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13while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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13 Looking for that blessed hope From the hope of future immortality he draws an exhortation, and indeed, if that hope be deeply seated in our mind, it is impossible that it should not lead us to devote ourselves wholly to God. On the contrary, they who do not cease to live to the world and to the flesh never have actually tasted what is the worth of the promise of eternal life; for the Lord, by calling us to heaven, withdraws us from the earth.

Hope is here put for the thing hoped for, otherwise it would be an incorrect mode of expression. He gives this appellation to the blessed life which is laid up for us in heaven. At the same time he declares when we shall enjoy it, and what we ought to contemplate, when we desire or think of our salvation.

And the appearing of the glory of the great God and Savior I interpret the glory of God, to mean not only that by which he shall be glorious in himself, but also that by which he shall then diffuse himself on all sides, so as to make all his elect partakers of it. He calls God great, because his greatness — which men, blinded by the empty splendor of the world, now extenuate, and sometimes even annihilate, as far as lies in their power — shall be fully manifested on the last day. The luster of the world, while it appears great to our eyes, dazzles them so much that “the glory of God” is, as it were, hidden in darkness. But Christ, by his coming, shall chase away all the empty show of the world — shall no longer obscure the brightness, shall no longer lessen the magnificence, of his glory. True the Lord demonstrates his majesty every day by his works; but because men are prevented by their blindness from seeing it, it is said to be hidden in obscurity. Paul wishes that believers may now contemplate by faith that which shall be manifested on the last day, and therefore that God may be magnified, whom the world either despises, or; at least, does not esteem according to his excellence.

It is uncertain whether these words should be read together thus, “the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, the great God and our Savior,” or separately, as of the Father and the Son, “the glory of the great God, and of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” 254254     “Of these words the most natural sense, and that required by the ‘proprietas linguae,’ is, beyond all doubt, the one assigned by almost all the ancients from Clem. Alex. downwards, and by the early modern expositors, as Erasmus, Grotius, and Beza, and also by some eminent expositors and theologians of later times, as Bishops Pearson and Bull, Wolff, Matthaei, and Bishop Middleton, namely, ‘Looking for (or rather, looking forward to; comp. Job 2:9, and see Grotius) the blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.’ The cause of the ambiguity in our common version is ably pointed out, and the above version established on the surest grounds, by Bishop Middleton and Professor Scholefield. But, besides the argument founded on the ‘propriety of language,’ that of Beza, who urges that ἐπιφάνεια is nowhere used of God, but Christ, is unanswerable. So in an able critique on Dr. Channing’s works, in the British Critic, the Reviewer justly maintains that ‘Christ must be the God here spoken of, because it is his “glorious appearing” which all Christians here are said to expect, but of God the Father we are expressly told that him “no man hath seen, nor can see.”’ Other convincing arguments for the construction here laid down may be seen in Dr. Routh’s Reliquiae Sacrae, vol. 2, p. 26. The reader is also particularly referred to Clem. Alex. Colhort. ad Gentes, sub init., where verses 11-14 are cited by that Father, and the view of Σωτὢρος here maintained is adopted. The whole of the context there is deserving of great attention, as containing such plain and repeated attestations to the divinity of Jesus Christ as can rarely be found. The passage itself may be seen in Bishop Bull’s Def Fid. Nic., p. 87.” — Bloomfield. The Arians, seizing on this latter sense, have endeavored to prove from it, that the Son is less than the Father, because here Paul calls the Father “the great God” by way of distinction from the Son. The orthodox teachers of the Church, for the purpose of shutting out this slander, eagerly contended that both are affirmed of Christ. But the Arians may be refuted in a few words and by solid argument; for Paul, having spoken of the revelation of the glory of “the great God,” immediately added “Christ,” in order to inform us, that that revelation of glory will be in his person; as if he had said that, when Christ shall appear, the greatness of the divine glory shall then be revealed to us.

Hence we learn, first, that there is nothing that ought to render us more active or cheerful in doing good than the hope of the future resurrection; and, secondly, that believers ought always to have their eyes fixed on it, that they may not grow weary in the right course; for, if we do not wholly depend upon it, we shall continually be carried away to the vanities of the world. But, since the coming of the Lord to judgment might excite terror in us, Christ is held out to us as our “Savior,” who will also be our judge.




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