And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
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Because they were suffering persecutions from unbelievers for the sake of believers, they would be set free by God’s help. This was viewed as a consolation to believers, so that they would not desert their faith because of such a stumbling block. The injuries suffered by the apostles were a temptation to believers to abandon their faith. When they saw the preachers overcome by force, they were inclined to wonder whether the promise of Christ might be an empty one. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.
And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation. We suffer tribulations that we may consol and save you, and may animate you, by our patience and hope in God and His comfort, to bravely bear, as we do, afflictions on behalf of the faith. So Ambrose. Cf. Chrysostom (Hom1de Spe et Fort. in Tentat. Serv.).
Which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings. This salvation, as the wished for end, produces patience. Others, as Theophylact, take it, "Salvation is wrought in patience." Ambrose takes it to mean that patience is the meritorious cause of salvation, and that salvation, therefore, produces patience as its final cause, for the efficient and final causes have a mutual relation. Salvation, as the final cause, orders and works patience, and in turn patience, as the efficient cause, works out salvation. The meaning, then, is that your consolation and salvation alike effectually produce patience, our exhortation animates you to hope for salvation, and to bear bravely on i...
Or whether we be exhorted, for your exhortation and salvation. These words are not in the present Greek copies; the omission is not of moment, being in a manner a repetition of what is in the same verse: the sense is, that this happens to us for your instruction, and that you may be exhorted, or comforted by our example. This is also signified by the following words, which makes you bear (literally, which worketh the enduring) the like tribulations, as we suffer. (Witham)
Whatever happens to us, it will always be to your advantage. And certainly it is the greatest comfort when the faithful are in affliction, to see their pastors preaching and planting the faith of Christ, in the midst of afflictions and persecutions. This gives them the greatest courage to bear patiently all adversity, being convinced after the example of their divine master, that by many tribulations we are to enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Cajetan)
What humility can compare with this, in that Paul raises to a level of equality with himself those who so obviously fell far short of him. Our salvation is demonstrated more clearly when we bear all things nobly. The work of salvation does not consist only of believing but of enduring evil when it is done to us.
Or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. Knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also are you of the comfort.
That for their sakes the Apostles were afflicted, he showed when he said, whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation: he wishes also to show that for their sakes also they were comforted. He said this indeed even a little above, although somewhat generally , thus; Blessed be God, Who comforts us in all our afflictions, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any affliction. He repeats it here too in other words more clearly and more home to their needs. For whether we be comforted, says he, it is for your comfort. What he means is this; our comfort becomes your refreshment, even though we should not comfort you by word. If we be but a little refreshed, this avails for encouragement to you; and if we be ourselves comforted, this becomes your comfort. For as you consider our sufferings your own, so do...
Whether we be afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation, which works in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: and our hope for you is steadfast.
Having spoken of one, and that the chief ground of comfort and consolation, namely, having fellowship [by sufferings] with Christ: he lays down as second this which he now mentions, namely, that the salvation of the disciples themselves was procured thereby. Faint not, therefore, he says, nor be confounded and afraid because we are afflicted; for this same thing were rather a reason for your being of good cheer: for had we not been afflicted, this had been the ruin of you all. How and wherein? For if through lack of spirit and fear of danger we had not preached unto you the word whereby ye learned the true knowledge, your situation had been desperate. Do you see again the vehemence and earnest contention of Paul? The very things which troubled them he uses for their comfort. For, says he, the greater the in...