And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope to the end:…
I. THE MEANS BY WHICH THE HAPPINESS OF HEAVEN MAY BE ATTAINED. "Faith and patience." Faith describes the sound state of the understanding in the perception and application of religious truth; and patience denotes that calm fortitude of heart which enables us to resist every seduction, and, at the call of faith, to hold onward undaunted in the path which conscience prescribes. These virtues form, by their union, the perfection of the human character.
II. THE ENCOURAGEMENT TO EXERTION IN PURSUIT OF IT. "Followers of them who... inherit the promises." Faith and patience, like all other blessings, descend from heaven. They are the gifts of God through Jesus Christ. But the use and improvement of them, from which alone they become blessings to us, are left dependent on ourselves. Many motives concur to excite our diligence in improving them; but there is a peculiar tenderness and force in that which is suggested by the text. Through them the saints who have gone before us are now inheriting the promises. This argument addresses at once our interest, our understanding, and the best affections of our heart. It raises our view to the recompense of reward; it places before us a visible proof that the attainment of this inheritance is not beyond the reach of men like us; it warms within us the sentiment of generous emulation; and it attracts us onward by ties that are dear as life to the virtuous soul — by the love of those whom death has consecrated in our imagination, and by the ravishing prospect of rejoining them in heaven.
(James Finlayson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: