1 Thessalonians 3:5-8

For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.

But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you —

therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith.

For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.

know (v.5) = ascertain, come to know, gain knowledge of — progress in knowledge as opposed to full knowledge

lest by some means the tempter had tempted you (v.5) — 2 Corinthians 11:2-3

tempter (v.5) — Satan — Matthew 4:3

tempted (v.5) — Peirazo, means, first, to attempt to do something, to assay, as in Acts 9:26; 16:7; 24:6; then, to make trial of deliberately, as the Queen of Sheba made trial whether Solomon were as wise as he was reputed to be, 1 Kings 10:1; and as the Pharisees made trial of the integrity of the Lord Jesus, Matthew 19:3; 22:18, and many places; or unconsciously, but not less really, as those who sinned in the wilderness made trial of the holiness of God, 1 Corinthians 10:9, cp. Hebrews 3:8-9; as Ananias and his wife made trial whether the Holy Spirit were indeed with the church, Acts 5:9; and as the Jewish believers made trial of the grace of God, Acts 15:10. — Vine, page48.

our labor might be in vain (v.5) — “might be without results” — 1 Thessalonians 2:1 —Paul wasn’t saying that the Thessalonian believers could lose their salvation. They couldn’t. But they could lose their joy and comfort found in the grace message and also their testimony to those around them if they fell victim to Satan’s temptations.

good news (v.6) = gospel — used in the Septuagint of any message calculated to have a cheering effect on those who receive it — the word “gospel” in Scripture, doesn’t always refer to the plan of salvation during this current dispensation

your faith and love (v.6) — 1 Thessalonians 1:3 — The fact that Paul didn’t include hope here is significant in light of their confusion regarding the resurrection (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13 and following).

good (v.6) = inherently good, good in nature

remembrance (v.6) — always used in connection with prayer (Philippians 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:3)

therefore (v.7) — because of Timothy’s report (v.6)

affliction (v.7) = used by Paul to refer to persecution at the hands of men, including mobs and rulers

distress (v.7) — Paul sometimes uses this word of an inward pressure of spirit, as in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “necessity”; sometimes of lack of material things, 2 Corinthians 6:4; 12:10, and here. — Vine, page 49


now we live (v.8) — Paul’s concern for his converts breathes through all his correspondence; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:28f. When they were led astray, he was indignant; when they slipped back, he was distressed; when they gave signs of living worthily of the gospel, he was overjoyed (cf. 2 Corinthians 7:6ff.). — Guthrie, page 1158

live (v.8) = enjoy life

if (v.8) = ean, used conditionally — IF they stand fast, Paul will enjoy life — This wasn’t intended to cast doubt on their faith but to show how important their stand was to Paul’s joy.

in the Lord (v.8) — To others [Paul] writes, “Stand fast in the faith,” “stand fast in (your) liberty,” “Stand fast in one spirit,” etc. but here as to the persecuted Philippians, he encourages the Thessalonians to “stand fast in the Lord.” Mark well, he does not say, “Stand fast for the Lord,” but “in the Lord.” We must all learn this lesson where standing is concerned. By grace we believers have been given a position in Christ: “accepted” in Christ (Ephesians 1:6), pronounced “complete” in Christ (Colossians 2:10), blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). All we have, we have in Christ; all we are, we are in Him. Now, says the Apostle by the Spirit, take your stand in Christ. When the world opposes, when the flesh tempts, when Satan oppresses, and doubts arise, remember God sees you “in Christ,” His beloved Son, and since He has graciously given you this position, by all means occupy it, enjoy it, by faith. Here is where we must begin the Christian life and continue it until we go to be with Christ, for to the Philippians saints, who had served the Lord for many years, he also writes: “Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved” (Philippians 4:1). — Stam, page 49.

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