1 Thessalonians 3:11 MEANING

1 Thessalonians 3:11
(11) God himself and our Father.--Better, our God and Father Himself. If we are to find any special person with whom the word "Himself" is intended to enforce a contrast, the contrast is probably not so much with the baffled efforts of St. Paul, as with Satan, who had hindered the journey. But the word is probably added without such specific reference: "May God Himself direct us; for in that case who could hinder?"

And our Lord . . .--An important theological passage. From the use of the singular in the verb "direct" (which of course the English cannot express), some divines argue in favour of the Catholic doctrine of "homosion," or substantial unity of the Son with the Father: it must not, however, be too strongly pressed, or it might otherwise lead to the false notion of a personal unity between Them. Nevertheless, we may admit that the prayer (or, rather, wish) implies the equality of the two Persons, and that it would have been inconceivable for a Catholic Christian to have used the verb in the plural. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:17.)

Verse 11. - Now God himself and our Father; or, as we would express it according to the English idiom, God himself, our Father, omitting the conjunction. And our Lord Jesus Christ. Some suppose that the three Divine Persons of the sacred Trinity are here expressly named: God the Holy Ghost, and the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ; but the words in the original will not bear this sense: "God himself and our Father" is the same Divine Person. Direct. It is to be observed that the verb "direct" is in the Greek in the singular, thus denoting a unity between God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. At all events, we have an express prayer directed to Christ, thus necessarily implying his Divine nature. Our way unto you.

3:11-13 Prayer is religious worship, and all religious worship is due unto God only. Prayer is to be offered to God as our Father. Prayer is not only to be offered in the name of Christ, but offered up to Christ himself, as our Lord and our Saviour. Let us acknowledge God in all our ways, and he will direct our paths. Mutual love is required of all Christians. And love is of God, and is fulfilling the gospel as well as the law. We need the Spirit's influences in order to our growth in grace; and the way to obtain them, is prayer. Holiness is required of all who would go to heaven; and we must act so that we do not contradict the profession we make of holiness. The Lord Jesus will certainly come in his glory; his saints will come with him. Then the excellence as well as the necessity of holiness will appear; and without this no hearts shall be established at that day, nor shall any avoid condemnation.Now God himself, and our Father,.... The Oriental versions leave out the copulative "and", and read, "God himself, our Father" the first person in the Trinity, who is God himself, truly and properly so; and who is a God that hears prayer; and who is omnipotent, and able to do more than the saints can ask or think; and omniscient, and knows their persons and cases, and what is proper for them, and how and when to help and supply them; and he is also the God of all grace, the author and giver of it, and who is able to make it abound, and increase it, and so a very proper object of prayer: and who is likewise the Father of Christ, and of all the saints, not only by creation, in which sense he is the Father of all men, but by adopting grace; and which is mentioned to encourage freedom and boldness in prayer, which children may use with a father, and to raise an expectation of succeeding and receiving an answer; for if earthly parents hear their children, and give good things to them, how much more will not our heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit, and all other good gifts, unto his children? And this shows that the apostle prayed to God in the manner Christ directed, Matthew 6:9

and our Lord Jesus Christ: who is equally the object of prayer with God his Father and ours; who is sometimes distinctly prayed unto, as in Acts 7:59 and often in conjunction with his Father, as in all those places in the epistles, where grace and peace are wished for from them both; see Romans 1:7, and sometimes he is set before the Father, as in 2 Thessalonians 2:16 to show the entire equality between them, and that he is equally addressed as he, being truly and properly God, who knows all things, and is the Almighty, and whose grace is sufficient for us, and therefore rightly applied unto, as here: the petition put up to them both is, that they would

direct our way unto you: a journey is not to be taken without the will of God, without seeking to know it, without submission to it, and dependence on it; nor is there any prosperous one, but by it; see James 4:13. Men may devise their own ways, but God directs their goings; especially a good man's steps are ordered by the Lord, and particularly ministers; who, as they are often directed to subjects and matter, in a very providential way, so to places, and are ordered both where and when to go; see Acts 16:6. The apostle was aware, that there were obstacles in his way of coming to Thessalonica, for he had attempted it once and again, but Satan, and his emissaries, hindered; and therefore he desires that God and Christ would remove them out of the way, and make his way straight and plain, as the word signifies, that he might once more see their faces.

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