3:1 Finally, 1 brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have [free] course, and be glorified, even as [it is] with you:
(1) He adds now consequently according to his
manner, various admonitions: the first of them is, that they pray for the
increase and passage of the Gospel, and for the safety of the faithful
ministers of it.
3:2 And that we may be delivered from a
unreasonable and wicked men: 2 for all
[men] have not faith.
(a) Who do not do or care about their duty. (2)
It is no wonder that the Gospel is hated by so many, seeing that faith is a
rare gift of God. Nonetheless, the Church will never be destroyed by the
multitude of the wicked, because it is grounded and stayed upon the faithful
promise of God.
3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish
you, and keep [you] from b evil.
(b) From Satan's snares, or from evil.
And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the
things which we command you.
(3) The second admonition is, that they always
follow the doctrine of the apostles as a rule for their life.
And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient
waiting for Christ.
(4) Thirdly, he diligently and earnestly
admonishes them of two things which are given to us only by the grace of God,
that is, of charity, and a watchful mind to the coming of Christ.
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye
withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after
the tradition which he received of us.
(5) Fourthly, he says that idle and lazy persons
ought not to be supported by the Church; indeed, they are not to be endured.
For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves
disorderly among you;
(6) Lest he might seem to deal harshly with them,
he sets forth himself as an example, who besides his travail in preaching,
laboured with his hands, which he says he was not bound to do.
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not
work, c neither should he eat.
(c) What will we do then with those fat lazy
monks, and sacrificing priests? A monk (says Socrates, book eight, of his
Tripartite History) who does not work with hands, is like a thief.
3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk
among 7 you disorderly, working not at
all, 8 but are busybodies.
(7) How great a fault idleness is, he declares in
that God created no man in vain or to no purpose, neither is there any to whom
he has not allotted as it were a certain position and place. From which it
follows, that the order which God has appointed is troubled by the idle,
indeed broken, which is great sin and wickedness. (8)
He reprehends a vice, which is joined with the former, upon which follows an
infinite sort of mischiefs: that is, that there are none more busy in other
men's matters, than they who neglect their own.
Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with
quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
(9) The Lord commands and the apostles pray in
the name of Christ, first, that no man be idle, and next, that every man
quietly and carefully sees to do his duty in that office and calling in which
the Lord has placed him.
But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
(10) We must take heed that the unworthiness of
some men does not cause us to be slack in well-doing.
And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no 12
company with him, 13 that he may be
(11) Excommunication is a punishment for the
(12) We must have no familiarity or fellowship
with the one who has been excommunicated.
(13) The end of the excommunication is not the
destruction, but the salvation of the sinner, that at least through shame he
may be driven to repentance.
Yet count [him] not as an enemy, but admonish [him] as a brother.
(14) We must avoid familiarity with the one who
has been excommunicated in such a way, that we diligently seek every occasion
and means that may be, to bring them again into the right way.
Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord [be]
with you all.
(15) Prayers are the seals of all exhortations.
The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle:
so I write.
(16) The apostle writes the conclusion of his
letter with his own hand, so that false letters might not be brought and put
in place of true ones.