Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Thessalonians 3:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

That no man should be moved - That is, caused to apostatize from Christianity.

We are appointed thereunto - Εις τουτο κειμεθα· We are exposed to this, we lie open to such, they are unavoidable in the present state of things; as the Latins say, sic est sors nostra, "this is our lot." God appoints nothing of this kind, but he permits it: for he has made man a free agent.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

That no man should be moved - The word rendered “moved” ( σαίνω sainō) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly means to wag, to move to and fro, as of dogs which wag their tails in fondness (Hom. Od. K. 216. AEl. A. N. 10:7. Ovid. 14:258); then to caress, to fawn upon, to flatter; then to move or waver in mind - as from fear; to dread, to tremble. See Passow and Wetstein. Here the sense is, to be so moved or agitated by fear, or by the terror of persecution, as to forsake their religion. The object of sending Timothy was, that they might not be thus moved, but that amidst all opposition they might adhere steadfastly to their religion.

These afflictions - See the notes at 1 Thessalonians 2:14.

For yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto - It is not quite certain whether by the word “we” here the apostle refers to himself; or to himself and the Thessalonians; or to Christians in general. On either supposition what he says is true, and either would meet the case. It would be most to the purpose, however, to suppose that he means to state the general idea that all Christians are exposed to persecution and could not hope to avoid it. It would then appear that the Thessalonians had partaken only of the common lot. Still there may have been a special reference to the fact that Paul and his fellow-laborers there were subjected to trials; and if this be the reference, then the idea is, that the Thessalonians should not be “moved” by their trials, for even their teachers were not exempt. Even their enemies could not say that the apostle and his co-workers were impostors, for they had persevered in preaching the gospel when they knew that these trials were coming upon them. The phrase, “we are appointed thereunto,” means that such was the divine arrangement. No one who professed Christianity could hope to be exempted from trial, for it was the common lot of all believers; compare 1 Corinthians 4:9 note; 2 Timothy 3:12 note.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The more we find pleasure in the ways of God, the more we shall desire to persevere therein. The apostle's design was to establish and comfort the Thessalonians as to the object of their faith, that Jesus Christ was the Saviour of the world; and as to the recompence of faith, which was more than enough to make up all their losses, and to reward all their labours. But he feared his labours would be in vain. If the devil cannot hinder ministers from labouring in the word and doctrine, he will, if possible, hinder the success of their labours. No one would willingly labour in vain. It is the will and purpose of God, that we enter into his kingdom through many afflictions. And the apostles, far from flattering people with the expectation of worldly prosperity in religion, told them plainly they must count upon trouble in the flesh. Herein they followed the example of their great Master, the Author of our faith. Christians were in danger, and they should be forewarned; they will thus be kept from being improved by any devices of the tempter.