To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
To them who by patient continuance in well doing,.... These words are descriptive of one sort of persons, to whom God will render according to their works; and must be understood not of the Gentiles, the best and most moralized among them; for they sought after worldly things, after human wisdom, and popular applause, and not after God, his honour and glory, nor after immortality, which is only brought to light by the Gospel; nor of the pharisaical Jews, who sought for righteousness by the works of the law, and honour and glory from men, and not from God; nor of any unregenerate persons, but only of such who have the true principles of grace implanted in them, whether Jews or Gentiles: now the things which these men seek after are
glory; not the glory of this world, nor any from the men of it; but the glory of God and Christ; to be glorious within and without, by the grace and righteousness of Christ here, and to enjoy eternal glory with him hereafter.
Honour; not that which Adam had in innocence, and did not abide in; but that which is, and abides with Christ, and which all the saints have, and shall have.
immortality; not the immortality of the soul, which is common to all; but the incorruption of the body, or the glorious resurrection of it to everlasting life at the great day, or the incorruptible crown, and never fading inheritance of the saints in light. The manner in which these things are sought is, "by patient continuance in well doing"; by doing good works, and by doing these good works well, from a principle of faith and love, and with a view to the glory of God; and by patiently enduring reproaches and sufferings for well doing, and by persevering therein: not that these things are to be had, or are expected by the saints to be had for the sake of patience and well doing; yet they may be sought for, and looked unto, as an encouragement to well doing, and continuance therein; and though not "for", yet "in" well doing there is a reward. These words do not express that for the sake of which glory is had; but only describe the persons who seek, and the manner in which they seek for it, to whom God will render
eternal life, which he of his rich grace promised them before the world was, and of his free favour has put into the hands of Christ for them, and which, as a pure gift of grace, he bestows on them through him.