2 Thessalonians 1:11
To this end, we always pray for you, that our God will count you worthy of His calling, and that He will powerfully fulfill your every good desire and work of faith,
Sermons
Faith FulfilledW. Sparrow.2 Thessalonians 1:11
Salvation the Result of the Pleasure of God's Goodness and His PowerT. Manton, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:11
Worthiness of Divine Calling2 Thessalonians 1:11
Worthy of the Christian CallingW.F. Adeney 2 Thessalonians 1:11
Worthy of Your CallingAlexander Maclaren2 Thessalonians 1:11
Manifestation of Solemn InterestR. Finlayson 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Experimental ChristianityJ. Burns, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
Prayer for the Thessalonians in Prospect of Their GlorificationT. Croskery 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 12
St. Paul's Prayer for the ThessaloniansB.C. Caffin 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 12
The Good Pleasure of GoodnessW. B. Pope, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:11-12


His wish was that they would undergo the necessary preparatory work in anticipation of their future glorification. It was a double prayer.

I. A PRAYER THAT HIS CONVERTS MIGHT APPROVE THE REALITY OF THEIR CALLING BY THEIR FAITH AND LIVE. "Whereunto we pray always for you, brethren, that God would count you worthy of his calling."

1. The nature and intent of the calling.

(1) It is the effectual call of the Spirit in conversion (1 Corinthians 1:24).

(2) It is according to the Divine purpose (Romans 8:28).

(3) It is

(a) high (Philippians 3:14);

(b) holy (2 Timothy 1:9);

(c) heavenly (Hebrews 3:1).

(4) It is a call

(a) to fellowship with Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9);

(b) to holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:7);

(c) to liberty (Galatians 5:13);

(d) to peace (Colossians 3:15);

(e) to glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3);

(f) to eternal life (1 Timothy 6:12).

2. A walk worthy of such a calling. "That God would count you worthy of this calling." How can any sinful man be accounted worthy of it? He is already called, and God's counting him worthy proceeds on the supposition of that pre-existing fact. It supposes:

(1) That their life would be found at the last day in harmony with the call (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

(2) That they would meanwhile "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith they were called" (Ephesians 4:1), and "make their calling and election sure" (2 Peter 1:10).

(3) That they would have occasion to praise God for the call (1 Peter 2:9).

II. A PRAYER THAT HIS CONVERTS MIGHT FULLY REALIZE THE BLESSED PROCESS THROUGH WHICH THE APOSTLE'S OBJECT MIGHT BE SECURED. The process is twofold.

1. That God would work in them every delight in moral goodness. "Fulfil every good pleasure of goodness."

(1) Good men delight in goodness and in doing good.

(2) It is God who implants this delight in them; for they are "his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Ephesians 2:10). They are, therefore, to be "zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14), and to provoke one another to "good works" (Hebrews 10:24). This goodness is one of the Spirit's fruits (Galatians 5:22).

2. That God would fulfil the work of faith with power.

(1) Faith is an operative grace; it "worketh by love;" it justifies itself by good works.

(2) It is a Divine work. Therefore, as something may have been lacking therein, the apostle prays that he who is the Author of their faith would he the Finisher of it (Hebrews 12:2).

(3) It is a work done with power. At their conversion, the Thessalonians felt the "greatness of his power to usward who believe" (Ephesians 1:19), and the same power is needed to make it triumphant as a principle of action and as a principle of endurance. "Our sufficiency is of God;" we are "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation" (1 Peter 1:5).

III. THE ULTIMATE OBJECT OF THE APOSTLE'S PRAYERS FOR THE THESSALONIANS. "That the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him."

1. The very Name of Christ is to be gloried in the saints.

(1) Because it is "a Name that is above every name, at which every knee should bow" (Philippians 2:10).

(2) Because it is the Name for the sake of which the saints are now "hated of all nations" (Matthew 24:9).

(3) Because it is the Name by which the saints are called (James 2:7),

(4) It is glorified in the saints

(a) in their holiness of life;

(b) in their victory over the world and sin;

(c) in their steadfast loyalty to him;

(d) in their final exaltation to "his kingdom and glory."

2. The saints will be glorified in Christ.

(1) In his wearing their nature on the throne; for "he is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Hebrews 2:11).

(2) In their being clothed with his righteousness - "comely with the comeliness he has put upon them."

(3) In their "reigning with him," and "being glorified together" (2 Timothy 2:12; Romans 8:17). They shall be "partakers of his glory."

3. The spring or source of all the blessings of the saints. "According to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."

(1) The whole work of salvation till it ends in glory illustrates "the exceeding riches of his grace."

(a) The purpose of the Father is of grace;

(b) the mediation of the Son is of grace;

(c) the blessings of the new covenant are all of grace.

(2) This grace has a unity of source - "in our God and the Lord Jesus Christ;" implying oneness of essence and the coequal Godhead of Father and Son. - T.C.







That our God would count you worthy of this calling
I. IT FLOWS FROM THE PLEASURE OF GOD'S GOODNESS. In the whole course of our salvation this is to be observed:

1. The coming of Christ (Luke 2:14).

2. The covenant of grace (Colossians 1:19, 20).

3. The ministry (1 Corinthians 1:21).

4. The grace to embrace the covenant offered (Matthew 11:26).

5. The blessings of the covenant.

(1)By the way (Deuteronomy 33:16),

(2)at the end of the journey (Luke 12:32).

II. IT IS ACCOMPLISHED BY HIS ALMIGHTY POWER. The power of God is necessary —

1. To bring us into a state of grace. Nothing but it can overcome man's obstinacy and change his heart (Job 14:4). The work is called a "new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:24), and creation is a work of omnipotence, whether physical or spiritual.

2. To maintain us in a state of grace. Here consider —(1) The necessity of God's power (1 Peter 1:5). None but this Almighty Guardian can keep and preserve us by the way, that we may come safe to our journey's end (Acts 17:28; Hebrews 13:21). Remember the adversaries (Galatians 5:17; 1 Peter 5:8); but remember the assurance (Matthew 19:26).(2) The sufficiency of this power (Jude 1:24).

(a)To enable for all duties (Philippians 4:18; Ephesians 3:16).

(b)To support in all trials (Deuteronomy 33:22).

(c)To resist all temptations (1 John 4:4; Ephesians 6:10).

(T. Manton, D. D.)

I. WHAT IS THIS CALLING? The Christian calling is holy (2 Timothy 1:9); heavenly (Hebrews 3:1). The one relates to the way, the other to the end; hence it is a calling to virtue and glory (2 Peter 1:3). Both may be considered either as they are represented —

1. In the offer of the Word. There God is often set forth as calling us —

(1)From sin to holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:7).

(2)From misery to happiness (1 Peter 5:10).

2. As impressed upon us by the operation of the Spirit (Romans 1:7), by which we have a right to the heavenly blessedness (Hebrews 9:15).

II. WHAT IS IT TO BE COUNTED OR MADE WORTHY OF THIS CALLING? There is a threefold worthiness —

1. Of desert and proper merit (Revelation 4:11). God deserves all that the creature can give Him, and infinitely more (Revelation 5:12). The workman is worthy in this sense of His meat (Matthew 10:10). When preachers are sustained by hearers, it is not our alms but a debt (1 Timothy 5:17). But it is not so between us and God (Genesis 32:10).

2. Of meekness and suitableness (Colossians 1:10: Ephesians 4:1). In this sense God makes us worthy when He makes us more holy and heavenly (1 Thessalonians 2:12; Colossians 1:12). This meetness consists in —(1) Holiness (1 Peter 1:15). The calling —

(a)Puts a holy nature into us.

(b)Obliges us to live by a holy rule.

(c)Offers us a holy reward.

(d)And all to engage us to the service of a holy God, who will be sanctified to all who are near to Him. Therefore, to make His people such who were once sinners, He has appointed means (Galatians 5:26) and providences (Hebrews 12:10), and all accomplished with the operation of the Holy Spirit (2 Thessalonians 2:13).(2) Heavenliness; for God, by inviting men, draws them off this world to a better. The more they obey His will, the more heavenly they are. It is heaven —

(a)They seek (Colossians 3:1, 2).

(b)Hope for (1 Peter 1:3).

(c)Count their portion (Matthew 6:20, 21).

(d)Their home and happiness (Hebrews 11:13).

(e)Their work and scope (Philippians 3:14).

(f)Their end, solace and support (2 Corinthians 4:18). Their course becomes their choice (Philippians 3:20).

3. Acceptance (Acts 5:41), which notes liberality in the giver but no worth in the receiver (Luke 21:36; Revelation 2:4).

III. THIS IS AN EXCELLENT BENEFIT, AND THE MERE FRUIT OF GOD'S GRACE.

1. It is an excellent benefit. By this calling —(1) Our natures are ennobled (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Holiness is the beauty of God. His image impressed on us.(2) We are brought into an estate wherein not only are we amenable to God, but He to us all John 3:1; Romans 1:6).(3) We are under the special protection of God, so that things work together for good (Romans 8:28).(4) We are admitted to ever-lasting blessedness (Ephesians 1:18; Philippians 3:14; 1 Peter 3:9).

2. It is the fruit of God's grace (Romans 9:11; 2 Timothy 1:9).(1) For the beginning. He was pleased to call us at first. From what a state of sin and misery He called us (Colossians 1:21).(2) For the progress. God that began the good work continues it (1 Peter 5:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:24).(3) For the end. God must count us worthy to the last. Consider —

(a)The infinite disproportion between our best services and greatest sufferings and the promised glory (Romans 8:18).

(b)The imperfection of our best obedience (Isaiah 64:6).

(c)Our unprofitableness to God, who is above our injuries and benefits (Job 22:23; Job 35:7, 8; Luke 17:10).

(d)The interruptions of our obedience (James 3:2; 1 John 1:10).Conclusion: Behave as a people called by God, because your calling is —

1. A peculiar favour (Ephesians 5:8).

2. A great honour (1 Thessalonians 2:12).

3. A rich talent, faculty and power (2 Peter 1:3).

4. A special trust (1 Peter 2:9).

(Ibid.)

Let us conceive a chemist experimenting along a certain line, and presently beginning to suspect the existence of some great unknown law. He pursues his investigations. There are certain converging lines of evidence pointing to this conclusion. He stands on the verge of a great discovery. He multiplies experiments, and his suspicion becomes now a conviction — not a certainty. His mind has overleapt the interval and fastened upon the truth before the labouring processes of reason have verified it. This is faith. Nothing remains but to make the crowning experiment. All hangs on this, and we can conceive with what breathless interest he watches its development. It is successful, and a great tide of joy rushes in upon his soul that a new, great truth is born into the world, which shall forever live, bearing his name imprinted upon it. We, then, are in the condition of that chemist in the interval between the conviction and the making of the last experiment. We see lines of evidence leading up to God. Faith overleaps the interval and fastens upon the truth. The crowning experiment shall be made in eternity, when sight shall set the seal to faith, and give us the last conclusive evidence which shall forever silence question. We shall then leap all at once unto the full assurance of the things in which we believed. We shall have issued from the realm of faith into the serene everlasting certainty of heaven.

(W. Sparrow.)

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