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Verse 9. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things. We confidently hope for better things respecting you. We trust that you are true Christians; that you will produce the proper fruits of holiness; that you will be saved.

Things that accompany salvation. Things that pertain to salvation. The Greek phrase here means, "near to salvation," or things that are conjoined with salvation. So Coverdale renders it, "and that salvation is nigher." The form of expression seems to refer to what was said in Heb 6:8. The land overrun with briers was nigh to cursing; the things which Paul saw in them were nigh to salvation. From this verse it is evident

(1.) that the apostle regarded them as sincere Christians, and

(2.) that he believed they would not fall away. Though he had stated what must be the inevitable consequence if Christians should apostatize, yet he says that, in their case, he had a firm conviction that it would not occur. There is no inconsistency in this. We may be certain that if a man should take arsenic it would kill him; and yet we may have the fullest conviction that he will not do it. Is not this verse a clear proof that Paul felt that it was certain that true Christians would never fall away and be lost? If he supposed that they might, how could he be persuaded that it would not happen to them? Why not to them as well as to others? Learn hence, that while we assure men that if they should fall away they would certainly perish, we may nevertheless address them with the full persuasion that they will be saved.

{++} "accompany" "belong to"

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