Ἐν Θεῷ Πατρὶ καὶ Κυρίῳ Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ.
Ἰδοὺ πάλιν τὶ “ἐν” ἐπὶ τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ· πολλαὶ γὰρ ἐκκλησίαι καὶ Ἰουδαϊκαὶ καὶ Ἑλληνικαὶ ἦσαν, ἀλλὰ τῇ “ἐν Θεῷ.”
Χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη.
Τὸ χάρις ὑμῖν οὕτω τίθησιν, ὥσπερ ἡμεῖς τὸ χαίρειν ἐν ταῖς ἐπιγραφαῖς τῶν ἐπιστολῶν εἰωθαμεν. Τὸ δὲ “ἐν Θεῷ Πατρὶ,” ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐν Κυρίῳ γράφομεν· εἴ τις δὲ ἁμαρτίας εἴη δοῦλος, οὐ δύναται λέγεσθαι ἐν Θεῷ, χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη. Ἴδες εὐθέως ἀπὸ ἐγκωμίων τὸ προίμιον τῆς ἐπιστολῆς, εὐχαριστοῦμεν τῷ Θεῷ πάντοτε περὶ πάντων ὑμῶν, μνείαν ὑμῶν ποιούμενοι ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν ἡμῶν. Τὸ γὰρ εὐχαριστεῖν τῷ Θεῷ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν, μαρτυροῦντός ἐστιν αὐτοῖς πολλὴν προκοπὴν, ὅταν μὴ μόνον ἐπαινῶνται αὐτοὶ, ἀλλὰ καὶ Θεὸς εὐχαριστεῖται ὡς αὐτὸς ἐργασάμενος τὸ πᾶν· διδάσκει δὲ αὐτοὺς καὶ μετριάζειν, μονονουχὶ λέγων, ὅτι εἰ καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐργάζεσθε, φησὶν, ἀλλὰ τῆς Θεοῦ δυνάμεώς ἐστι τὸ πᾶν· τὸ μὲν οὖν εὐχαριστεῖν, τῶν κατορθωμάτων ἕνεκεν, τὸ δὲ μεμνῆσθαι αὐτῶν ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν, τῆς ἀγάπης τῆς πρὸς αὐτούς. Οὐ μόνον δὲ, φησὶν ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν μεμνῆσθαι, ἀλλὰ καὶ “αδιαλείπτως μνημονεύοντες ὑμῶν τοῦ ἔργου τῆς πίστεως καὶ τοῦ κόπου τῆς ἀγάπης καὶ τῆς ὑπομονῆς, τῆς ἐλπίδος τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ πατρὸς ἡμῶν.” Τί ἐστι τοῦ ἔργου τῆς πίστεως; ὅτι οὐδὲν ὑμῶν παρέκλινε τοῦ ἔργου πίστεως, εἰ πιστεύεις πάντα πάσχειν· εἰ δὲ μὴ πάσχῃς οὐ πιστεύεις. “καὶ τοῦ κόπου τῆς ἀγάπης·” τὸ φιλεῖν ἁπλῶς, οὐδὲ εἷς κόπος· τὸ δὲ γνησίως φιλεῖν κόπος πολύς· ὅταν γὰρ μυρία κινῆται τῆς ἀγάπης ἡμᾶς ἀφελκῦσαι βουλόμενα, ἡμεῖς δὲ πρὸς πάντα ἀντιτείνωμεν, οὐχὶ κόπος πολὺς, εἰπέ μοι;
In God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Behold again how he says “in” applied to both the Father and the Son. For there were many Jewish and Greek assemblies, but this is one which is “in God.”
Grace to you and peace.
He includes “grace to you” in this way so that we might be accustomed to rejoice in the writings of these letters. And “in God the Father” we also write in the Lord. And if anyone is a servant of sin, he cannot be said to be in God. “Grace to you and peace.” Do you see immediately from the beginning of the letter the way he praises them, “We give thanks always concerning all of you, making mention of you in our prayers.” For to rejoice in God for them is testifying to them about their great advancement, when they themselves are not only praised, but God also is thanked as having done all this himself. And he teaches them also to be moderate, all but saying, “Though you also work,” he says, “it is all from the power of God.” Therefore, that he gives thanks is on account of their virtuous actions, but that he remembers them in his prayers is from his love which is for them. “And not only,” he says, “do I remember you in my prayers,” but also “constantly remembering your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ before our God and Father.” What is the work of faith? That nothing turned aside your work of faith. If you believe, suffer all things. And if you do not suffer, then you do not believe. And what about “your labor of love”? To love simply is not at all a burden. But to love genuinely is a great labor. For when a thousand things are set in motion drawing away from our love, and yet we resist all these things, then say to me that it is not a great labor.