1:3 1 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith a groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
(1) The first part of the epistle, in which he rejoices that through the grace of God, they have bravely sustained all the assaults of their enemies. And in this he strengthens and encourages them, moreover showing with what gifts they must mainly fight, that is, with faith and charity, which must daily increase. 1:5 2 [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:
(a) That whereas it grew up before, it does also receive some increase every day more and more.
(2) He shows the source of all true comfort, that is, that in afflictions which we suffer from the wicked for righteousness sake, we may behold as it were in a mirror the testimony of that judgment to come, the end of which is most acceptable to us, and most severe to his enemies. 1:6 3 Seeing [it is] a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
(3) A proof: God is just, and therefore he will worthily punish the unjust, and will do away the miseries of his people. 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest 4 with us, 5 when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
(4) He strengthens and encourages them also along the way by this means, that the condition both of this present state and the state to come, is common to him with them. (5) A most glorious description of the second coming of Christ, to be set against all the miseries of the godly, and the triumphs of the wicked. 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them 6 that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
(6) There is no knowledge of God to salvation, without the Gospel of Christ. 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (7 because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
(7) They are considered as children of God by the faith which they have in the Gospel, which is preached to them by the apostles. 1:11 8 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of b [this] calling, and fulfil c all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the d work of faith with power:
(8) Seeing that we have the mark set before us, it remains that we go to it. And we go to it, by certain degrees of causes: first by the free love and good pleasure of God, by virtue of which all other inferior causes work: from there proceeds the free calling to Christ, and from calling, faith, upon which follows both the glorifying of Christ in us and us in Christ.
(b) By "calling" he does not mean the very act of calling, but that self same thing to which we are called, which is the glory of that heavenly kingdom.
(c) Which he determined long ago, only upon his gracious and merciful goodness towards you.
(d) So then, faith is an excellent work of God in us: and we plainly see here that the apostle leaves nothing to free will, to make it something which God works through, as the papists dream.