10 Wherefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect From the elect he shews, that his imprisonment is so far from being a ground of reproach, that it is highly profitable to the elect. When he says that he endures for the sake of the elect, (167) this demonstrates how much more he cares for the edification of the Church than for himself; for he is prepared, not only to die, but even to be reckoned in the number of wicked men, that he may promote the salvation of the Church.
In this passage Paul teaches the same doctrine as in Colossians 1:24, where he says, that he“
fills up what is wanting in the sufferings of Christ, for his body, which is the Church.”
Hence the impudence of the Papists is abundantly refuted, who infer from these words that the death of Paul was a satisfaction for our sins; as if he claimed anything else for his death, than that it would confirm the faith of the godly, for he immediately adds an exposition, by affirming that the salvation of believers is found in Christ alone. But if any of my readers wishes to see a more extended illustration of this subject, let him consult my Commentary on the chapter which I have just now quoted — the first of the Epistle to the Colossians.
With eternal glory This is the end of the salvation which we obtain in Christ; for our salvation is to live to God, which salvation begins with our regeneration, and is completed by our perfect deliverance, when God takes us away from the miseries of this mortal life, and gathers us into his kingdom. To this salvation is added the participation of heavenly, that is, divine glory; and, therefore, in order to magnify the grace of Christ, he gave to salvation the name of “eternal glory.”
(167) “It might be replied, that it is superfluous that Paul should ‘endure for the elect.’ ‘Cannot God save those whom he elected and adopted before the creation of the world, without the assistance of men? Has the immutable decree of God any need of human help, or of creatures? Why then does Paul say that he endures on account of the elect?’ Now, it us true that God will conduct his people to the inheritance which is prepared for them but yet he is pleased to make use of the labor of men. Not that he is under a necessity of borrowing anything from us, but he confers on us this honor by his undeserved goodness, and wishes that we should be instruments of his power. Thus Paul does not boast that the salvation of the children of God depends on his steadfastness or on the afflictions which he had to endure; but he only means that God wishes to conduct his people by means of the word, and that he employs men whom he has chosen for that purpose, as for his own work, and makes them instruments of the power of his Holy Spirit.” — Fr. Ser.