Chapter 6:11. To the full assurance, etc. The preposition pros, |to,| may be rendered |with regard to, in respect of| If this meaning be given to it, then the diligence required was with reference to the full assurance of hope: they were to exercise diligence in order that they might enjoy the assurance of hope to the end. But if the preposition be rendered |for the sake of,| as by Stuart, then the meaning is, that they were to exercise the same diligence as they had already exhibited in the work and labor of love, for the purpose of attaining the full assurance of hope.
Now Calvin takes the first meaning; he considers that the Apostle now refers to the full assurance of hope or of faith as he regards it, as he had before spoken of the works of benevolence. What follows seems to favor this view, for the Apostle proceeds to speak of faith and patience as exemplified by the fathers, especially by Abraham.
Some, as Beza, connect |to the end| with |shewing the same diligence,| but it is more suitable to connect them with |the assurance of hope,| as it is done by most.
The remarks of Scott on the difference of |the assurance of hope,| of |the understanding,| and of |faith,| are so clear and discriminating that they shall be added, --
|He who so understands the Gospel as to perceive the relation of each part to all the rest, and its use as a part of some great design, in something of the same manner that a skillful anatomist understands the use and office of every part of the human body, in relation to the whole, has the full assurance of understanding; and those things willful appear inconsistent, useless, or superfluous to others, he perceives essentially necessary to the system or the great design. The man who is fully convinced that this consistent and harmonious though complicated design is the work and revelation of God, and has no doubt the things testified are true, that the promises and threatenings will be fulfilled, and that Christ will certainly save all true believers, has the full assurance of faith, though he may through misapprehension, or temptation, or other causes, doubt of his own personal interest in this salvation. But he, who beyond doubt or hesitation is assured that he himself is a true believer, interested in all the precious promises, sealed by the sanctifying Spirit, and a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed,' has the full assurance of hope.|