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1 Thessalonians 5:8

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Putting on the breastplate - We are not only called to Work, but we are called also to fight; and that we may not be surprised, we must watch; and that we may be in a condition to defend ourselves, we must be sober; and that we may be enabled to conquer, we must be armed: and what the breastplate and helmet are to a soldier's heart and head, such are faith, love, and hope to us. Faith enables us to endure, as seeing him who is invisible; love excites us to diligence and activity, and makes us bear our troubles and difficulties pleasantly; hope helps us to anticipate the great end, the glory that shall be revealed, and which we know we shall in due time obtain, if we faint not. For an explanation of the different parts of the Grecian armor, as illustrating that of the Christian, see the notes on Ephesians 6 (note), where the subject is largely explained.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But let us, who are of the day, be sober - Temperate, as people usually are in the daytime.

Putting on the breast-plate of faith and love - This is a favorite comparison of the apostle Paul; see it explained at length in the notes on Ephesians 6:14.

And for an helmet, the hope of salvation - See the notes at Ephesians 6:17.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Most of mankind do not consider the things of another world at all, because they are asleep; or they do not consider them aright, because they sleep and dream. Our moderation as to all earthly things should be known to all men. Shall Christians, who have the light of the blessed gospel shining in their faces, be careless about their souls, and unmindful of another world? We need the spiritual armour, or the three Christian graces, faith, love, and hope. Faith; if we believe that the eye of God is always upon us, that there is another world to prepare for, we shall see reason to watch and be sober. True and fervent love to God, and the things of God, will keep us watchful and sober. If we have hope of salvation, let us take heed of any thing that would shake our trust in the Lord. We have ground on which to build unshaken hope, when we consider, that salvation is by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, to atone for our sins and to ransom our souls. We should join in prayer and praise one with another. We should set a good example one before another, and this is the best means to answer the end of society. Thus we shall learn how to live to Him, with whom we hope to live for ever.
Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 285.2

What are you doing, my Christian brothers and sisters? Can you say that as far as it was in your power, you have declared, or represented, Christ and His love for fallen humanity to those who know Him not? If you have confined your efforts mostly to those who are of the same faith as yourself, what about seeking those who are lost? If the curtain could be rolled back, you would see souls perishing in their sins, and the church idle, indolent, unsympathetic, absorbed in selfish interests, and caring not whether souls are saved or lost, so long as they themselves can have an easy time, and be secure in the hope of salvation. But no one will ever enter heaven who is not a laborer together with God.—The Review and Herald, February 12, 19, 1895. PM 285.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 324.5

“Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breast-plate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do” (1 Thessalonians 5:8-11).—Letter 249, November 11, 1903, to P. T. Magan and E. A. Sutherland, educators leading out in the establishing of Emmanuel Missionary College. TDG 324.5

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 215

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Matthew 5:14, 15. TMK 215.1

Let no one feel inclined to hide his light. Those who hide their light so that the world may not distinguish between them and those who walk in darkness will soon lose all power to diffuse light. They are the ones who are represented by the five foolish virgins, and when the crisis comes, when the call is heard “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6), they will arouse at last to find that their lamps have gone out, that they have mixed with the elements of the world and have not provided themselves with the oil of grace. They were lulled to sleep by the cry of peace and safety, and did not keep their lamps trimmed and burning. Aroused to their darkness they plead for oil, but it is impossible for one Christian to impart character to another soul. Character is not transferable. Those who are ease-loving, world-loving, fashion-loving professors of Christianity will not go in to the marriage supper of the Lamb with those who are represented by the five wise virgins. When they solicit entrance they are told that the door is shut. Now is the time to impart light.... TMK 215.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 135

The end is near, stealing upon us stealthily, imperceptibly, like the noiseless approach of a thief in the night. May the Lord grant that we shall no longer sleep as do others, but that we shall watch and be sober. The truth is soon to triumph gloriously, and all who now choose to be laborers together with God will triumph with it. The time is short; the night soon cometh when no man can work. Let those who are rejoicing in the light of present truth now make haste to impart the truth to others. The Lord is inquiring: “Whom shall I send?” Those who wish to sacrifice for the truth's sake are now to respond: “Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8. 9T 135.1

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Let those who bear responsibilities remember that it is the Holy Spirit who is to do the fashioning. It is the Lord who controls. We are not to try to mold, according to our own ideas, those for whom we work, but to let Christ do the molding. He follows no human pattern. He works according to His own mind and Spirit. It is man's work to reveal to the world that which Christ has placed in his heart; through His grace man becomes a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The higher powers of the one who receives Christ are strengthened and ennobled, and he receives a fitness for God's service. 9T 135.2

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