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4. Living to Please God
1Finally then, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as ye received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, even as ye do walk, --that ye abound more and more. 2For ye know what charge we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye abstain from fornication; 4that each one of you know how to possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5not in the passion of lust, even as the Gentiles who know not God; 6that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in the matter: because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as also we forewarned you and testified. 7For God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification. 8Therefore he that rejecteth, rejecteth not man, but God, who giveth his Holy Spirit unto you. 9But concerning love of the brethren ye have no need that one write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another; 10for indeed ye do it toward all the brethren that are in all Macedonia. But we exhort you, brethren, that ye abound more and more; 11and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your hands, even as we charged you; 12that ye may walk becomingly toward them that are without, and may have need of nothing. 13But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest, who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; 17then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
10 And we exhort you. Though he declares that they were sufficiently prepared of themselves for all offices of love, he nevertheless does not cease to exhort them to make progress, there being no perfection in men. And, unquestionably, whatever appears in us in a high state of excellence, we must still desire that it may become better. Some connect the verb φιλοτιμεῖσζαι with what follows, as if he exhorted them to strive at the maintaining of peace; but it corresponds better with the expression that goes before. For after having admonished them to increase in love, he recommends to them a sacred emulation, that they may strive among themselves in mutual affection, or at least he enjoins that each one strive to conquer himself; 572572 “En cest endroit;” — “In this matter.” and I rather adopt this latter interpretation. That, therefore, their love may be perfect, he requires that there be a striving among them, such as is wont to be on the part of those who eagerly 573573 “Courageusement et d’vn grand desir;” — “Courageously and wait a great desire.” aspire at victory. This is the best emulation, when each one strives to overcome himself in doing good. As to my not subscribing to the opinion of those who render the words, strive to maintain peace, this single reason appears to me to be sufficiently valid — that Paul would not in a thing of less difficulty have enjoined so arduous a conflict — which suits admirably well with advancement in love, where so many hindrances present themselves. Nor would I have any objection to the other meaning of the verb — that they should exercise liberality generally towards others.