3:1 Finally, 1 brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have [free] course, and be glorified, even as [it is] with you:
(1) He adds now consequently according to his manner, various admonitions: the first of them is, that they pray for the increase and passage of the Gospel, and for the safety of the faithful ministers of it. 3:2 And that we may be delivered from a unreasonable and wicked men: 2 for all [men] have not faith.
(a) Who do not do or care about their duty. (2) It is no wonder that the Gospel is hated by so many, seeing that faith is a rare gift of God. Nonetheless, the Church will never be destroyed by the multitude of the wicked, because it is grounded and stayed upon the faithful promise of God. 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep [you] from b evil.
(b) From Satans snares, or from evil. 3:4 3 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
(3) The second admonition is, that they always follow the doctrine of the apostles as a rule for their life. 3:5 4 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
(4) Thirdly, he diligently and earnestly admonishes them of two things which are given to us only by the grace of God, that is, of charity, and a watchful mind to the coming of Christ. 3:6 5 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
(5) Fourthly, he says that idle and lazy persons ought not to be supported by the Church; indeed, they are not to be endured. 3:7 6 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
(6) Lest he might seem to deal harshly with them, he sets forth himself as an example, who besides his travail in preaching, laboured with his hands, which he says he was not bound to do. 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, c neither should he eat.
(c) What will we do then with those fat lazy monks, and sacrificing priests? A monk (says Socrates, book eight, of his Tripartite History) who does not work with hands, is like a thief. 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among 7 you disorderly, working not at all, 8 but are busybodies.
(7) How great a fault idleness is, he declares in that God created no man in vain or to no purpose, neither is there any to whom he has not allotted as it were a certain position and place. From which it follows, that the order which God has appointed is troubled by the idle, indeed broken, which is great sin and wickedness. (8) He reprehends a vice, which is joined with the former, upon which follows an infinite sort of mischiefs: that is, that there are none more busy in other mens matters, than they who neglect their own. 3:12 9 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
(9) The Lord commands and the apostles pray in the name of Christ, first, that no man be idle, and next, that every man quietly and carefully sees to do his duty in that office and calling in which the Lord has placed him. 3:13 10 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
3:14 11 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no 12 company with him, 13 that he may be ashamed.
(10) We must take heed that the unworthiness of some men does not cause us to be slack in well-doing.
3:15 14 Yet count [him] not as an enemy, but admonish [him] as a brother.
(11) Excommunication is a punishment for the obstinate.
(12) We must have no familiarity or fellowship with the one who has been excommunicated.
(13) The end of the excommunication is not the destruction, but the salvation of the sinner, that at least through shame he may be driven to repentance.
3:16 15 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord [be] with you all.
(14) We must avoid familiarity with the one who has been excommunicated in such a way, that we diligently seek every occasion and means that may be, to bring them again into the right way.
3:17 16 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.
(15) Prayers are the seals of all exhortations.
(16) The apostle writes the conclusion of his letter with his own hand, so that false letters might not be brought and put in place of true ones.