nathanael’s integrity ("Behold an Israelite indeed"), in his spouse’s beauty, Son 4:1-16 How much more shall others admire it at that day, when grace shall become glory, when there shall be no spot, wrinkle, or other deformity! when the saints shall set the crown upon Christ’s head, Song of Solomon 3:11 , and cast down their crowns at his feet, Revelation 4:10-11 , saying, "Thou art worthy," &c.

Verse 11

11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

Ver. 11. The work of faith with power ] Without which power neither the goodness of God, nor the good pleasure of his goodness, that is, his decree of glorifying us, nor the work of faith, could be effected.

Verse 12

12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ver. 12. That the name of our Lord ] It is much for the honour of the saints that Christ shall account himself glorified in their glory. Neither is it for their honour only, but for their advantage; for this glory of Christ shall redound unto them; therefore it is added by the apostle, "And ye in him."

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 1". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.