Epistle of Second Sunday in Lent

1 Thessalonians 4:1-7

BRETHREN: We pray and beseech you in the Lord Jesus that, as you have received from us, now you ought to walk and to please God, so also you would walk, that you may abound the more. For you know what precepts I have given to you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles that know not God: and that no man overreach nor circumvent his brother in business: because the Lord is the avenger of all these things, as we have told you before and have testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto sanctification: in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Verse 1. In this chapter the apostle begins to remind them of their obligation of always striving to increase in virtue. Though he praises them through the whole epistle, he still thinks it necessary to warn them not to be surprised in uncleanness. He repeats what he had taught them before; first, that there is vengeance awaiting the workers of evil; and secondly, that the favour of God is the reward of those who deal with the brethren in simplicity, and preserve themselves from the defilements of the Gentiles. S. Ambrose, Comment. hic.

Verse 4. His vessel. That is, his own body. See 1 K. xxi. 5. Wi.

Verse 6. That no man overreach, nor deceive his brother in business.1 The Prot. and Mr. N. even in their translations, add, in any matter, because some expound it of frauds and circumventions in any kind of business. But this addition of any, should be left out, seeing the best interpreters expound it of a prohibition of adultery, and the injury thereby done to another, and of sins of that kind only, which is confirmed by what follows and what goes before. See S. Jerom in c. iv. ad Ephes. tom. 4. p. 369. S. Chrys. serm. 3 on this place. Here, says he, he speaks of adultery, as before of fornication, &c. See Theodoret, Theophylact. Estius, Menochius, A. Lapide, &c. Wi.

  1. V. 6. Ne quis supergrediatur, neque circumveniat in negotio fratrem, en tw pragmati. See S. Jerom: diligenter observa, quia ad castitatem nos provocans, et volens uxoribus tantùm esse contentos, dixerit, ne quis supergrediatur, &c. S. Chrys. (log. e. p. 186.) entauqa peri moiceiaV fhsin, anwterw de peri porneiaV pashV. ↩︎

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