For now we live - Your steadfastness in the faith gives me new life and comfort; I now feel that I live to some purpose, as my labor in the Lord is not in vain.
For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord - This is equivalent to saying, “My life and comfort depend on your stability in the faith, and your correct Christian walk;” compare Martial 6:70. Non est vivere, sed valere, vita - “Life consists not merely in living, but in the enjoyment of health.” See also Seneca, Epis. 99, and Manilius, 1 Thessalonians 4:5, as quoted by Wetstein. The meaning here is, that Paul now enjoyed life; he had that which constituted real life, in the fact that they acted as became Christians, and so as to show that his labor among them had not been in vain. The same thing here affirmed is true of all faithful ministers of the gospel. They feel that they have something that may be called life, and that is worth living for, when those to whom they preach maintain a close walk with God.
“I rejoice that in everything I am of good courage concerning you.” “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;” “being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ: even as it is right for me to be thus minded on behalf of you all, because I have you in my heart.” “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” “Now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.” Verse 16, A.R.V.; Philippians 1:3-5; 1:6, 7, A.R.V.; 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:8. MH 167.1
Paul wrote to these brethren as “saints in Christ Jesus;” but he was not writing to those who were perfect in character. He wrote to them as men and women who were striving against temptation and who were in danger of falling. He pointed them to “the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep.” He assured them that “through the blood of the everlasting covenant” He will “make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ.” Hebrews 13:20, 21. MH 167.2
When one at fault becomes conscious of his error, be careful not to destroy his self-respect. Do not discourage him by indifference or distrust. Do not say, “Before giving him my confidence, I will wait to see whether he will hold out.” Often this very distrust causes the tempted one to stumble. MH 167.3Read in context »
This chapter is based on the Epistles to the Thessalonians.
The arrival of Silas and Timothy from Macedonia, during Paul's sojourn in Corinth, had greatly cheered the apostle. They brought him “good tidings” of the “faith and charity” of those who had accepted the truth during the first visit of the gospel messengers to Thessalonica. Paul's heart went out in tender sympathy toward these believers, who, in the midst of trial and adversity, had remained true to God. He longed to visit them in person, but as this was not then possible, he wrote to them. AA 255.1Read in context »